Vegan ice cream isn’t really ice cream, of course but who cares? Why should vegans and other folks who can’t eat dairy products be denied the simple pleasures afforded the rest of us? How do you make something that tastes like ice cream without using dairy products or eggs? There are a number of cream substitutes that can form the basis of a vegan friendly frozen dessert. The trick is in recreating a creamy texture and smoothness similar to cow’s milk.
In this article from Slate, author Miriam Krule reviews 6 Whole Foods available vegan ice creams. Most are based on Coconut Milk, but Soy and Almond milks are also represented. I thought the author came up with good criteria for judging her victims:
We had three main criteria: taste, texture, and simplicity. While it’s safe to say no vegan alternative will taste exactly like ice cream, there still should be an appealing flavor independent of the base. (An ice cream made from coconut milk shouldn’t taste exactly like frozen coconut milk.) As for texture, it’s not called ice cream for nothing—rich smoothness is essential to a frozen dessert’s appeal. And by simplicity, I’m referring to the number of ingredients contained in each pint. Perhaps I’ve been overly influenced by the marketing for Häagen-Dazs Five, which boasts just five ingredients (three of which are verboten for vegans), but no one wants to eat a chemistry experiment.
I encourage you to read the rest of the entire article but I’m not going to leave you in suspense; her favorite of the bunch was…
So Delicious ($6.49 per pint)
The second coconut-based ice cream we tried was the first to fully live up to its name. Even if So Delicious doesn’t taste exactly like ice cream, it accomplished everything a good ice cream should. For starters, it felt like the real deal: Where most of the others seemed like weird, inexact approximations of frozen custard, this one excelled in its extra creamy texture. With no premature meltage or jagged texture, this one was smooth sailing from the beginning of the bowl to the end. Equally important: It had a rich, chocolaty flavor that wasn’t overwhelmed by that of its coconut base—no evocations of bad macaroons here. With only seven ingredients, it aced the simplicity test, too. Granted, I haven’t tasted real ice cream in some time—but I’m fairly confident that So Delicious will remind everyone, vegan or not, of everything they loved about ice cream in the first place.
Conclusion: So very delicious.
Two Scoops Hold The Dairy read more..
One of the things that stood out for me is just how expensive these products are. Four of the six are over six dollars a pint! Clearly we need to find more good vegan recipes to add to the site but this one is good place to start. If you know of any you would like to share please leave a comment or email me.