In 2011 brothers Harry and Charlie decided to travel 1000km along the North East coast of Brazil using only kite buggies, raising money for charity and breaking an unofficial World Record whilst at it.
The trip was exciting but physically tough, and Charlie lost a stone in two weeks. No wonder since the brothers were burning up to 7000 calories a day!
After running low on food supplies they came across coconuts which supplied healthy fats and protein for energy as well as electrolytes in the coconut water for hydration, and they discovered, amazingly, this single foodstuff was supplying their body and brain much more energy than with the food they were previously eating!
The lads were so inspired by this discovery that they made it their mission to bring the health benefits of coconut and other ‘superfoods’ to the mainstream back home – by turning them into ice cream!
OPPO ice cream is catching attention in the foodie circles too, already winning a Gold award for the most innovative product of 2014 at the ‘Lunch!’ Innovation challenge awards.
Ingredients (for Vanilla & Baobab)
Whole Milk, Milk Solids, Apple Fruit Extract, Natural Sweetener: Erythritol & Steviol Glycosides (Stevia Leaf Extract), Virgin Coconut Oil, Cornflour, Baobab Fruit Pulp, Madagascan Vanilla Extract, Madagascan Vanilla Seed, Emulsifier (Mono & Diglycerides), Stabilizer (Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Locust Bean Gum)
Verdict? Nothing nasty here. Mono & diglycerides can sometimes be of the trans (artificially hydrogenated) fat variety, but I’m pleased to say the ones in OPPO products are definitely not, and are purely to help the fats bind with water molecules in milk, which otherwise would separate. The stabilizers are all derived from foods. Here’s some more info on the main ingredients:
The saturated fats in coconut oil are medium chain (as opposed to long) which makes them easier to break down and use as energy than other saturated fats.
Coconut oil is an amazing food I use daily, and not only in cooking – it can be used as a skin and hair moisturiser too! When ingested coconut oil is anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiviral; it reduces cravings for sugary foods, helps to balance blood sugar, improves cognitive and brain function even in people with epilepsy and Alzheimer’s, and improves your cholesterol profile by increasing the (good) HDL levels in the blood!
My sweetener of choice – calorie free but derived from the crushed and dried leaves of the stevia plant, so without the chemical rubbish and high processing that is used to make artificial sweeteners. The other sweetener used, erythritol, is a non-caloric sugar alcohol, but it is also found naturally in fruit.
Unless you have an intolerance to the lactose or casein in milk then the benefits of the white stuff are worth noting. Not only is dairy one of the most efficient ways to get bone building calcium, but the fat soluble vitamins A, D, and K are harder to achieve in the diet unless you get loads of sun and eat tonnes of leafy green vegetables, which is not always practical (though I’m not advocating you eat ice cream, even a healthy version, instead of green veg, just to be clear!). Milk contains a good amount of muscle repairing protein, carbs for energy, and fat which is essential for so many processes in the body. In short, it’s almost the closest you get to a complete meal in a single substance.
The 3000 year old African baobab trees yield this ‘superfood’ fruit which is typically dried to a powder and added to other foods as a sweetener. It is very high in soluble fibre which helps keep arteries clear and healthy, as well as being very high in iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants, even compared to other ‘superfoods’ like acai, blueberries and pomegranate. Its sweet taste means that refined sugars that send blood sugar levels soaring aren’t needed or at the very least can be reduced.
Even the humble vanilla bean contains some vitamins and minerals as well as having antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and can even help ward off cravings for less heathy sugary foods.
Now to the valleys of Peru, where the sweet caramel tasting yellow-fleshed Lucuma fruit grows, where it is used as a sweetener and health giving ingredient in Incan foods for centuries.
Similar to baobab, lucuma is rich in iron and potassium to support oxygen delivery and normal fluid levels, as well as zinc which is an essential mineral for skin, nail and hair health and is vital for healthy fertility and reproduction. Known as the ‘Gold of the Incas’, it is loaded with antioxidants.
Sea salt, whilst not as rich in minerals and pink Himalayan salt, is less processed than table salt and so contains a more balanced mineral spectrum to help keep hydration and many of the body’s metabolic processes in check.
If you associate spirulina with organic cafes delivering green smoothies then I wouldn’t blame you as this blue-green sea plant is often added to smoothies to provide a vegan source of protein, vitamins and minerals. It is high in Chlorophyll which helps the body to detoxify and is a source of omega 3, 6 and 9 beneficial oils.
Raw chocolate is absolutely one of my favourite superfoods; as well as being one of the highest sources of antioxidants, it boosts serotonin and dopamine in the brain which are critical for mental and emotional wellbeing. No wonder we feel good when we eat (good quality) chocolate!
Mint is best known for its ability to sooth the stomach and aid digestion, making it a great herb for people with IBS, indigestion, and even travel sickness.
What’s the difference between 100ml of Oppo vs other ice creams or frozen yoghurt?
|BRAND||CALORIES||FAT||CARBOHYDRATE of which SUGARS|
|Ben & Jerrys Greek FroYo Vanilla||160g||6g||19g|
|Weight Watchers Vanilla||150g||3.9g||14.5g|
“Madagascan vanilla pods combined with the subtle tang of South African baobab to create a thick, creamy, deliciously indulgent ice cream!” And real vanilla is certainly is. Not sickly sweet ‘fake’ yellow vanilla that you associate with a tub of budget soft scoop, but real vanilla. Most people probably don’t even know what real vanilla tastes like. Those stick things that look like an exotic insect in the baking isle? Yep that’s it, and Oppo’s vanilla ice cream is bursting with little black dots as proof of delicious authenticity.
“Peruvian lucuma is nature’s caramel, with golden flesh and a natural rich and creamy taste. Rich, sweet, salty smooth. We carefully air dry the fruit before combining with Maldon sea salt for a gorgeous salted caramel flavour.” I’m impressed with this, not because it’s delicious (it is) but because, think about it, caramel is essentially just sugar, but with a very individual taste we all know and love. So how do you create a caramel taste without sugar? With lucuma that’s how. I can’t explain exactly how or why, but trust me it works. Taste this blindfolded and you’ll swear it’s caramel, though your body will thank you it isn’t! I actually prefer it to ‘regular’ caramel ice cream (and sauce), which can be cloyingly sweet, and that’s coming from me with my appallingly sweet tooth. It hits the spot without giving you that strange and unpleasant pain sensitive teeth get on contact with super sweet foods.
“Your childhood favourite, adult style. Deep-green minty sweet creamy indulgence with a rich, thick Peruvian cacao (raw chocolate) swirl and a boost of peppermint. And lends its fresh green colour to our ice cream. We simply harvest, wash and dry before combining with mint and cacao.” This is my personal favourite. The colour is impressively deep, more ‘earthy woodland green’ than fluorescent ‘make your kids hyper’ green. The mild mint doesn’t over power the swirls of rich chocolate ice cream which is yummy in itself, a future product for chocoholics like me I hope!
Oppo is available in 117 Waitrose stores as well as Ocado.com and various shops across London.
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