Monday, June 30, 2008

Summertime Vegan Ice Cream Reviews

I was savoring the cold, air conditioned frozen foods section of my local health food store recently, attempting to escape the summer heat and humidity while picking up some dinner. I usually try to ignore the ice cream section. It's just too expensive, I reason, to buy vegan ice cream when I can just make it at home. Well, the heat got the best of me. I couldn't imagine myself making ice cream in my non-air conditioned kitchen after working all day, and I honestly would have been happy just having ice cream for dinner that night. So I splurged and picked up some Organic Rice Divine , Temptation, and Purely Decadent flavors I hadn't tried before. It was possibly the best decision I'd made all day.

Organic Rive Divine Mudd Pie
OK, so before I start talking about the ice cream, I just want to establish that coffee is one of my favorite things in life. Especially organic, fair trade, freshly brewed coffee with some Silk creamer in it. I bought this not really knowing what Mudd Pie flavor was. I thought it sounded fun and promising, and there was some chocolate fudge going through it in the picture, so I thought it couldn't be bad. Well. It is probably one of my new favorite flavors of ice cream ever. Mudd Pie is coffee flavored ice cream with chocolate fudge and bits of chocolate cookie and almond in it. If my favorite cup of morning coffee was magically turned into ice cream, that would be the base of this flavor. It was creamy and sweet, but not too sweet. Though it is made with rice milk instead of soy milk, it didn't have that any rice milk flavor to it. The creamy, thick texture was enhanced with the crunch of the cookie and almond. It reminded me of the coffee royale (coffee ice cream with fudge through it) ice cream cones I had as a kid. Yes, I even loved coffee ice cream when I was twelve.

I noticed a flavor of Organic Rice Divine that I hadn't seen before. It's not even listed on their website yet. It does exist, though! Of course, the one flavor I didn't photograph before eating is the one I can't find anywhere on-line.

I'd never tried Key Lime ice cream before, so I picked it up. The lime was so zesty and perfect with its cold creaminess that it made me almost forget how unbelievably humid it was outside. Plus, it had bits of pie crust in it! Eating it was fun, but after I was done eating the pint (yes, I ate the whole thing, though not the same day I ate the Mudd Pie!), my mouth felt weird, like it was slightly freezer burned. It was as if the lime was too acidic and the ice cream itself was too sweet. It would definitely be perfect if it came with more pie crust bits to balance out the overwhelming lime, or if I had just scooped some of it (not all of it!) into a cone. The next time I get it, I'll do just that. I also noticed on the Turtle Mountain website that there is now a Purely Decadent Key Lime Pie. I'll have to check that out soon.

Purely Decadent Blueberry Cheesecake
This was another winner. I am a huge fan of blueberries, so I couldn't really lose with this. Purely Decadent Blueberry Cheesecake is blueberry ice cream swirled with cheesecake ice cream, with bits of pie crust throughout. Inside the blueberry ice cream sections are frozen blueberries (my favorite part). The pie crust bits were huge and hard, but fun to eat! I really like this flavor and will definitely get it again.

Purely Decadent Coconut Milk Mint Chip
Wow. Light and airy, mint-chocolate creaminess. I intially thought it would be weird to mix coconut with mint and chocolate, but it wasn't coconut-y at all. It was like the coconut milk just became the base for the thickness, but didn't add any of the flavor. Instead, the flavor came from the perfect balance of mint and swirls of chocolate. I love that there were barely any ingredients in it: organic coconut milk, organic agave, chocolate flakes, mint flavor, and not much else.

Yum. This was a pleasant suprise. The peach was delightful. The cobbler chunks were fun and perfectly spiced. It was really refreshing, not too sweet. Perfect for those days when you just want something sweet and fruity. I'll definitely get it again!

My vegan ice cream adventures were delicious and a bit extravagant. These little frozen gems aint cheap. One of my favorite ice creams from the past two weeks of summer is one that I made myself! Once again, my cheap and easy and just as delicious and totally vegan ice cream recipe that doesn't even require and ice cream maker:
  • Frozen banana chunks
  • Frozen strawberries
  • Some Silk
Put all ingredients in blender. Blend all ingredients until creamy. Pour into cup. Scoop out with spoon and marvel at the deliciousness of simplicity.


Allison said...

Thanks for such great ice cream reviews! I just bought my first pint of non-dairy ice cream- Soy Delicious fruit sweetened vanilla, and it was so light and wonderful (and almost gone!). You're right, they definitely aren't cheap, so I will have to try your recipe next! :0)

Theresa said...

Pie crust in ice cream sounds so good to me. In my pregan days I loved getting Ben & Jerry's pints, and my favourite (though hard to find) flavour was birthday cake. Chunks of cake in ice cream! To be honest though, pie crust is more appealing than cake--something about the flaky, buttery goodness of pie crust...


Jess - The Domestic Vegan said...

I don't know how I feel about that Temptation flavor... I mean, I love Temptation from the bottom of my vegan heart, and I also love peach--it's the cobbler part that weirds me out a bit. I bet I'd really like it, though... I need to get my co-op to carry more flavors of Temptation!!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Oh man! Those all sound sooo good! And I haven't seen any of them in our whole foods :-( argh!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Vegan ice cream = the best part of summer!

Bianca said...

I wish we had Temptation here...sigh...I'll have to try that Mudd Pie though. I've seen it before but I've been scared to buy Rice Dream because I'm not a fan of rice milk. Rice creams I've had in the past have always disappointed b/c they weren't as creamy as the soy creams...but you say this one is creamy.