Ever wonder how vegan ice cream tastes? Whether you’re vegan, lactose-intolerant, environmentally conscious, or want to try something new, here’s the low-down on all the delicious, allergen-free ice creams.
It may sound sketchy if you’ve stuck to dairy-based ice cream your entire life, but vegan ice cream actually comes from many different bases. From nuts to soybeans, we taste tested the various bases for you! We based our assessment on flavor, texture, and feeling afterwards.
One of my favorite and most popular vegan bases, almond-based ice cream is creamy and comparable to dairy ice cream in consistency and flavor. It’s not too heavy and has a smooth flavor that blends well with other ingredients. Depending on the brand, it may have a noticeably nuttier flavor than traditional ice cream.
Although almond-milk ice cream is not very sweet on its own, brands usually add other ingredients, like brownie bits or peanuts, to the mix to make it taste sweeter. This one definitely takes the (ice cream) cake for #1!
The 2nd best vegan base, coconut ice cream is loaded with healthy fats and has a naturally sweet flavor, so it’s great as a delicious cheat-day treat. Also, coconut milk frozen desserts are often gluten-free. Coconut ice creams come in chunky flavors, like Chocolate Walnut Brownie, or fruity flavors, like Summer Berry Swirl.
It’s clearly the sweetest out of the bunch. You can definitely distinguish the creamy, heavy coconut milk if you think about it. It tastes more tropical and decadent than other vegan ice creams.
Although they are less common, rice-based ice creams are light, refreshing, and a great alternative for those avoiding soy or nuts. I love that rice ice cream usually comes in fun-to-eat forms, like dark chocolate-covered bits. It’s packed with vitamin B12, which can be difficult to get on a vegan diet. Delicious and nutritious? I’ll take two, please.
Because it’s less sweet than other vegan ice creams, this ranks in third place for its lighter flavor. In my opinion, one should go all out for dessert, right? Nonetheless, this is perfect for the health-conscious among us.
Although it is the most widely available non-dairy alternative, I usually avoid soy ice cream because they tend to make people feel bloated or gassy due to their high contents of guar gum. Proceed with caution.
The lightweight texture and flavor of soy-based ice cream is similar to that of almond-based and dairy-based ice cream. Soy has an excellent flavor-retention ability , allowing it to mix well with other ingredients. While this rivals almond-milk for yummy flavor, it comes in last place because of how it makes you feel the next day (or week, if you eat the entire pint in one sitting).
To summarize, almond and coconut based ice creams taste the best. Soy ice cream tastes pretty similar, but comes with some negative side effects. Rice ice cream is the least sweet, and perhaps the healthiest.
With so many different brands and flavors to choose from, there is no shortage of non-dairy indulgences. Even ice cream parlors have begun accommodating special diets by serving sorbet flavors. Ben and Jerry’s, for example, has turned some classics into allergen-free treats. Next time you’re at the grocery store, try one of these delicious, vegan alternatives. You may just find your new favorite dessert.