Information about vegan ice cream including links to the leading brands.

Vegan Ice Cream: Store-Bought & Homemade Info

If you love ice cream, you’ve got a multitude of vegan choices. Vegan ice cream has gone sufficiently mainstream that even Ben & Jerry’s has entered the  business. The best vegan brands are extraordinarily good. This New York Times article chronicles the rise of gourmet dairy-free ice cream. And here’s another comprehensive piece featuring the newest vegan ice creams to hit the market. These products are perfect, not just for vegans, but also for the millions of people who follow a dairy-free lifestyle.

Unlimited Possibilities

What is vegan ice cream made of? Its primary ingredient is any sort of plant-based milk. Just as dairy-based ice cream is loaded with fat, rich vegan ice creams likewise use plant-based milks that contain substantial amounts of fat.

Whether you want to buy vegan ice cream or make it at home, you’ve got all sorts of excellent choices.

Vegan Ice Cream Brands

Commercially-produced vegan ice creams are made from soy, almond, cashew, coconut, or rice milk. These products deliver all of the delicious flavor and creaminess of ice cream without harming a single cow. Most supermarkets carry several varieties. And a good natural foods store will stock numerous brands. You can choose from pint-sized containers, ice cream sandwiches, cones, fudge bars, and more.

Any of these brands can make a fully vegan ice cream sundae. Just pick up some vegan whipped cream and chocolate sauce, plus perhaps a banana or a jar or maraschino cherries.

vegan ice cream sundae
A vegan peanut butter and chocolate fudge sundae served at Mexico City’s Fat Vegan restaurant.

How to Make Your Own Non-Dairy Ice Cream

You can make fantastic vegan ice cream at home with minimal effort. All you need is a great recipe (see the following two sections) and an ice cream maker.

There is, however, one important point you must understand about homemade ice-cream. Commercial brands use special equipment to inject air into the mix. That’s not something you can do with a consumer-grade ice cream maker. As a result, your homemade ice cream will turn rock hard if kept in the freezer for more than a few hours, so you should eat it right away.

Ice cream makers are surprisingly cheap. If you’ve got a family, this 4-quart Nostalgia unit is a terrific choice. Or, if there’s just one or two of you, get this Cuisinart unit that makes small 1.5 quart batches.

Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipes

Making ice cream at home gives you total control over the ingredients. So if there’s ever a time to get creative and experiment, it’s when making vegan ice cream. You won’t have any problem finding fantastic recipes. Check out:

Whether storebought or homemade, you vegan ice cream options are outstanding. You need never give up a thing when it comes to experiencing rich and creamy ice cream flavors.

For further reading, check out our Dairy-Free Diet Guide, our Vegan Milks page, and our “Why Go Vegan?” essay.
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