Who says being a vegan means giving up your favorite foods?
You might have thought it would be impossible to find a good alternative for ice cream or cheese. But what if you decide to take the vegan route? Not only are there amazing dairy alternatives that are healthier, many are – no joke – far tastier and even easier to make!
Ice cream is one category of food where there are many amazing and healthy ‘I-can’t-believe-it’s good-for-me’ style dairy-free desserts.
Coconut Cream Base
For a tasty, healthy base try using coconut cream as a delicious alternative to cream. Use honey or maple syrup to sweeten if needed, then add fruit or cocoa for flavor. Coconut cream comes directly from the flesh of mature coconuts, which are exceptionally healthy, containing vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthier types of carbs and fats. Honey and maple syrup have higher glucose and fructose content than cane sugar, which has the less healthy sucrose, and are better for diabetics. Honey also contains many antioxidants. Neither coconut nor honey are refined products and are usually provided in their raw form without additives. Both are suitable for paleo and liver cleansing diets.
Using almond or cashew milk as a base in ice cream, with fruit and honey, alone or with a little olive oil or tapioca flour to thicken is another exceptionally healthy alternative to cow’s milk. Nut-based milk can be store-bought, or to get an even healthier non-dairy alternative, they can be made from scratch quite easily using a home blender. Nuts provide many health benefits; cashews and almonds are full of vitamins and minerals and are alkaline forming, and both taste great as a dairy alternative. While coconut cream does taste like coconut, nut-based kinds of milk surprisingly don’t really taste nutty. However, if you do want a nut flavor, mixing crushed pistachio or macadamia nuts into the ice cream with cocoa and chocolate chips also taste really great.
Creamed Frozen Bananas
As simple as it sounds, creamed frozen bananas taste delicious, and provide a perfect solution for all those about-to-go-bad bananas. Cut and freeze the bananas in a sealed container, then when you want to eat them, whip them in a food processor or blender.
The creamed frozen bananas taste almost like a soft serve ice cream. This makes a great base to add flavors to, can be served with a sauce or cut fruit, or is perfect to eat alone.
The sweetness of bananas means you don’t even need to add any honey or sugar to the ice cream.
An even simpler version is to buy the smaller type of bananas and stick a toothpick in them and put them in the freezer whole: Instant fun for kids.
Frozen Dairy-free Yogurt Ice Cream
There are a number of dairy-free yogurt cultures available, and frozen yogurt can make a tasty healthy ice-cream alternative. Simply freeze your favorite dairy-free yogurt, or add some extra crushed fruit, nuts, carob, or honey to a plain yogurt base, then freeze.
A sorbet is essentially crushed frozen fruit with a little flavor and sweetener if needed, so they are the perfect healthy alternative to ice cream.
The trick is to make a decent consistency and have the right mix of fruit, juice or water, and flavor. With sweeter fruits like mango and banana, no sugar is needed, making this a healthy sugar free option. For a creamier sorbet, mix in a little yogurt or coconut cream.
If you’re too tired to cook, great news, we have a ton of vegan options at our shop in Downtown Delray Beach. Come and enjoy the South Florida sun and pick up a frozen treat on your way home from the beach.