In my high school days there was a time when I frequently ate ice cream sandwiches – vanilla ice cream held between two chocolate cookies. But it was just a passing craze for me, and many years have passed since I went on to other desserts.
Recently I discovered Whole Foods made their own “healthy” version of the traditional ice cream sandwich, so I decided to try them out.
By far the most noteworthy thing about this product is the texture, which is pretty rare as desserts go. Neither the ice cream nor the cookie, both very sweet, are exceptionally tasty on their own. And yet together they make a perfect match – the dark cookies with their tough, chewy texture contrast well against the soft, pure white ice cream. The latter is always the perfect consistency, even when pulled straight from the freezer, thanks to rich cream being used as the main ingredient.
Temperature difference also plays a big role here in the enjoyment. The cookie, with its relatively low density and viscosity, tends to retain less of the coldness than the ice cream. Just as you are sinking your teeth into the cookie you suddenly hit gold and the sensation of chilled cream expands in your mouth – a refreshing surprise that repeats itself on each and every bite.
Ingredients / Nutrition
Each 60 gram, 89 mL sandwich contains 170 calories and 14 grams of sugar. These are on the low end of the scale, making this a perfect dessert for those counting calories, and the individually wrapped packs make it easy to limit yourself to one sandwich per sitting.
The perceived sweetness is actually quite intense, which is perplexing at first because of the low sugar content. However, this makes sense when you take into account the fact that the sandwiches are pretty small, and that sugar (in the form of organic dehydrated cane juice) is the second ingredient in both ice cream and cookies.
The ingredients, mostly organic, are generally healthy, with the possible exception of caramel coloring present in the cookie. Caramel coloring, depending on how it is made, can be a carcinogen (see references) and cause problems with allergies. I don’t know the exact type of caramel coloring used here as it isn’t specified on the package, but I feel that using a more natural coloring agent (possibly a beet-based one) would be healthier. I’ve sent an email to Whole Foods requesting more information about this, will update this post when I receive a response.
[Update: after a few days I got a response from Whole Foods stating that the vendor uses a Class 1 caramel color, which is the least controversial because it avoids using ammonium or sulfite compounds]
This product doesn’t have much going for it nutrition wise, with low levels of protein (3 g) and other common vitamins and minerals. A nice perk is that it is much more filling than many ice cream products, probably due to the flour used in the cookie.Also, organic cocoa is listed as the final ingredient for the cookie, which means there isn’t very much caffeine to worry about.
In fact, I just had one of these sandwiches to stave off my hunger before I go to bed.
Price and Availability
This product generally sells for around $4.99 from Whole Foods Market. With six sandwiches per pack, thats less than one dollar per each, quite inexpensive for an organic dessert.
Tasty organic snack, great for times you want to eat light.