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Dairy-free ice creams you'll love - really!

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Our Best Collections

Dairy-free ice creams you'll love - really!

Acclaimed Canadian Dietician Leslie Beck states lactose intolerance is the most well known type of food intolerance.

"The fact that 70 per cent of the world's population has difficulty digesting lactose -- the natural sugar found in milk—has led some researchers to hypothesise that lactose intolerance is in fact normal and tolerance is the abnormal condition."

I know I have trouble with cow’s milk. Mercifully, that intolerance does not extend to my beloved cow's milk cheeses. In aged cheeses, especially well-aged, dry and hard varieties, such as parmigano or pecorino, enzymes and bacteria have already digested the lactose for us as part of the aging process. Butter is good too, since it’s mostly fat with only a small amount of milk solids.

Faux ice cream
But the dairy I miss most is honest to goodness, full-fat ice cream. Coffee, maple or butterscotch ripple. Thankfully, along came a whole posse of knights in frosty armour -- the good folks who finally brought us faux ice cream. After years of tasting and judging I’ve swallowed some disappointments -- often very costly -- but I also have my favourites.

I’ve rounded up and given you the low down on some of the most common choices we’ve got in the freezer aisle. (Now if only DQ would come up with a lactose-free soft serve, I would be in ice cream heaven and my waistline would be in worse trouble than it already is!)

Rice (tastethedream.com/products)
Seems you can make "milk" from just about anything. Which is a good thing, since some folks are allergic to soy. Rice Dream frozen desserts are also organic and natural -- made from good-for-you brown rice -- as well as being fairly low in fat and low-calorie.

Hemp (coolhemp.com)
Cool Hemp churns out a non-dairy frozen dessert in chocolate, maple, and natural. It’s organic, fair-trade, Kosher and nutritious. Organic Canadian hemp seeds -- no, not that kind of hemp -- are a fantastic source of super-healthy omega fats, calcium, protein, and trace minerals. Will your kids love it? Maybe not, but if you suffer from any inflammatory illness, whether bowel or joint related -- no, not that kind of joint -- then this is the stuff for you with its anti-inflammatory omega goodness.   

Soy (soydelicious.com)
The American-based Turtle Mountain have a few items from their fairly extensive line on the market here in Canada. So Delicious is a decent alternative, but it wouldn’t fool anybody, and your kids might wrinkle their noses. It’s not as luscious as ice cream and the soy flavour does come through. But, sandwich the soy cream between two yummy, chocolate cake layers and deception is almost achieved.


Page 1 of 2 -- Find out which faux ice cream tops Signe's list of favourites on page 2

Sweet Nothings (soydelicious.com/products/sweet_nothings.html)
If a creamy fudge pop is what you’re craving, Sweet Nothings are the answer. They’re fat-free and sweetened with fruit juice. See what the kids think.


Purely Decadent (soydelicious.com/products/purely_decadent.html)
At the upper end of the luscious scale is Purely Decadent and it’s my personal favourite of the soy clan. It’s a premium product, with a premium price, but no more or less than you would pay for a tub of Häagen Dazs. This one is richer, with terrific flavours, and it’s way more convincing.

If you’re lucky, your grocer’s freezer may also be stocked with Purely Decadent bars. These give the Dicky-Dee bar—remember those?—a run for its money.

So Good (so-good.ca)
My least favourite soy frozen dessert, it’s primarily made from water, sugar and sunflower oil. It is however, available in most mainstream grocery chains and reasonably priced, so let your own taste buds guide you.

If you don’t want to invest in a whole tub the first time you try it, pick up a box of chocolate or vanilla cones. Who knows, all those extras—chocolate topping, sugar cone—might make quite a difference.

Natur-a (nutrisoya.com)
This all- Canadian, award-winner is my second favourite, after Purely Decadent. Glacé by Natur-a is pretty creamy and I love that they offer it in maple. It’s not all that easy to find, so check out your local health food shop.

Soy Dream (tastethedream.com/products)
All-natural, trans-fat free, cholesterol-free and organic, this option comes in a wide range of yummy flavours, from decadent butter pecan to almost virtuous green tea. Also, dream the dream of a 100 calorie ice cream interlude with Lil’ Dreamers vanilla sandwiches.

Lactose-free cow’s milk (chapmans.ca)
Chapman’s No Sugar Added is also lactose-free. I wish they made two separate types because I’m really not a great fan of fake sugars. However, when I overlook that little detail, I really quite enjoy the creamy, airiness of the vanilla. I love it with a drizzle of real maple or honey, or sometimes I blend it with frozen wild blueberries for an almost guilt-free summertime treat.

Goat’s milk (hewittsdairy.com)
Hewitt’s makes a range of goat’s milk ice cream in a variety of fresh fruit flavours. Now before you curl up your noses about goat-y ice cream, let me tell you this stuff is creamy, delicious and sweetened with honey. Yes, there is a hint of that goat-y tang you expect from a soft goat cheese, like chevre, but it’s quite well masked by the fruit. It is a grown up taste, so you can rest easy knowing the kids will most likely leave your stash alone!


Page 2 of 2 -- Learn more about lactose intolerance on page 1.

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