The idea of non-dairy ice cream sounds counter-productive. Can you take the dairy out of ice cream and still call it ice cream? Yes, you definitely can, and manufacturers are definitely doing it. To top it off, people are buying dairy free ice cream – it’s practically flying off of the shelves.
There’s a common misconception that only people who embrace a vegan lifestyle look forward to buying non-dairy ice cream. When in fact, there are numerous health compulsions and conditions aside from lifestyle choices that might compel a consumer to purchase non-dairy ice cream.
Here are 5 variations of non-dairy ice creams:
Vegan ice creams substitute animal-based products with plant-based products such as plant-based milks. The idea of milk coming from a plant might sound foreign, but plant-based milks have been around for quite a long time.
You’ve probably heard of almond milk. Almond milk is made from almonds and water (primarily). The milk is runnier and has a nutty aftertaste. Ice cream made from almond milk does have the right taste to it, but it isn’t as creamy as ice cream is typically.
Soy milk has been around for a long while – in fact, practically every primary dairy product has an alternative to soy milk. So does ice cream. Soy milk is the most naturally nutritional dairy alternative.
While naturally occurring soy does not have some of milk’s micronutrients, they can be added. In fact, soy milk has a high protein and fat content. Therefore, vegan ice cream with soy milk is creamier than almond milk and at par in texture with regular ice cream.
Oat milk has several macronutrients such as fat and proteins, as well as several micronutrients such as vitamin D. Oat milk is healthier, with good cholesterol and high energy content.
The ice cream is smoother, creamier, and has flavours of the oats coming through. Most leading brands would offer oat milk ice cream over other kinds because it’s easier to work with and has lower retail costs.
If you could name one plant you could extract milk from, your first (and maybe only) thought would be coconuts. Coconut milk has a rich taste, high fat, high protein, and several micronutrients. It makes for a category of ice cream on its own that’s beloved by many.
Cashew milk contains cashews and water and is similar in consistency to almond milk. The milk is thinner and runnier but has a nutty aftertaste. Vegan ice cream made from cashew milk isn’t as popular, but it certainly has a fan-following.
The non-dairy industry is rising at an exponential growth. Vegans aren’t the only people contributing to the market. Consumers include people who are lactose-intolerant, diabetics and are generally health conscious.
Non-dairy ice cream is gaining momentum, and manufacturers are cashing in with variations, flavours, and tastes of their own to get more and more consumers hooked.