Oppo are on a mission to prove that health and indulgence can go hand in hand. They’ve had a lot of media attention recently due to their recent appearance on Dragon’s Den, and also due to Tennis star Andy Murray being among the 538 investors who backed the London-based start-up in its most recent crowdfunding campaign.
“Oppo stands for Opposites. Traditionally health and indulgence have been opposites. We’re showing that it is possible to fuse health with indulgence. Guilt-free ice cream is just the start!”
To start, Oppo have created a luxury dairy ice-cream with less sugar and calories than an apple. Yes, you read that correctly. AN APPLE.
Well these ice-creams do not contain cream or sugar. Hence significantly reducing their calorie and carbohydrate content.
Now anyone who knows me knows that I love ice-cream in a very big way. My standard serving size is a tub. I don’t open a tub without polishing it off. I just don’t. But of course, one is not blessed with infinite macros, so doing this often can be pretty damaging to our goals. That’s why the idea of Oppo got me so excited.
So what ingredients DO they use?
Oppo is made using fresh milk, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil, stevia leaf, erythritol (natural sweetener), and stabilisers and emulsifiers (to hold the product together).
If that wasn’t enough, each flavour also has a unique superfood boost. There’s mint choc swirl with spirulina (rich in antioxidants), salted caramel with lucuma (a Peruvian fruit) and madagascan vanilla with baobab (a Vitamin C-rich superfood).
The table above shows the nutritional comparison for 2 scoops of Oppo, compared to 2 scoops of Haagen Dazs (my personal favourite) and Ben & Jerry’s (everyone else’s favourite), but also some of the more ‘healthy’ options, like Weight Watchers and Booja Booja (an organic dairy-free brand).
The numbers make it clear – it comes in at just around half the amount of calories, sugars and fats of the other big players, making it extremely macro-friendly. A massive thumbs up, and unlike many other ‘healthy’ options that simply strip out the fat but leave in all the sugars.
I was in Eroski, doing my usual food shop, and having my usual browse of the ice-cream section (looking for my usual dose of Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche, if I’m honest) when I spotted it!
Eroski actually had all 3 flavours in stock (note that this is the old packaging, which is now being replaced with the new, colourful packaging in the first images above). Of course, the Salted Caramel flavour was always going to be my first pick.
I’ll start off by saying the texture is identical to the regular ice-cream you know and love. Despite there being no cream, it still somehow feels creamy. You wouldn’t know any differently had you not been told it was “guilt-free”.
I remembered from watching Dragon’s Den that some of the ‘dragons’ were put off as they felt they could taste the stevia. I know from experience that stevia can have a strong taste sometimes, so this made me a bit hesitant.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste! Yes, it tastes good! The salted caramel flavour is rich and sweet. As there’s no sugar, this sweetness comes from the Peruvian lucuma fruit. This is said to have a “smooth maple taste”, which is enhanced with a pinch of sea-salt. Lucuma (known as “gold of the incas”) is shaped like a melon, with golden flesh. It contains beta carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium, and protein.
The only issue for me is the price – at £5.49 a tub, it’s damn pricey. But I know that producing anything using a new or different method to the norm will incur a higher cost. Also, this is a company started by two brothers, funded solely by crowdfunding campaigns (no they didn’t actually receive any investment from the Dragons), it’s not a multinational corporation. I then also remember my favourite tub of Haagen Dazs is only in fact £1 cheaper.
Of course it’s not going to taste JUST like the sugary versions, but it’s a surprisingly close substitute! At least for me, I could swap my tub of sugar-laden Haagen Dazs for this.
Have you tried it?
What are your thoughts on ‘guilt-free’ ice-cream?