Living a dairy-free lifestyle isn’t as hard as it used to be; in the past few years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of dairy-free products available on the market. You might eat dairy-free because you have to, but now more and more people are choosing to eat non-dairy alternatives because they just taste GOOD. So the question is, where do you even start? Supermarkets are packed with so many options now, and many brands even offer online ordering. I’m here to help you pick which vegan ice cream brand is right for you.

Riva Cooper


Riva Cooper

This cult favorite has done it again, surprising us with their latest invention: oat milk ice cream. You know and love Oatly for their top quality oat milk. Oat milk has a subtle earthy and comforting quality so it’s great added to coffee and matcha lattes, and is naturally sweet so there is no need for added sugar. However, you might not know how dope of a company Oatly is. One thing I love about Oatly is that they are super transparent about their how they process products. They use a process that actually retains the fiber of the oats in their milks, so you’re getting a lot of the benefits from whole oats. Furthermore, they are constantly striving to be as environmentally friendly as possible, and are open to suggestions if you have ideas. They even just published a sustainability report on their website! Another great thing about oats is that they require much less water than nuts, and they are a crop commonly used in crop rotations, an important part of sustainable agriculture.

Oatly just introduced seven flavors of oat milk ice cream, and I’ve tried them all and sampled with friends. Strawberry was a crowd favorite, however I was most excited by the “oat” flavor, because where else can you find oat flavored ice cream?! Oatly’s ice creams are particularly great if you’re looking for good scoopability, great texture, and overall great flavor. Oatly doesn’t need to be left out before you eat it, so it’s great for impulse ice cream decisions or emergencies. Each flavor has subtle undertones of oat, which I happen to love. It’s also recently available in Target, so you can probably find it in a store near you!

Snow Monkey

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Snow Monkey is the brand to get if you want ice cream for breakfast, or after a workout, or three times a day. Think of it as the Halo Top of the dairy-free world, except WAY better for you. Rather than a bunch of questionable ingredients that leave you feeling less than great (and satisfied), Snow Monkey’s ice creams are totally pure. Each flavor is made with fruit puree, maple syrup, hemp protein and sunflower seed butter (sounds like a smoothie, right?), plus an ingredient for flavor like matcha green tea, or goji and acai.

Snow Monkey was started by founder Rachel in her college dorm room (inspired, anyone?). As an athlete, Rachel wanted to be able to perform her best while still enjoying her favorite foods WITHOUT guilt. Snow Monkey does more than that: it is fuel for a healthy and active life! P.S. The entire Snow Monkey executive team is made of women under 30 years old. Inspired 2.0.

Now that you know how great of a company Snow Monkey is, let’s get to the taste. Snow Monkey definitely needs to be left out to melt a little before you dive in, but it’s well worth the wait. Each flavor has fruity undertones, and my favorite flavor was matcha. It’s just the right amount of sweetness to satisfy any craving, and leaves you feeling really good after. The passion fruit flavor is also fantastic, and I recommend eating passion fruit and chocolate at the same time (if you’ve never had this combo, it’s divine).


Riva Cooper

What happens when you blend the creamiest, dreamiest fruit into a frozen dessert? You get Cado. Full of fat (the good kind!) and not too high in sugar, Cado really satisfies your ice cream cravings but still leaves you feeling great afterwards. Cado is easy to scoop and ready to eat right out of the freezer, all because of the avocado. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t taste anything like avocados, it tastes just like your favorite childhood ice creams. I tried the chocolate, mint chip, and lemon flavors, and despite my expectation of lemon tasting like guacamole, it was my favorite! Not too much like sorbet, the lemon flavor had a creaminess closer to sherbet. Having been dairy free for so long, I’m tired of my ice cream tasting like sorbet! Cado puts these worries at bay. Next I’m hoping to try the Java Chip and Salted Caramel. They’re the perfect flavors for fall, and considering it is 90 degrees in LA right now, I think we’ll be eating ice cream deep into the winter.

The Coconut Cult

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You might know The Coconut Cult for their famed, uber-fluffy, jars of exploding coconut yogurt. Now they have introduced the most perfect coconut gelato. In partnership with some of your favorite brands (Hu Kitchen chocolate, Honey Mama’s chocolate, Evolved almond butter cups…), The Coconut Cult is bringing serious creativity to plant-based ice cream flavors. Their gelato is packed with coconut (coconut meat, coconut oil, coconut cream, coconut nectar) but surprisingly none of the flavors have an overbearing coconut taste! The coconut just brings an amazing creamy texture once the ice cream melts a bit, and it’s almost fluffy like their yogurt after ten minutes of sitting out. My personal favorites are their gluten-free cookie dough (no chunks of cookie dough, just an overall flavor which I personally love) and the Honey Mama’s Fudgesicle which has cubes of Honey Mama’s fudgy honey-cocoa bars. What I particularly love about The Coconut Cult gelato is its use of coconut nectar as a sweetener. Each flavor is indulgent, but I don’t feel sick after as coconut nectar is a low-glycemic, unrefined sweetener.

Whichever you pick, you won’t go wrong. Each has a different vibe, but are equally as good!

P.S. Fun fact! Lactose-free is different from dairy-free! If you still want to eat real ice cream, check out Beckon Ice Cream. Their motto is “Dairy Full, Lactose-Free!” and has been described as “the Häagen-Dazs of the lactose-free ice community” (read: super high quality, pure ingredients, premier taste and texture). Check out your local Whole Foods for Beckon (note: it’s usually on the top shelf!)