Originally posted onto Tabelog.com 4/19/16
Who doesn’t enjoy a scoop of their favorite ice cream? Although the experience of enjoying a cone or bowl of even carton of ice cream is a favored past time, there is a large portion of the world that cannot partake in the hobby of ice cream consumption without the after effects of an upset stomach, mild allergic reaction, or even cramping or bloating. As innocent as ice cream looks, it can often come back with a vengeance.
It is said that about 75% of the world’s population have difficulty in one way or another in digesting lactose, the sugar primarily found in dairy products. Although many of us can eat an entire carton of ice cream without feeling more than just a mild upset stomach, many people cannot come within a 3 foot radius of the stuff without feeling nauseous (well not literally, but they just can’t digest dairy at all).
For those people who thought that they would never be able to enjoy an ice cream cone again, there is good news! Below is a look at vegan ice cream, its benefits, and how it can be an even better replacement for all of your frozen dairy treat needs.
What exactly is vegan ice cream?
When we think of “vegan ice cream” we might conjure up the mental image of a hipster ice cream stand that we might not necessarily feel comfortable walking into for fear that we are not cool or ironic enough. The truth is, that vegan ice cream just means that no animals were harmed or used in the making of the product! Alternative sources for dairy are used as a replacement, but in the end the same product is made, and in our situation, that is delicious ice cream.
Made from alternative products like almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, and soy milk, the same product can be achieved as if was from a real cow. Although it might try to be the exact same product as ice cream made from a cow, the final result is actually better tasting than its cow byproduct, as well as better for you.
It’s actually good for you!
When soy gets involved in the creating process of the vegan ice cream, it releases its natural health benefits into the mix.
Soy is known to be rich in a byproduct known as “Isoflavons”, a compound known to lower bad and harmful cholesterol as well as be rich in protein. So next time you are debating whether or not to pay the price of discomfort with regular ice cream or finally take the leap and try vegan ice cream, know that not only will it taste better and not upset your tummy, but it is actually healthy for you!
Vegan ice cream has a lot less sugar, and a lot less fat than its “regular” counterpart as a result of its cow milk base being nixed. Having a base (that is, the “cream” part) be replaced by organic substances that are drawn from healthy substances such as almonds, coconuts, and soy make vegan ice cream not only an alternative to those with dietary restrictions, but also those who are just looking to shave off a few pounds. So for those who are feeling guilty about the occasional indulgence of a bowl of ice cream or even an entire carton (you know who you are), you can throw that guilt away by switching to vegan ice cream! Who knew?
Same great taste
A fear that many first time tasters might have is that vegan ice cream will taste off or weird or just noticeably different than that of the familiar “regular ice cream”. The truth is, that there really is no big and noticeable difference. Chocolate vegan ice cream will taste like chocolate ice cream, and strawberry vegan ice cream will taste like, you guessed it, strawberry ice cream.
With the exception of coconut milk based vegan ice cream, which will have a coconut-y flavor for obvious reasons, your ice cream tasting experience will be the same, if not better than as it was when you were eating nothing but “regular” ice cream.
Those with allergy issues rejoice!
For those who suffer from symptoms that are closely tied to dairy products, the world of dairy, more specifically ice cream, has been cut off from you. Contrary to what you may have believed in the past, you too can still enjoy the pleasures that the rest of the world enjoys: ice cream.
Vegan ice cream is undeniably similar to “regular” ice cream, just minus all of the ingredients that have kept you from tasting and ingesting the joyous product that is ice cream. So grab a spoon and get to work, because you now have access to the holy grail of the world that is ice cream.
One of the issues that many hopeful dairy eaters have is that whenever they do go for a scoop or cone or bowl of ice cream, they always have that feeling of discomfort afterwards. Bloating, gas, cramping, and even in some extreme cases vomiting. For some hardcore ice cream lovers, the price to pay for a scoop of their favorite ice cream flavor is worth it. However, for those of us who truly wish to avoid this feeling of impending nausea caused by eating products rich with lactose, going for the vegan ice cream is the way to go.
“Regular” ice cream made from cows milk is high in lactose, which as we mentioned earlier is a natural sugar found in dairy products. Although the amount of lactose found within the cow’s milk is under 5%, this small amount is still enough to send many lactose intolerant individuals over the edge into sickness. So why continue punishing yourself when you can cut out any chance of having digestive issues caused by lactose when you can enjoy ice cream again without the side effects? Go vegan!
Vegan ice cream has a bad rap just because the word “vegan” sits at the front of its name and bears all the connotations that come with it. However, vegan ice cream is more than just a delicious alternative to a product that comes from animals: it’s a gateway for those of us who could not otherwise have ice cream, to actually have ice cream! So whether you are lactose intolerant, allergic to dairy, or just trying to stand up for the cows that give us this delicious byproduct, vegan ice cream is the way to go.