So here’s the thing … as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been a big dairy person so cutting it out of my diet wasn’t difficult—sans the morning half & half for my coffee, and like I have said FIVE THOUSAND times, French brie … I mean hey, I was never even a fan of ice cream. I know. I know. The girl loves canned spinach but not ice cream. Yea, yea, I’m a little bit of an odd duck but you don’t have to live with me so just keep you “strange-girl” comments to yourself. Anyway, seeing as how this is National Dairy Alternative Month and today is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day *who decides these things I will never know) I’ve compiled a shortlist of our favorite plant-based ice creams. And yes, I do have a favorite.
Halo Top: This was the first brand of non-dairy ice cream I ever tried, and it’s what got me hooked on the whole idea of vegan ice cream. Made with coconut milk (as if the name doesn’t give it away) I can tell you the sea-salt caramel and peanut butter cup are to die for as is the chocolate which, I might add, has less than 300 calories in an entire pint so ummmm yea, indulge my friends. Gastro Gabe is a big fan of the sea-salt caramel, like I think he even hides it in the back of the freezer—little
does did he know that if I wanted to I eat it, I would and just replace it without him ever even knowing. So there’s that.
So-Delicious: They make a ton of vegan ice creams with plant-based milks (coconut milk, almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk) and I have yet to try most of them and probably never will, because the chocolate salted caramel made with oat milk is so creamy and so divine there’s really no reason to venture elsewhere. A few weeks ago I had to bring ice cream to a cookout so I brought this and no one believed it wasn’t dairy. Fools!
If you try one vegan ice cream, make it this one.
Ben & Jerry’s: Cherry Garcia is ridiculously good, as is the chocolate fudge brownie … made with almond milk this company gets ice cream so really, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of them. But, if you want something low in calories this isn’t it. Still, I’m looking forward to trying the coconut seven-layer bar “ice cream” and their latest options made with sunflower butter.
Talenti: Known for decadent flavors and rich texture, Talenti IMO is like the Ritz of ice creams. And while they don’t make a ton of vegan options, the peanut butter fudge sorbetto is delightfully light and has a bit of sharpness to it that, if you’re a fan of sorbetto you really need to try.
Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss: I’ve had the dark chocolate, the chocolate peanut butter and the sweet cherry amaretto (personal favorite) and they are all super yum. Super duper yum. Smooth, no after taste, no weird texture … just plain yum. And you can find this brand in almost every single grocery store in the world. So so so so so good!!
Caveat … there are a gazillion vegan options out there when it comes to ice cream and one can’t (I don’t think) try them all. So my advice, every week just pick up a pint (or two) of whatever brand is on sale and discover the ones you love the most and then drop us a line, we’d love to hear what you discover.