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I get a lot of requests to test ice cream alternatives. I will admit that this is something that I have not been looking forward to because in the past the ones that I have tasted were not so great. I have been pleasantly surprised and over the next few weeks will report on our taste testings.
There's now a wide variety of alternative ice creams on the market to choose from. The majority are aimed at those wanting to avoid dairy, either because they are lactose intolerant or don't want to eat milk products. These are primarily soy products, but some are made with rice milk. Many are gluten free by virtue of their ingredient choices and some are vegan.
We tested the Good Karma Organic Rice Divine Mint Chocolate Swirl (that's a mouthful of a name). This is made with rice milk, and based on that alone you'd think that this would not be all that great, but this is a really good dessert. It has all the richness of a true dairy ice cream and a subtle minty flavor. This is cut through with pretty decadent chocolate syrup swirls. The whole thing is organic and not too bad at 150 calories per serving.
You certainly wouldn't think that this is lactose free, gluten free, dairy free and vegan. Definitely a good job by the folks at Good Karma. This is almost the quality of the Stoneyfield Farms frozen yogurt products.
Just barely in the Eat category is the Turtle Mountain Purely Decadent Dairy Free Mint Chocolate Chip Non Dairy Frozen Dessert (now that's really a mouthful of a name). This is mostly a soy milk product with some brown rice syrup as sweetener. The flavor was a little like a peppermint stick -- the kind that tastes like candy canes at Christmas. There's not much in the way of chocolate chips.
This is good, but the Good Karma is a much better product, especially since the Turtle Mountain has 190 calories and 8 grams of fat in a serving.
This week's Don't Eat is the It's Soy Delicious Vanilla Non Dairy Frozen Dessert (It's so(y) not delicious!), which is also made by Turtle Mountain. The main comment was that it tastes like a pretty awful overly sweetened rice pudding that's been frozen. Where the other two tasted this week were rich and creamy, this one is light and fluffy and melts too quickly to be satisfying as a substitute for an ice cream dessert.