This Week in Vegan Food: Ice Cream Alternatives!

Summer is here! Well, it’s trying its best to be with us in the UK. When the sun does make an appearance there is one summer treat on my mind, and that is ice cream! For many, to be vegan means no more ice-cream – I thought so too when I took the leap into veganism. However, there are vegan alternatives out there, and they are amazing and plentiful. Today I want to throw out a list of those I have tried, create a few discussions, and I would love to hear which are your favourites. Plus, if you’re outside of the UK, I’d love to know what your country has to offer.

One of the most awaited and anticipated vegan ice creams of this year was the dairy free addition to Ben and Jerry’s offerings. There are mixed emotions over the release, not down to the ice-cream itself, but in regards to the company. As I live in the UK I haven’t had the opportunity to make a decision on whether or not I would buy it given the chance, but my general standing with vegan products is that I support all and any vegan product with the hope that it will spark a change in mind set of the producer and fellow consumers that vegan products are business savvy choices. The ice-cream is vegan certified and it looks amazing, outside of a discussion on ethics of the company, so I would love to try it! This is a topic I’d like to discus further in the future, and would be interested to hear your individual insights.

Now for a couple of  ice-cream options that I have tried. Let’s kick off with branded pre-made options. Before I begin I think it’s only right to give a mention to the price bracket of many of these options. How they can make dairy ice-cream so cheap, I’m not sure I want to know what has happened behind the scenes there, but what I do want to know is why are the plant options so much more expensive? I have often wondered if plant based pre-made products are expensive due to material cost or the expectation that people with bigger budgets will buy the products so they charge a higher price because they can. The stereotype that vegans can only be middle class and above isn’t helped by this mass market position, and it’s something that unfortunately I can’t see changing in the near future. Once again, this is an issue that could span many articles, therefore I want to do more research here and write more at a later date.

To begin, let me present Almond Dream, from the Dream family. My favourite has to be salted caramel, but I am partial to a bit of mint choc chip from time to time. They also offer vanilla, however I have found with all of their offerings there tends to be a slight alcohol taste beneath the main flavours. That isn’t to say they aren’t delicious, but for someone coming straight from a Mr Whippy, Almond Dream most likely won’t take like ‘ice-cream’. This brand has a lot to offer, and their selection of plant based milk is great, there is something for everyone. I hope to try more of their products over time, and will report back as and when I do.

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Swedish Glacé is a soft scoop ice-cream, and when I say soft scoop I mean it! Sainsbury’s is one of many shops that sell this brand, and it is far more affordable that Almond Dream. This option is much more like the ice-cream that I remember, and I have tried both the vanilla and raspberry flavours, both of which are delicious. The vanilla I could eat day in and day out, and although the raspberry is delicious, even for a sweet tooth I found it a little too sweet – if that’s possible for an ice-cream!

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Moving onto my final and most affordable option, Morrisons’ and Tesco’s own diary free ice-creams. These beauties are brilliant, unexpected -for me at least- and delicious. These take my top spot in my ranking of  vegan ice-creams, I wish they made it by the tubful, but it’s probably best that they don’t! The price also sways this decision as affordability means that I can eat more for my pound. I was never a fan of Cornettos as a non-vegan, mainly due to the chocolate at the end, but as my partner loves that part I pass it onto him when I’m done with our much loved vegan version!

Alongside branded pre-made ice-cream I have also had a hand in making my own. There are so many recipes out there for vegan ice-cream, I was actually quite surprised myself when I started looking for some examples – as there were so many, I highly recommend googling ‘vegan ice-cream recipe’. I need to get into the kitchen pretty soon and try my hand at a few, as some look divine! My greatest love is banana ‘nice-cream’. Technically it’s not ice-cream as there is no ‘cream’, however it is amazing. Over on my instagram a lot of my earlier pictures are of this delight, and I have been craving it recently since the temperature has been rising. It’s as simple as freezing bananas and blitzing them up. Be warned, you will need a sturdy blender or food processor to make it, or blades could possibly break! In the past I have added a variety of plant based milks, spinach, berries, chocolate powder, cinnamon, and vanilla to make whatever flavour I have fancied.

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There are so many more alternatives than the above, and there are so many I would love to try. As and when I do I will make sure to let you know. So much ice cream, I think I’m getting brain freeze! I hope that this has helped those of you who were dreading having to kick ice cream to the curb, and perhaps it has introduced some of my beautiful vegans out there to a brand or two you hadn’t considered before. You can check out PETA’s list for more, including several options not mentioned here or tried by me!

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time!

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