Remember when vegan ice creams were rare and, if we’re honest, not all that tasty? Those sad days are well behind us, as our grocery freezer sections feature a growing range of smooth, flavorful, dairy-free treats.
We have here 10 of the tastiest vegan ice creams available. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but if you’re new to vegan ice cream, these are a great place to start.
What is vegan ice cream, exactly?
Vegan ice cream is ice cream made without dairy. They are just as creamy and yummy as dairy ice creams but made with plant-based milk, like coconut, soy, or almond milk. Commercially-produced vegan ice-creams can be made with almond, soy, cashew, coconut, or rice milk. Newer innovations in the industry make it possible to use oat milk, avocado, bananas, and even bean protein. These other bases affect the texture of the final product. Similar to dairy ice cream, these are loaded with satisfying fats and flavor.
Why it’s a great choice, even if you aren’t vegan
Eating vegan ice cream is good on many levels; the two most significant are for the environment and your health. Carbon emissions are suffocating our planet, and animal agriculture - particularly cows, is a big part of it. Shifting some of your purchasing to plant-based products will help. Additionally, the inclusion of more natural ingredients in your diet has many health benefits, including protection from disease, weight management, and longevity.
The 10 vegan brands you’ll love
Here are 10 of the best vegan ice cream brands you’ll love.
If you’re looking for a low-calorie option, Arctic Zero is a brand you’ll love. Arctic Zero is made from clean, non-GMO ingredients, like faba bean protein, and sweetened with monk fruit and a touch of organic cane sugar. They have created a smooth, creamy ice cream without all the fat and calories of traditional brands. One pint only has between 160 and 320 calories.
Arctic Zero has nine flavors, with a little something for everyone.
Founded over 90 years ago, Hudsonville Ice Cream believes that ice cream should be indulgent and delicious! In 2019, the company released a new range of dairy-free desserts, including seven yummy flavors of ice cream. The dairy-free line was two years in the making as they developed recipes. They aimed to produce a dairy-free ice cream that was identical in texture, taste, and quality to traditional ice creams. They have come out with some of the best-tasting pints you can buy anywhere.
The seven flavors, made with coconut cream and oat milk, include Birthday Cake, S’mores, and Peanut Butter Truffle.
Booja Booja is a British brand that uses minimal, all-organic ingredients. No pint uses more than seven ingredients. Some use as few as four. These creamy ice creams are soy-free and use cashews as a base. Booja Booja ice creams are sweetened with agave or coconut syrup.
They have six unique flavors available, including Hunky Punky Chocolate and Keep Smiling Vanilla M’Gorilla.
Danish-based, Naturli’ vegan ice cream is rich and creamy and scoops up easily. Each of their six flavors has its own identity, for instance, the Liquorice Sweet Bites has actual bits of licorice candy, and the Raspberry Chocolate has a fruity base of 19% natural raspberry and swirls of Callebaut chocolate. While most of their ice creams are made with oat milk from Danish oats, the Strawberry Swirl is made from coconut, so it’s gluten-free.
All six flavors are available online from Suma Wholefoods.
This family-owned brand and scoop shop, NadaMoo, has been based in Austin, Texas, since 2005. They offer 16 dairy-free ice cream flavors! Their ice creams are made with organic coconut milk, giving them a light and creamy texture. NadaMoo includes only environmentally sustainable, fair trade, non-GMO ingredients, with plenty of healthy fats. They also have a range of four ‘No Sugar Added’ flavors. NadaMoo believes that ice cream should be decadent and delicious.
All 16 flavors are available throughout the U.S. in grocery chains, as well as their own scoop shop.
Getting its start as a little yellow ice cream truck in 2008, this Brooklyn-based artisan ice cream brand uses coconut, cashews, and cocoa butter. Van Leeuwen ice cream has a dense texture and rich, satisfying flavor. The brand now has scoop shops throughout New York and Los Angeles.
They have 22 unusual flavors available in shops and online, including Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll and Vegan Pineapple Coconut Cookie.
Swedish Glace is a UK-based brand that believes the world should be filled with kindness as well as yummy ice cream. Their ice creams are made of soy or almond flavorings. They recently added two new flavors - Cinnamon with Toffee Sauce & Hazelnut Pieces and Coconut with Blueberry Sauce & Coconut Sprinkles, to their original five creamy flavors. They also have ice cream bars. Swedish Glace believes that people should enjoy delicious dairy-free ice cream that doesn’t compromise on taste, whether they’re vegan or intolerant of dairy or gluten.
Their ice creams are available from grocery stores in the U.K.
Cado vegan ice creams are the first of their kind - made from freshly-picked avocados. The avocados are cold-pressed after picking and give this ice cream its smooth, rich texture. Their other ingredients are organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan. They even have 50% less sugar than other brands and provide heart-healthy fats.
Their eight flavors are available in stores around the U.S.
Ben & Jerry’s
It felt like a long wait for Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream, but when they came, they were well worth the wait. Their dairy-free ice creams are just as imaginative and exciting as their traditional flavors. Their ice creams are made of almond milk, ensuring that their certified vegan, dairy-free ice creams are just as decadently delicious as all the others. Over the years since their first dairy-free ice cream, they have added new flavors every year.
Ben & Jerry’s 19 flavors include Phish Food, Americone Dream, Colin Kaepernick’s Change the Whirled, and Netflix & Chilll’d.
So Delicious is a brand that believes that being dairy-free must go beyond deliciousness. They are strong advocates for social and environmental responsibility and are conscientious about where they source their ingredients and how they manufacture their products. Their ice creams benefit from the brand’s more than 30 years of creating plant-based treats.
So Delicious has a wide range of ice creams using various plant-based milk - cashew, oat, almond, coconut, and soy milk. So Delicious can be found at Whole Foods Market and other retailers.
Related: Banana Bread Ice Cream Cake
The last scoop
Now that you know about these delicious, vegan ice cream brands, you have no excuse. Try several of them to find your favorites, and enjoy!
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