When people first hear I’m vegan, they usually ask some questions: why are you vegan? Where do you get your protein? How do you survive without ice cream? This last question is hardest to answer because I do have a deep and personal love for ice cream, and vegan ice cream has had a history of being a pretty disappointing substitute for the real thing. Recently, however, a number of brands have released vegan ice cream that is actually really good, and may even fool some dairy-lovers. The newest vegan ice cream release was from the infamously rich and delicious Ben & Jerry’s brand, and I can tell you: they did not disappoint. With that in mind, here are my top picks for the best vegan ice cream brands on the market.
5. So Delicious Dairy Free Soymilk
This brand of ice cream has been on the market for quite a while now, and when you’re in desperate need of a late night ice cream fix, it’ll hit the spot. These ice creams probably won’t wow any new vegans or “regular” ice cream lovers, however, but some of their flavors are worth a try (I like Turtle Trails and Peanut Butter Zig Zag).
4. Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss
This brand (which you’ll mostly find at health food stores like Whole Foods, although it is available in some supermarket chains) is pretty dang delicious. There are a number of fun and delicious flavors, with my favorite being Mint Galactica. The texture is a bit lacking though, as it can be a bit icy, and the coconut-y undertones may not be your cup of tea. Still, this is one vegan ice cream brand I will be happy to enjoy any day.
3. So Delicious Dairy Free Cashewmilk
This line of ice creams, which was recently released by the previously mentioned So Delicious brand, is super tasty with an amazing, creamy texture. The choice to use cashew milk as a non-dairy base is a definite step up from soy milk, as cashew milk is creamier and has less of a noticeable taste. Sadly, this line of ice creams doesn’t have many flavors to choose from, but the Snickerdoodle and Cappuccino flavors are the perfect sweet treat.
2. Steve’s Ice Cream
Steve’s Ice Cream is a fairly small, Brooklyn-based, artisan ice cream brand that serves up some of the best vegan ice cream out there. They have a substantial number of delicious and somewhat fancy flavors to choose from, with my favorites being Burnt Sugar Vanilla and Cinnamon Coffee. This ice cream brand is impossibly creamy (with a base of coconut cream), and the flavors are so unique and daring, you won’t even notice you’re eating non-dairy ice cream.
1. Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy
Boy oh boy is this ice cream good. Ben & Jerry’s is a brand probably best known for their emphasis on organic ingredients and their wacky, over-the-top delicious ice cream flavor combinations. Before going vegan, Ben & Jerry’s was my ice cream brand of choice, so it was a huge bummer to have to miss out on their delicious ice creams. I knew that it was only a matter of time before they would offer something up for their non-dairy lovers out there, however, and they have not disappointed. Although they are only currently offering 4 non-dairy flavors, I have faith they will expand the line given the incredibly hype and stellar reviews. I’ve gotten to taste 3 of the 4 non-dairy flavors, and my favorite has to be P.B. & Cookies. This flavor is rich but not overly sweet, with the perfect amount of peanut butter, and crazy delicious cookie chunks. These flavors are a bit hard to find at the moment, but Ben & Jerry’s has assured non-dairy fans that the flavors will be rolling out into stores throughout the coming weeks. I urge you to run to the nearest store offering these non-dairy flavors and snatch them up; I can guarantee you’ll love them, and your dairy-loving friends will enjoy them too.