It's a hard job but someone's got to do it. I've been trying out as many vegan ice creams as I can get my hands on. Here are the best vegan ice creams that I've found.
In my local supermarket, which is quite a big branch of Sainsbury's, they have a whole freezer devoted to dairy free ice creams, which really does show how popular vegan food has become and how much choice has improved for those of us who can't eat dairy or who choose not to. All of the ice creams featured in this post are available in my local supermarket apart from the Booja Booja one, which I bought in a health food shop.
As well as tubs of ice cream they also stock a lot of dairy free ice lollies - but I'll save that for another post.
Dairy free, or vegan ice creams, vary a lot in terms or price and ingredients. There's often an impression that vegan food = health food. This is definitely not the case when it comes to ice cream! If you're after sugar you're going to find it here.
Many of these ice creams are pretty similar in taste and appearance to "normal" ice cream. My kids couldn't detect any difference in taste or flavour with, for example, the Sainsbury's or Swedish Glace vanilla ice creams. Some of them contain soya, wheat and/or nuts and so won't be suitable for people with those allergies.
So here goes - here are the best vegan ice creams I've found:
The Coconut Collaborative Coconut and Vanilla Snowconut
This is actually a frozen yoghurt rather than an ice cream but it's so delicious it deserves to be included here nonetheless! This is made from coconuts and is free from gluten and soya so is a great choice for those of you with allergies. It is sweetened with grape juice concentrate. I really liked this one and it felt like a lighter, healthier choice. By The Coconut Collaborative.
Ben & Jerry's Peanut Butter and Cookies, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Chunky Monkey*
Ben & Jerry's kind me sent me some vouchers for their non-dairy ice cream so obviously I had to try them all. I wasn't overly keen on the chocolate fudge brownie one, but I'm not a massive chocolate eater at the best of times so this is probably just personal taste. The Chunky Monkey was good and my kids loved it. But for me it was the peanut butter and cookies that won hands down. You know when you find yourself standing by the freezer, spoon in hand, late at night when the kids have gone to bed, and you suddenly realise you've single handedly eaten most of the tub? Yep, that happened. There's plenty of sugar in these and they're made with vegetable oils, wheat, nuts and soya lecithin (ingredients vary depending on which ice cream you buy). By Ben & Jerry's.
Booja Booja Raspberry Ripple
I loved this ice cream and am still dreaming of it now, almost two weeks after I first tried it. It is definitely one of the best vegan ice creams I've ever tried. It's organic and is made from just five ingredients - water, cashew nuts, raspberries, agave syrup and vanilla extract. This ice cream had a very different texture from the others but my whole family loved it and I felt like it was a healthier option. By Booja Booja.
Swedish Glace Vanilla
We've had this one a few times as it's for sale in our local corner shop. I'm less keen on the ingredients list as it has four different types of sugar listed (sugar, glucose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup and dextrose). It does however, cost less than half the price of the ice creams mentioned above and it tastes very similar to a usual tub of vanilla ice cream. By Swedish Glace.
This one is also available in strawberry and chocolate. It was very similar in taste to the Swedish Glace one but has a shorter ingredients list and only one type of sugar - plain old sugar - listed. By Sainsbury's.
If you like this you might like these 12 delicious vegan rhubarb recipes.
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Disclaimer: I received free pots of Ben & Jerry's non dairy ice creams to sample. All opinions are honest and my own.
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