Halo Top Reviews are pretty easy to find on all the fancy blog sites by all the fitspo guys and gals. But you just found one that is a little bit better. A little bit MORE thorough. A little bit more comprehensive. In this, my very first protein ice cream reviews, I’m going to talk about the fist name that comes to mind when you think of protein ice cream- HALO Top. That’s right. Those gold-lidded little pints were consumed in mass in quantities by yours truly to figure out a few things- namely What’s the Best Flavor of Halo Top, and also the second question on your mind- is Halo Top actually healthy or not. In this full review of Halo Top I’m going to tell you BOTH, and also compare it to a few of the other protein ice cream companies out there. So let’s open this pint and dig into my full Halo Top Ice Cream Review.
Halo Top is one of those brands that can seem to do no wrong right now. They are just absolutely crushing it. As the darlings of Whole Foods, and absolute domination of the Instagram scene, I feel like this has been the year of the Halo Top. And honestly it comes to me as no surprise. They have a fabulous name, a fabulous product, and unless the magic of TV was deceptively favoring this man, Halo Top ice cream also has a pretty downright handsome owner, Justin Woolverington. Or something. Way too lazy to look up that last name. Lol. But without pining over Mister Justin too much, I want to tell you what I love about his product. And with that we might as well get right down to business. The business of helping you understand what’s the best flavor of Halo Top Ice Cream?
What’s the Best Flavor of Halo Top?
That’s a tough question right there. And you probably know from my most popular post right now (what’s the best flavor of Lenny & Larry’s Protein Cookies?), I’m pretty thorough in breaking these things down and bringing out the true winner. And that’s exactly what I’m going to do for you now. I’ve tried every Halo Top Flavor and it’s time to crown a champion. Let’s start from the very top.
Sea Salted Caramel: Yep. That’s right. My go-to. My favorite Halo Top flavor, and probably yours too once you see what I’m talking about and go buy some Salted Caramel Halo Top. This flavor is sweet, salty, and the ENTIRE pint is loaded with caramel flavor. Sometimes these pints of protein ice cream have just a swirl of flavor and the rest is just vanilla. Nope. The ACTUAL ice cream is packed with rich, real, caramel flavor. And then the swirl of real caramel just accentuates it. I’m really in love with this, Halo Top’s BEST flavor, which is Salted Caramel. Here’s to the champion.
Peanut Butter Cup: You guys know from reading all my protein powder reviews that I’m just obsessed with everything and anything Peanut Butter. So it should come as no surprise that I’m a fan of Halo Top’s PB flavor. This one has the tastiest ‘swirl’ if you will, maybe even better than the swirl in Salted Caramel. The peanut butter is semi-soft so you can really ‘mine’ for it and dig it out. I love this flavor although SOMETIMES you do get that sort of ‘sharp’ taste in the back of your throat from the artificial sweeteners (sugar alcohols are still artificial in my book). This is the second best Halo Top Flavor though.
Birthday Cake: Yep. You all probably assumed this was the gold-medal winner for Halo Top’s range, but you’re just wrong. It takes a backseat to the Salted Caramel and PB. Birthday Cake is fabulous, but it’s not as good as SC. I like that Halo Top uses sprinkles to give the Birthday Cake some really ‘real’ b-day cake taste, and the ice cream itself does have those ‘cake-like’ flavors that make this one grow on you. But the reality is, Halo Top Birthday cake is NOT the best. And actually if you want me to REALLY stir the pot, it’s NOT the best birthday cake flavored protein ice cream. Stay tuned tomorrow for my Enlightened Ice Cream review for more on that topic. Wink Wink.
Red Velvet Cake: I think Halo Top’s Red Velvet protein ice cream is my third favorite overall. The reason being that this flavor of Halo Top has the most percentage of mix-ins. You know what I mean? Like the most chunks. And in this case with Halo Top Red Velvet it’s big chunks of sort of fudge-like cake bites. It adds a ton of variety to this flavor, which also does seem to have some cream cheese frosting taste. I love Halo Top Red Velvet when I need to change things up from Caramel.
Oatmeal Cookie: This flavor is probably not on the top of most folks’ “Best Halo Top” list, but it’s taking fourth in mine, because quite simply it EXCEEDS expectations to such a dramatic degree. It has a TON of flavor, which is unexpected from a flavor that sounds, let’s face it, super boring. But it really does have a lot of spice and flavor you would expect from a real oatmeal cookie. I really enjoy it.
Pistachio: It sounds really weird, but pistachio, with a scoop of Peanut Butter, is literally amazing. The Halo Top Pistachio flavor is the sweetest Halo Top flavor, and has really deep, authentic, nutty-ness to it. Brilliant color as well.
Cookie Dough: Where the Red Velvet really packs a ton of chunks in, the Cookie Dough flavor of Halo Top leaves you wishing for more. There’s just a TON of opportunity for Halo Top to improve on their Cookie Dough flavor by ADDING MORE CHUNKS. The chunks in here are too few and far between, and they are small chunks, too. They gotta step up the mix-in game with Halo Top Cookie Dough to make it a real contender with some of their competitors.
Black Cherry: This is the most ‘above average’ of all Halo Top flavors. It has nice flavor, but not high on the crave-meter. It is, in my opinion, the safest play of all the Halo Top flavors.
Vanilla: Starting to get into the more basic Halo Top flavors, such as vanilla which is most basic of all, you realize Halo Top played it safe in terms of some of it’s common flavors like this. Vanilla is tasty, but lacks any real wow factor. Maybe that’s a function of vanilla itself, but I do think they could’ve ramped up the intensity and also the salt in this one to make it more crave-able.
Chocolate: Again, this is a sort of standard effort by Halo Top. You’ll eat about half of it and then tire of the chocolate. It’s not one of those ’don’t stop ’til you hit the bottom of the pint’ flavors like Birthday Cake or Salted Caramel.
Strawberry: I think the strawberry Halo Top flavor is about as expected. It is down the middle, can’t go-wrong flavor, with not too much going on in terms of chunks. I think if you are a strawberry lover you would be neither blown away nor disappointed with this Halo Top flavor.
Mint Chip: I just don’t really like Mint Chocolate in general as a flavor so honestly I’ve had like a mouthful of this flavor. It tastes, well, like mint chip. Which is never that good. So…
Chocolate Mocha: I love chocolate and I love coffee. I don’t really love them together. So much the same as the mint chip, I can’t really rave about this one as I don’t love the combo to begin with. This Halo Top flavor is just average in my opinion.
Chocolate Almond Crunch: Not a HUGE fan of almonds in my ice cream. If I’m in the mood for almonds, I’ll eat almonds. And I’m never in the mood for almonds and dessert concurrently. Because almonds are only to be eaten when you’re trying to punish yourself for eating like crap. Desserts are the eating like crap part.
S’Mores: I do like S’mores. I do not like Halo Top S’mores flavor. This is one where instead of achieve the flavor with mix-ins and chunks, they just tried to flavor the ice cream with extracts and flavorings. And in my opinion it didn’t work. It tastes like a science project, not a real s’more. Sort of a lazy effort by Halo Top on this flavor.
Cookies ’N Cream: This is another super underwhelming flavor of Halo Top. It lacks chunky-ness and is also one of those with too little amounts of flavor. It’s just too bland in every way. It’s like they forgot to add enough chocolate AND enough vanilla so it just becomes sort of ‘meh’.
Lemon: The Lemon flavor of Halo Top is not successful. They actually seemed to create something that is rather ‘chemical-y’ to my taste. It really sort of tastes like dishwasher detergent. I’d steer clear of Lemon Halo Top in favor of one of my top 4 or 5.
And so there you have it. All Halo Top flavors reviewed with a fine tooth comb. If that’s even the phrase. But you get what I mean. And more importantly, you now know what the Best Flavor of Halo Top is! I think you should definitely try as many as you can, but start with the Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter Cup. I suppose now we should talk about the nutritional aspects.
Is Halo Top Ice Cream Actually Healthy?
Halo Top is one of the first protein ice cream companies, and one of the first to trumpet their macros boldly on the front of their packaging. And so you can see right away, there really are only between 240 and 360 calories per pint- with flavors like pistachio and mint chip being the ‘lightest’ at 240, and the ‘heavy hitters’, calorically-speaking, are as you would expect the more meaty Red Velvet and Cookie Dough.
As far as the other Halo Top Macros, you are getting, per pint, about:
Total Fat: 8g
Sat Fat: 4g
And so. How healthy is that, you ask?
It’s tough to say. But really it’s kind of like drinking a big glass of chocolate milk. With real chocolate syrup. I mean. 20 grams is a decent amount of protein, but then 20 grams is ALSO a decent amount of sugar too. And 52 carbs is 52 carbs no matter which way you slice it.
BUT. But but but. Real ice cream compares to this crazily. A Ben and Jerry’s Pint, for example, contains well over a thousand calories, has into the 60’s or worse in terms of sugar, and can get into the 20’s and 30’s in terms of fat grams.
So Halo Top, and really most of these protein ice creams ARE definitely HEALTHIER than regular ice cream.
Whether or not eating an entire jar of it, with all it’s emulsifiers and thickening agents and sugar alcohols results in being worse for you than the equivalent amount (calorically, so much less in terms of volume), is up for debate.
I don’t think many people can eat just a few mouthfuls of Ben and Jerry’s though. That restraint would be too unrealistic for most of us, so I suppose Halo Top IS really healthier as far as the majority of us are concerned. So my answer is yes, Halo Top is healthy. Or to give it a number, with donuts being zero and almonds being a 10, I’ll give Halo Top an 8. That’s fair right? Let’s move on to packaging.
Halo Top Packaging Is Remarkable.
Halo Top is ’working’ because they have a great product on the inside. But as I mentioned earlier in the review, they also have a FANTASTIC name, and AWESOME packaging. The gold lids are something right out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and honestly it makes their ice cream taste that much better.
I’m obsessed with how they make each flavor have a unique color scheme and special graphic elements / patterns, but WITHOUT going too over the top. I think they do great work as far as packaging, I really do. And in comparison to their other competing protein ice cream brands, they really are the king in terms of aesthetics. So a congratulations are in order to Halo Top for excellence in branding and packaging. Good job Halo Toppers.
Halo Top Review Summary:
Halo Top Final Score: 9.3
And so there you have it! One of my longest reviews I’ve ever done here on the blog, but I suppose describing, what, about 15 or so of the Halo Top flavors was responsible for that significant length. To conclude, I can say a few things. Number one, is that Salted Caramel is the best flavor of Halo Top. Number two, is that Halo Top is number one in the packaging department. And lastly, I believe that Halo Top is a healthy alternative to most of the store bought desserts you can buy. Is HALO TOP a TOUCH more expensive than some more conventional alternatives? Sure. But dangit it’s worth it.*
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