Today, we’re checking one of the most delicious vegan treats – vegan ice cream! Vegan ice cream is a popular alternative to the traditionally dairy-based frozen food. You don’t have to miss out on this tasty treat. We’re going to show you many delicious alternatives to choose from and give you a buyer’s guide with everything you need to know to choose the right one for you.
What Is Vegan Ice Cream?
Vegan ice cream is an ice cream that developed using several milk-substitutes. It was made in a process similar to traditional ice cream but utilizes one of the many popular non-dairy alternatives out there, such as almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. You might be surprised at how many choices are available on the market. Here are some of our favorites.
1. Best Overall: Ben & Jerrys Milk & Cookies
Let’s start it off with one of the biggest names in ice cream – Ben and Jerry’s! Many vegans are happy to hear that Ben & Jerry’s makes vegan options, as this brand is known as one of the tastiest ice creams around.
This is their vegan twist on one of their most popular flavors – milk & cookies. It’s a delicious non-dairy vanilla yogurt made with sunflower milk and packed with chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, and chocolate cookie swirls.
If you’re looking for an ice cream fix that fits into a vegan diet, you might not have to look any further than this. We aren’t going to pretend it’s the healthiest option around, but it’s incredibly delicious! As a frozen dessert treat, it’s hard to beat.
Ben & Jerry’s also has a longstanding reputation as one of the most ethical companies around. This product is made with non-GMO ingredients, and it sources its sugar, vanilla, and cocoa from Fairtrade Certified sources. It also uses responsibly sourced packaging.
We can’t say much else about this product besides it’s delicious, and we’re very excited Ben & Jerry’s decided to go vegan!
- Very delicious
- Responsible company
2. Magnum Frozen Dessert
Here’s another vegan dessert treat – a vegan spin on a chocolate ice cream bar. Magnum is one of the most popular ice cream bar brands. It’s known for its delicious, decadent flavors, and this one is no exception. These are plant-based vegan ice cream bars, and they’re just as delicious as their traditional counterparts!
Once again, this isn’t going to be a healthy option. It’s very much a dessert, so why worry about the healthy stuff, let’s just get to the taste!
These chocolate bars are delectable. They are covered in a thick, crunchy layer of Belgian chocolate, and the ice cream inside tastes of sea salt and caramel. All the flavors combine well, and the result is an excellent frozen dessert.
We like Magnum as an ethical company as well. It partners with the Rainforest Alliance to sustainably source every single cocoa bean!
Like Ben & Jerry’s, we are very happy that Magnum decided to go the dairy-free route!
- A vegan ice cream bar!
- Very decadent and delicious
- Not a healthy choice, but all is good in moderation!
3. SO Delicious Dairy Free Caramel
Next up, we have SO Delicious dairy-free cashew milk ice cream. This non-dairy option is made using cashew milk, and we think it is super delicious!
The flavor is salted caramel cluster, which is big globs of caramel and chunks of chocolate floating in cashew milk ice cream. There’s a lot to love here!
SO Delicious is a bit of a healthier choice compared to some of the more decadent options. The calorie count is noticeably lower than some of the options above, so it’s a bit more of a guilt-free snack. But don’t worry, it’s sweet & delicious.
Overall, we like the SO Delicious brand. The company is committed to vegan products that are made the right way. It’s non-GMO project verified, with no artificial flavors or colors, MSG, hydrogenated oils, or trans fat.
- Delicious caramel ice cream
- A bit lower in calories than some options
4. Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwich
Next up we have an ice cream sandwich! Vegans should be happy to know that they can still have all the variety they want when it comes to frozen snacks.
This is one delicious ice cream sandwich! It’s a big scoop of chocolate cookie swirl ice cream packed inside two big double chocolate cookies. This one is definitely for the chocolate aficionados.
The dairy-free base is made from a blend of pea protein, brown rice, and cocoa butter, and the entire sandwich is made from natural ingredients. Coolhaus focuses on using quality, organic ingredients in everything they make.
Overall, this sandwich is great. It’s a vegan ice cream sandwich, where could you go wrong?
- Quality, organic ingredients
5. Best Value: Whole Foods 365
Here’s an ice cream brand from Whole Foods, the popular superstore.
This ice cream is chocolate and peanut butter flavored with an almond milk base, and it’s delicious. Almond milk is one of our favorite non-dairy alternatives based on taste alone.
Overall, this is a great vegan ice cream option. We specifically like almond milk. Aside from that, it’s a pretty standard offering. The price is more than fair!
- Delicious peanut butter and chocolate ice cream
- Almond milk base
- Not the healthiest snack
6. Arctic Zero
Arctic Zero is a brand we didn’t know much about, but after checking out this ice cream, we are hooked! This brand focuses on healthy alternatives to traditional vegan ice cream. It’s very low in calories compared to many options on our list.
Each serving of Arctic Pint contains only 160 to 180 calories, depending on the flavor. And they didn’t sacrifice taste. This chocolate peanut butter flavor is just as delicious as many other options on this list. It’s a little less sweet, but that’s to be expected of a low-cal frozen dessert.
The vegan ice cream is made of fava beans, which is a bit of a unique choice, but we think it holds up well.
Overall, if you’re looking for an ice cream that’s on the healthy side, then this is a great option.
- Low calories
- Faba bean ice cream
- Not as sweet as other options
7. Best Premium: Van Leeuwen Vegan Frozen Dessert
Van Leeuwen is another brand that we like a lot. It gets our top premium pick because it specializes in making its ice cream from fresh, artisan ingredients. It partners with artisan farmers both locally and around the world, and each ice cream is made from scratch in Brooklyn.
This one is salted caramel, and as far as vegan ice creams go, it has an excellent texture and decadent flavor.
A lot can be said about the quality of these ingredients. This vegan ice cream is made from house-made cashew milk, organic coconut milk, extra virgin coconut oil, pure cocoa butter, organic cane sugar, and organic carob bean. We listed all the ingredients because we are highly impressed! These are all high-quality, natural ingredients sourced from artisanal producers.
Overall, this ice cream is very impressive. If you like a product made with care from quality ingredients, then you don’t have to look farther than this. The price tag reflects its premium status, but we think it’s worth it!
- Extremely high-quality ingredients
- Delectable vegan ice cream option
8. Ben & Jerry’s Netflix and Chilled
We like Ben & Jerry’s vegan options so much that we had to include this one as well. Ben & Jerry’s rose to fame with its wild and creative flavor combinations, and this one is no exception.
The Netflix & Chill’d flavor is a vegan ice cream packed with sweet and salty pretzel swirls, peanut butter, and fudge brownies. That’s a lot of flavors packed into one pint, and we think the combination of sweet and salty is excellent. Flavor-wise, this is one of our favorite options on this list.
Of course, you don’t buy Ben & Jerry’s expecting it to be overly healthy, so don’t purchase this ice cream thinking you are getting a low-cal snack. This is very much an indulgent dessert option, but it’s Ben & Jerry’s, so it’s worth it!
As noted above, Ben & Jerry’s is an ethical company, and you can feel good about supporting its products.
- Delicious and unique flavor combo
- Ben & Jerry’s is a responsible company
- High-calorie content
9. SO Delicious Snickerdoodle
SO Delicious is another brand we like so much that we had to include this flavor as well. Its unique cashew milk ice cream is delicious, and this snickerdoodle flavor is one of their best.
Snickerdoodle is a buttery sugar cookie, and it makes for an awesome ice cream flavor. It was so hard to decide between this and the flavor above that we just had to include both on our list.
SO Delicious shows a strong commitment to vegan products, and you can’t go wrong with any of its ice cream options.
- Delicious cookie flavor
- Relatively low in calories
- Not as sweet as other options
Is Vegan Ice Cream Healthy? Is It Healthier Than Regular Ice Cream?
One of the most commonly asked questions about vegan ice cream is whether it is a healthy option. More specifically, whether it is healthier than traditional ice cream.
The answer is, it depends. Vegan ice cream is such a popular area of vegan foods that it’s impossible to sum them all up into one category. There are so many ice creams with varying health benefits. Some are packed with sugar and artificial ingredients, and some are all-natural and low on sweetness.
Overall, vegan ice cream can be just as unhealthy as regular ice cream, but it also depends on how you define healthy. Vegan options are suitable for a vegan lifestyle, so they are a healthier option by default if your lifestyle is vegan. But you still need to look at the nutritional information on each package. Pay special attention to the amount of sugar, as the calorie-content in vegan ice creams can ramp up.
What to Look For
Let’s take a look at the top factors you should consider when purchasing vegan ice cream. Evaluate these factors to make the best decision:
First up is, of course, taste! The taste might be the only consideration you care about in vegan ice cream. Vegan ice creams vary in flavor and decadence. They contain varying amounts of sugar, which determines whether they’re a low-cal or high-cal option.
But the taste is up to you! We’ve included tons of delicious options on our list. In terms of pure ice cream flavor, we recommend Ben & Jerry’s.
The milk-substitute makes a big difference in flavor as well. We prefer those that are made with a more natural milk substitute as opposed to a mix of different ingredients. Look for vegan ice cream that utilizes almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk as a base.
Nutritional value is a consideration when it comes to good ice cream, but it doesn’t have to be a big consideration. This is a dessert after all. As long as you have it in moderation, then you shouldn’t have to worry!
That being said, we’ve included some lower-calorie options on our list if that’s what you prefer.
There’s a wide price range when it comes to vegan ice creams, but you should also consider what you’re getting for the price. Simply put, we think most of the pricier options on our list taste a lot better which more than makes up for the difference in the price, but we understand if you think otherwise. The more important thing is how much value you are getting for the price.