It’s 2021, and for one reason or another, many of us are looking to cut back on dairy consumption. But cutting dairy out of your diet shouldn’t have to mean you don’t get to enjoy your favorite foods. Luckily, there are plenty of new dairy-free alternatives on the market to your favorite cheeses, milk, yogurts, and yes, even your ice cream.
However, just because it exists doesn’t mean all of the options out there are good. How do you know what the very best dairy-free ice cream is and where to find it? Read on to find out why you might want dairy-free ice cream and where to find the best dairy-free ice cream to try out this year.
Reasons You May Be Dairy-Free
Before we go any further, let’s consider who might want to cut out dairy and why.
The biggest group of dairy-free individuals you may think of are vegans, who eat an entirely plant-based diet built around fresh veggies, grains, legumes, and fruits. Vegans exclude things like dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish from their diet for multiple reasons.
A vegan diet can be better for the environment, as raising livestock results in a lot of greenhouse gasses and uses a lot of water. It also takes a stance against the cruel farming practices that many of the animals consumed go through. Lastly, a vegan diet can be better for your body in the long-run, as the diet results in more energy and fewer digestive issues.
Being vegan doesn’t mean ice cream-free, however. Many vegans still crave the flavors and textures of things like cheese, especially ice cream, so dairy-free ice cream is a good alternative.
As we become more aware of how many of us are lactose intolerant, it has become increasingly essential to have lactose-free options on the market for those who cannot digest lactose due to a lack of the lactase enzyme in their system. Though lactose-free doesn’t always mean dairy-free, dairy-free means lactose-free. Dairy-free ice cream is ideal for those who can’t deal with lactose.
If you think you may be lactose or dairy-intolerant, you might want to try out an elimination diet and see if you feel better when not consuming dairy. Dairy-free ice cream can provide you with some sense of normalcy while you are just adjusting to life without dairy.
How to Find the Best Non-Dairy Ice Cream
If you’re in one of the groups listed above, you’re going to need to find an ice cream that is not only dairy-free but also tastes good. Here are some criteria to consider when you’re on the search for the best dairy-free ice cream:
A likeness to Real Ice Cream
There are some specific things you love about your favorite ice cream. The sweet, rich flavor, the creamy smooth texture, and the cold sensation of taking that first bite of that pint you’re about to demolish.
Without milk, how can you get all of that goodness? Organic cane sugar, an alternative protein blend for texture, and a smooth mixture are what make your dairy-free dessert taste just like the real thing.
The spice of life. A quality non-dairy ice cream blend will give you not only the classics like vanilla and chocolate but also offers some more exciting flavors to try out. A cool thing about dairy-free or vegan ice cream is that many of them have super-competitive flavors made from more natural ingredients. Some favorites include ingredients like cardamom, miso, and even sweet corn.
The best non-dairy ice cream is the one that tastes best to you. Dairy-free ice cream can easily taste exactly like your original favorite, without the discomfort of dairy.