Sunday, October 31, 2021

Nightfood - Cherry Eclipse ice cream + Let's Do Gluten Free - Sugar Cones - Oct. 31, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Nightfood, Inc.
Cherry Eclipse Nighttime Ice Cream
Good +
Weight: 2/3 cup (96 g.) / 1 Pint (473 g.) in total container
Calories: 140 calories in 1 serving
Cost: $1.99 for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA 

Edward and Sons Trading Co., Inc. 
(Product of Israel)
Let's Do Gluten Free - Sugar Cones, Rolled Style
Good +
Weight: .77 oz. (22 g.) / 4.6 oz. (132 g.) in total box of 12 cones
Calories: 90 calories in 2 cones 
Cost: $4.49 for 1 box of 12 cones
Purchased from: Sprouts Farmers Market, Mountain View, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Waffle Theme Week--a week that has included several waffle ice cream cone items and a few ice creams with chocolate inclusions.

Today is also Halloween. Happy Halloween to all. This holiday is linked traditionally with candy (fun-sized chocolate bars), carved pumpkins, spooky skeletons, bats, witches, ghosts and costumes of all sorts.

Cherry Eclipse Ice Cream
Today's Cherry Eclipse ice cream was manufactured for Nightfood, Inc. (Tarrytown, NY).

This light ice cream was "Cravemonster and sleep expert approved." Despite images of scary cartoon monsters (perfect for Halloween) featured on Nightfood ice cream containers, this product line was formulated for better sleep in mind. 

To earn their "Sleep Friendly" tagline, Nightfood has added certain ingredients (and omitted others). Buried in the long list of ingredients (see below) you'll see a sleep-friendly "Nightfood mineral blend," and prebiotic fiber (and possibly two more recent additions (based on Nightfood website ingredient information): lactase enzyme and vitamin B6). There was no erythritol, artificial sweeteners or gluten in this Kosher, low fat and higher protein, ice cream. Tart cherries (the second ingredient listed) were called out as being melatonin-rich.*

This Cherry Eclipse ice cream had a very light, creamy (silky, velvety, almost foamy) texture, yet retained an authentic dairy milk taste and mouthfeel. The light ice cream had a subtle cherry flavor and color, and contained a smattering of small chocolate-y pieces/flecks.

Disclaimer: After sampling this ice cream, a la carte, I later added a spoonful of single origin chocolate shards for richer, darker authentic cacao flavor and a few roasted walnuts--adding back in a bit of protein and fat, to balance out carbs (sugars and gums). It liked it both ways.

I tasted two monster-adorned Nightfood Nighttime ice cream flavors today--the only two I was able to find in time at my local store: "Cherry Eclipse" (with chocolate chips) and "Pickles for Two" (a chocolate-less flavor).** Other flavors in the Nightfood line-up include "Midnight Chocolate" and "Full Moon Vanilla.") 

Nightfood light ice creams are part of a sleep-friendly snacking trend; because scary things do occur late at night (such as eating a whole pint of ice cream, and then finding it hard to sleep).

Ingredients: Skim milk, tart cherries (tart cherries, water, invert sugar, sugar, corn starch, natural flavor, citric acid, locust bean gum), prebiotic fiber (chicory root), milk protein concentrate, brown rice syrup, choco pieces (confectioner's sugar, coconut oil, cocoa processed with alkali, cocoa, butter oil, soy lecithin, natural flavor), cream, tapioca syrup, glycerin, glycine, Nightfood mineral blend (calcium citrate, magnesium citrate, zinc citrate), tara gum, guar gum, natural flavor, salt, monk fruit extract.

(Note: This ingredient list from the container I purchased varies a bit with latest ingredients listed on the Nightfood website, which can happen as formulas and ingredients are updated, changed, replaced or clarified.)

Allergen-related information: Contains: milk, soy. "Made on shared equipment that also processes Peanuts and Tree nuts."

Sugar Cones

Today's Rolled Style Sugar Cones were imported to the U.S. by Edward and Sons Trading Co., Inc. (Carpinteria, CA).

The lightweight, almost airy, crunchy, gluten free, sugar cones were strong enough to hold ice cream and toasted walnut and dark chocolate pieces (that I added). They came carefully packaged. (None were broken.) Just don't squeeze the cones too hard when they're full of ice cream.

These cones were more flavorful than the bland ice cream receptacles of decades past. Demerara sugar (a light brown, less processed sugar), a pinch of cocoa powder and salt, all contributed to a pleasing flavor. The aroma and taste evoked the ghosts of vanilla and chocolate ice creams, even when the cone was eaten with no ice cream (by itself). Spooky. (There was no vanilla added; I checked.)

I filled these sugar cones with two "scary" monster-adorned Nightfood ice cream flavor(s): "Cherry Eclipse" and "Pickles for Two."**

Ingredients: Potato starch, demerara sugar, tapioca starch, organic expeller-pressed palm oil, potato fiber, cocoa powder, soy lecithin, salt, xanthan gum.

Allergen-related information: Pareve, Non-GMO Project Verified

*Melatonin is a hormone (made in the humane body), that is released (by the pineal gland) at night to  coincide with sleep. Man-made melatonin supplements are thought to help regulate/influence sleep and wake cycles. There are studies that have shown Montmorency/tart cherry juice to be correlated with better and longer sleep. (Note: Nightfood advisors listed on their website included at least three sleep experts.)

**"Pickles for Two" was a Nightfood ice cream flavor with very faint and balanced dill pickle notes. Despite what you're thinking, it was not bad. This flavor was inspired by food and mineral cravings that pregnant women sometimes experience--in this case, for pickles (sodium/salt and small amounts of calcium and potassium) and ice cream (calcium and protein, as well as sugar and fat).

Haagen-Dazs - Heaven Cold Brew Espresso Chip Ice Cream + Coconut Cones - Oct. 30, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Heaven Collection - Cold Brew Espresso Chip Light Ice Cream
Good + 
Weight: 1/3 cup (60 g.) / 14 fl. oz. (414 mL) in total container
Calories: 110 calories in 1/3 cup serving (1/2 suggested serving)
Cost: $1.99 for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Sprouts Farmers Market
Coconut Cones 
Good ++
Weight: .636 oz. (18 g.) / 5 oz. (144 g.) in total package/box of 8 cones
Calories: 90 calories in 1 cone 
Cost: $3.99 for 1 package of 8 cones
Purchased from: Sprouts Farmers Market, Mountain View, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Waffle Theme Week, including several waffle (ice cream) cone-related chocolates.

Today's Haagen-Dazs* Cold Brew Espresso Chip Light Ice Cream was part of the company's* "Heaven Collection" (with approximately half the fat, and lower calories). 

Typically low-fat or low-calorie ice creams contain extra ingredients, such as one or more vegetable gums. Thankfully this light ice cream flavor did not. (Haagen-Dazs has, historically, offered high-quality ice creams with shorter ingredient lists.)

This espresso ice cream had a creamy texture and relatively subtle roasted coffee and chocolate chip flavors. 

Ingredients: Ultra-filtered skim milk, skim milk, cream, tapioca syrup, cane sugar, chocolate (cane sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, vanilla extract), egg yolks, coconut oil, coffee, Vitamin A palmitate. 

Allergen-related information: "Contains milk, egg and soy ingredients" 

Coconut Cones
I paired today's ice cream with some great-tasting, waffle-style ice cream cones. These gluten free and dairy free Coconut Cones were made in Thailand and sold in the U.S. under the Sprouts Farmers Market label.

The cone was large enough to fill with the Haagen-Dazs Coffee Chip ice cream along with (on top of) a layer of toasted walnut pieces, toasted coconut chips + dark chocolate pieces. 

I loved the short ingredient list (see below) for these honeycomb patterned waffle-style cones, as well as the crispy texture and authentic coconut (milk and sugar) taste. For a (gluten-free) ice cream cone, it had surprisingly delicious, rich flavor. 

There were no vegetable gums, stabilizers or other extraneous ingredients. (And thanks to very secure packaging, not one cone was broken.)

Ingredients: Coconut milk (extracted from coconut meat), rice flour, coconut sugar, egg, sea salt.

Allergen-related information: "Contains: tree nuts (coconut), egg."

*Haagen-Dazs was once an independent company. Pillsbury bought Haagen-Dazs back in 1983. Later, in 1999, Pillsbury merged with Nestle. According to a Reuters news story (in 2019), Nestle owns the rights to Haagen-Dazs in the U.S., while General Mills sells the brand "in non-U.S. markets." This ice cream was listed as being distributed by "Nestle Dreyer's Ice Cream Company" in Oakland, California.

Note: For waffle cone fans, Haagen-Dazs also offered (at the time of this write-up) a Strawberry Waffle Cone flavor as part of their Heaven Collection (with "chocolatey cone pieces"). I would have gladly featured this flavor today, the waffle cone pieces contained wheat (this flavor was not gluten-free).

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