My best (dinner) party trick is sneaking a whole lot of vegetables into unexpected dishes. That decadent bowl of loaded baked potato soup? It’s actually got a full head of cauliflower in it. I also make a mean lasagna with a creamy, pureed butternut squash. Throw a mandoline slicer into the mix and I will convince you that those thin layers of zucchini work just as well as regular noodles in making that fresh, veggie-forward lasagna.
I’m not a preachy green goddess. I swear. It’s just that there are a lot of veggies I don’t actually love on their own, but which I’ve ended up enjoying as ingredients in larger dishes.
So I’m always game for surprise veggies! And my interest was piqued when I learned about Peekaboo ice cream, which has — you guessed it — veggies hidden inside. Available flavors include vanilla with hidden zucchini, strawberry with carrots and cotton candy with beets. A unicorn flavor is being dreamed up.
For the taste test, I decided to go with a couple of my favorite ice cream flavors: Mint chocolate chip with spinach and a carton of chocolate with cauliflower. I was able to find the 14-ounce ice cream cartons, selling for $5.99 each, at my local grocery store.
Could I detect the veggies? Am I a vegetable ice cream convert who will start adding carrot shavings to gelato, too? Is this ice cream considered healthy? Read on!
First, I Tried The Mint Chocolate Chip
Plain and simple, this ice cream was delicious and I’d give it a 10/10.
Seriously, this is everything you could want in a mint chocolate chip ice cream. It’s creamy. It’s minty. It’s got sizeable chunks of chocolate, served in a generous ratio. My tastebuds didn’t detect any spinach whatsoever.
I have a new favorite mint chocolate chip ice cream and it’s saved in my Instacart orders. I plan to order it on repeat and serve it to all my friends and then say “did you know it’s got spinach in it?!” with the same enthusiasm with which I declare that my dresses have pockets.
Then, I Tried The Chocolate Cauliflower Ice Cream
Amped up from how delicious the mint chocolate chip spinach ice cream was, I went for my second scoop of Peekaboo ice cream. This time, it was dark chocolate and cauliflower.
My Begging Boston Terrier in a Bowtie was very interested and I tried to explain to him that the world is not fair and thus he, a dog, cannot have chocolate.
First impression: It was not very sweet, which isn’t a dealbreaker in and of itself. In fact, I’m not a fan of cloyingly sweet desserts. But my tastebuds were hoping for a smidge more on the sweetness scale. And for me, the finish on this ice cream tasted less velvety and more chalky.
After a couple of spoonfuls, I thought about adding some hot fudge and throwing some raspberries on top. Instead, I ended up ditching it altogether and going back to the mint chocolate chip carton for a second scoop.
Is Veggie Ice Cream Healthy?
The back of the Peekaboo cartons say “veggies in every bite” and acknowledges that we don’t always get enough of them. So could vegetable ice cream be the way to get us to eat more veggies and reap all the healthy benefits that come with the vitamins and minerals they contain?
That’s probably over-simplifying things. Don’t give up on the leafy green salads just yet.
Interestingly, in comparing the nutrition labels of several different mint chocolate chip ice creams, I found that a half cup of Peekaboo’s version delivers 25% of your daily Vitamin A needs and 6% of Vitamin C. The same amount of Dreyer’s only has 4% of daily Vitamin A and 0% of Vitamin C.
Still, Peekaboo ice cream, just like every other kind of ice cream, should be treated like a dessert, not a vegetable, says Amy Kubal, a registered dietitian with Trend Free RD.
She points to the chocolate cauliflower ice cream, which has seven ingredients — with cauliflower listed sixth on the list, meaning that this ice cream isn’t high in veggies.
The bottom line: Obviously, you can’t go serving a scoop of ice cream in place of, say, a side of broccoli at dinner and expect the same nutritional benefits. But Peekaboo ice cream (especially the mint chocolate chip flavor!) can be a tasty treat, and the veggies are a bonus.