I am very open-minded when it comes to ice cream. There is merit to be found in premium, value-oriented, full-fat, and light varieties. I find myself purchasing light versions on occasion to help offset the sheer volume of ice cream I consume.
There are numerous healthier ice creams available now that allow one to consume an entire pint with a fraction of traditional ice cream’s fat, sugar, and calories. I have always seen the texture of these light ice creams as an area that needed improving. Oftentimes they are not as smooth and creamy as their full-fat counterparts. They can come across as overly icy.
Enter Nick’s Swedish-Style Light Ice Cream. The company manufactures light ice cream using sugar alcohols and a variety of plant-based sweeteners and fat. It says that because of its plant-based fat, “only Nick’s creates the unmistakable melt-in-your-mouth creaminess of full-fat ice cream, but with way fewer calories.” This is quite the lofty claim that I was eager to investigate upon receiving six pints directly from Nick’s.
Peanöt Butter Cup
I started with one of the more difficult flavors for light ice creams to nail. This ice cream is a peanut butter ice cream with tiny peanut butter cups. It has a nice, mild, and delightfully creamy peanut butter flavored base. The miniature peanut butter cups are adorable and delicious, but I could have gone for a few more of them mixed in.
Not mentioned in the description were a couple surprises in this one. There is a chocolate swirl that helps to pull the whole thing together. Oddly enough, there are also little bits of brownie dough. The chewy brownie pieces really help to elevate the experience as a whole.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 90 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 mg of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 6 grams of sugar alcohols and 4 grams of protein.
This is a classic strawberry ice cream. The vanilla base in this is mellow and, again, quite creamy. It serves its purpose well and allows the strawberry to shine. The strawberry ribbons are bright and fresh with abundant natural sweetness. The taste reminds me of preparing homemade ice cream with my parents when I was a child. It is on-par with most of the strawberry ice creams I have had.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 70 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 6 grams of sugar alcohols and 4 grams of protein.
Swedish Cookie Dough
I was most excited to try this one. It has a vanilla base, swirled with chocolate and pieces of sugar cookie dough. Unsurprisingly, this is just as smooth as the other flavors. The base is embedded with the taste of the buttery sugar cookie dough, even in a spoonful without a piece.
I also get a hint of cinnamon throughout, which gives the pint a borderline snickerdoodle vibe. The cookie dough pieces add a welcome and familiar grit. The chocolate swirl is mild and compliments the dough well. Overall, this was more complex than I was expecting, and it is incredibly tasty.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 70 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 5 grams of sugar alcohols and 3 grams of protein.
This flavor is a vanilla ice cream with chocolate flakes and cherry bits. The base tastes more like cherry ice cream than vanilla, as the cherry pieces have imparted their flavor upon the whole pint. It is not at all artificial, which is wonderful.
The abundant dark chocolate flakes add a touch of richness and a satisfying snap in each spoonful. The best parts are the chewy cherry chunks. They bring a pleasant texture and a realistic tartness to the mix. When getting a bite with both components, this ice cream reminds me of a cherry cordial.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 70 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 5 grams of sugar alcohols and 3 grams of protein.
Swedish Lemon Bar
This ice cream is a little airier than the others but still feels just as creamy. Nick’s says that it is a cheesecake ice cream with ribbons of lemon. I get a little bit of cheesecake flavor in the base, but it ultimately reminds me of a lemon bar, as the name would indicate. There is also a subtle buttery taste in the base that makes me think of the shortbread crust in lemon bars.
The lemon ribbon here is the star of the show. It is bright, fresh, tart, and amazing. There are small, chewy lemon rind pieces incorporated throughout, and overall, it reminds me of candied lemon rind. This refreshing flavor is the most innovative of the bunch, and I have never had anything quite like it.
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 60 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 65 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 4 grams of sugar alcohols and 4 grams of protein.
As a chocolate ice cream with brownie bits and a fudge swirl, this one seemed like it would be the most decadent. The chocolate base appears to be of the dark variety. It is slightly less sweet than I was expecting, with a touch of pleasant bitterness.
The fudge swirl tends to be overpowered by the base and does not make much of an impact. The brownie bits are chewy and enjoyable. It is a decent flavor, but much more subdued than I was expecting. As a fan of all things chocolate, I expected to like this one the most, but it’s actually my least favorite of the six.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/2 cup) 80 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 80 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 5 grams of sugar alcohols and 4 grams of protein.
Nick’s was not exaggerating the creaminess of its ice cream at all. These do not quite measure up to the most premium, velvety, full-fat ice creams, but one would be hard-pressed to identify these as light flavors in a blind taste test. Nick’s Swedish-Style Light Ice Cream is not just “good for light ice cream.” It is good, period. It will stack up well against many standard ice cream varieties.
I did some quick research on Swedish ice cream, and the search results predominantly bring up content about Nick’s. From what I can tell, there are not any distinctly Swedish methods of ice cream preparation. The “Swedish” moniker seems to refer to the brand’s creator.
According to its website, Nick’s has 14 patents, two in-house food scientists, and has performed over 100 flavor tests. This makes perfect sense because Nick’s Swedish-Style Light Ice Cream is an exemplary product. When deciding to purchase light ice cream in the future, I do not see myself buying any brand besides Nick’s from now on.
DISCLOSURE: I received free pints from Nick’s. (Thanks Nick’s!) Doing so did not influence my review.