Sunday, July 21st is National Ice Cream Day! With the heat wave we’re enduring, I’m welcoming any excuse to enjoy one or two frozen desserts this weekend. After going vegan in 2011, I mourned the loss of ice cream as if I’d lost a beloved friend. I’m not kidding. I had been the kid who spent all my allowance on the ice cream truck and who snuck Breyers’ French Vanilla in Dixie cups any time my parents weren’t in the kitchen. In college, I had an obsession- borderline addiction- to frozen Twix bars and Black Raspberry Frappes. I thought, maybe this will wear off after college? Maybe it’s like all the beer and pizza I am consuming right now…just a phase? Nope. The beer and pizza quickly disappeared but my love of the frozen concoction followed me to NYC- I could still eat it any time of day, any kind of weather but…it never quite agreed with my stomach. I endured the hours of bloating for the 5-10 minutes of indulgence over and over, year after year, until the day I went vegan in 2011 and almost immediately realized the negative effect dairy had been having on my body.
After cutting dairy, I was sure I would never find a dessert to match (or top) my childhood memories. I had tried a soy ice cream once that had turned me off from trying alternatives. For months, I picked at small scoops of sorbet and looked at everyone else’s desserts à la mode with envy. It wasn’t until I decided to stop being so small-minded and venture to try an ice cream sandwich Alicia Silverstone had recommended (Mint Chocolate Pie by Rice Dream), that a whole new dessert world emerged for me.

Here are my 5 favorite dairy-free ice creams and ice cream treats perfect for vegans or those with a sensitivity or allergy to dairy!

1. Rice Dream Vanilla Nutty Bar

2. Steve’s Mint Cacao Chip

3. Almond Dream Vanilla Bites

4. Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss Bars

5. Rice Dream Mint Chocolate Pie


What are your favorites?

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