The time has come for me to admit that I’m a bit of a binge-eater. Not in the sense that I have those out-of-control binges, but in the sense that I have no self-control when it comes to certain foods (well, sweets really). If I buy a box of biscuits or cookies there is very good chance that there won’t be any left the following day. The same goes for a bag of sweets or a (500 ml or less) tub of ice-cream. Ben & Jerry’s is both my best friend and my biggest enemy – particularly Half Baked and Cinnamon Buns. (Living on top of a supermarket is my second biggest healthy eating enemy.)
I never binge on non-sweet things, but the nearest I would get would be cheese doodles or popcorn. I’m not the kind of person who can eat an entire bag of crisps for example, and though I can eat a lot, I wouldn’t binge in that way on ‘regular’ food.
This is where you say “you have to practice your self-control”. I know – but not with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. That’s like climbing Mount Everest the first time you go hiking.
Anyway, last week when I got a real ice-cream craving after my work-out, I went downstairs to see what they had. I immediately turned my back on the Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen-Dazs’ fridges (if not just for the fact that I will eat a whole tub, then also for the price – 50 SEK, ouch!) and for once, despite the much smaller selection, went to look at the lactose free ice-creams. (Seriously ice-cream making companies – we want more lactose free ice-cream!) My eyes fell on these small cardboard tubs I’d seen before and immediately dismissed: protein ice-cream. They’re little square-ish tubs containing 175g of ice-cream (compared to the approx. 475g in the B&J or H-D) which is described as being low-lactose and high-protein.
I was a bit reluctant, because though I wouldn’t admit it I really wanted Ben & Jerry’s, but eventually I decided to go for it. I figured that it’s much better to eat 175g ice-cream than 475g, and that even though I thought it was a bit expensive (35 SEK), it cost the same as the 500ml lactose free ice-creams, so since I would most probably eat the whole 500 ml in one go, it would essentially be the same price per ‘serving’.
The flavour I ended up taking home was salted caramel; a ‘creamy dulce de leche ice-cream with crispy salted caramel sauce’ containing 23g protein per pack (207 kcal, 8g fat, 19g carbs, of which 12g sugar, and 16g fibre) and I have to say I was impressed. Granted I didn’t have that high hopes to begin with, but, like Sylvia Plath (kind of) said; “if you expect nothing you’re never disappointed”. (Side note: how terrible would it be to actually live life according to that principle?)
First things first; it tasted like ice-cream. When you put the word ‘protein’ in front of ‘ice-cream’ my thoughts immediately go to all of these recipes on the internet where people are making “ice-cream” out of protein powder and various other ingredients (nut butter and nut milk, bananas, Greek yogurt, etc.) and the taste of protein shakes. Though I felt like there was a hint of protein shake in the flavour, I’m not sure that that was me actually tasting it or me being a bit prejudiced.
What I did feel though was that it wasn’t as creamy as normal ice-cream, and it made me really thirsty. I ate about half, but then I had to get a drink. I don’t know if this was the salt (I’ve never had a problem with ‘normal’ salted caramel ice-cream, or salted caramel in itself either) or they whey protein, but I’m guessing the protein played a larger part than the salt.
Other than that I quite liked it. Was it worth the money? Maybe not flavour-wise, but calorie-wise yes. If you have ice-cream cravings but want to keep your calories down it’s a great option.