Monday, October 2, 2017

Ice Cream: My Favorite Vegan Junk Food (Vegan Mofo Day 2)

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If you know me, you probably know I've got a sweet spot (pun intended) for ice cream!

Luckily, if you're looking for vegan options--there are a lot these days.

In the New York area, lots of ice cream shops have some really wonderful options (Ample Hills, anyone?). And I've definitely dived into the world of making homemade vegan ice cream as well.

But if you're really looking to satisfy your junk food craving, you're likely interested in picking up some ice cream at your local store. Most natural food stores have a good selection these days, and you can often find a few options at general super markets at well. Various types of vegan ice cream can have their own pros and cons, so you'll want to be aware of what different varieties have to offer if you're looking for vegan ice cream at the grocery store.

Here are a few options:

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Crowd favorite: Van Leeuwens

Van Leeuwens has both dairy and vegan options available, so you'll have to be sure to check the label--but their vegan offerings are very clearly marked. Varieties I've tried include their sea salt caramel, mint chip, cookie dough and chocolate (pictured at the top of the page, and below). You can see their site for all of the flavors they offer.

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My husband takes issue with certain non-dairy ice creams, but this is one that he will happily eat. Like many vegan ice creams, they use coconut milk, but perhaps because of the use of cashews as well, the coconut isn't too overwhelming. The salted caramel is a bit sweet for me, but it's definitely a classic salted caramel flavor. The chocolate is excellent, with a very slight (almost imperceptible) nuttiness to it. The mint chip is amazing--I love using it for milk shakes. The cookie dough has the strongest coconut flavor, because that often comes through in the vanilla vegan ice creams, as it's masked more strongly by chocolate and other flavors. We were able to find this at our local natural food store in Brooklyn, and also at Whole Foods, and they also offer online ordering. You can order six pints for $89 (with free shipping). This is the same cost as their regular pints--on the pricier side, but definitely delicious!

Ice cream sandwiches: Tofutti cuties and Lil Dreamers

Tofutti cuties are another very popular vegan ice cream option. These are a classic little ice cream sandwich. You can read more about them in an older post of mine, here. This company also makes an excellent ice cream drumstick called Yours Truly by Tofutti.

If you're looking to avoid a soy-heavy ice cream, however, Almond Dream has come out with their own ice cream sandwich--Lil' Dreamers. They're a slightly different texture (not quite as creamy), but very similar tasting, and not particularly nutty. They come individually wrapped--very easy when you're looking for a little ice cream fix! These are also free of coconut milk--a rare find in the vegan ice cream world these days.

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Ice cream bars: Coconut Almond in Chocolate by Coconut Bliss

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If you're looking for a good ice cream bar and you don't mind "going coconut", these are a delicious option! The nutty chocolate coating is delicious, and the coconut ice cream interior is rich and creamy. This company makes a variety of different ice creams. The coconut milk makes for a very rich ice cream, but with a relatively strong coconut flavor. It works particularly nicely with their chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

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That sums up my ice cream round up for now. But there are plenty of other options--and more being introduced all the time! Ben and Jerry's has several vegan options in their line which I have yet to try. Do you have a favorite vegan ice cream? Let me know in the comments!

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