Dairy free is all the rage nowadays and whilst I am not dairy intolerant and still love my milk and yogurts, I am very much into my almond and coconut alternatives as well. Dairy free milks and yogurts are pretty mainstream and easy enough to find now and it seems ice cream is the next area that’s set to boom. Sainsburys did a big freefrom push earlier this year with loads of new own label options across every sector from pasta sauces to bread and cakes to cereals. One thing that grabbed a lot of attention was there new freefrom ice creams made of coconut and available in vanilla, strawberry and chocolate versions.
This ice cream is made from - Water, Coconut Milk (30%) (Water, Coconut Extract), Sugar, Inulin, Dextrose, Coconut Oil (4%), Vanilla Extract, Thickener: Carob Gum, Cellulose; Colour: Beta-carotene - so suitable for vegans and those avoiding dairy. It's also gluten free and wheat free.
Because of the coconut milk base this is actually really quite high in saturated fat. And whilst health bloggers claim it’s good for you, I’m still not convinced and think too much sat fat is bad and that the best fats are those in things like nuts, avocado and seeds which are monosaturated. It’s also just as sugary as normal ice cream at 22% - for context that’s the same as salted caramel haagen daaz and not much further behind than Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough at 25% .
What I was impressed with was just how scoopable this was after leaving out for a few minutes. Nice and soft, it felt creamy and looks quite attractive with a simple yellow colour (albeit one derived from added colour beta-carotene).
This translates into a nice creamy, thick texture – it certainly didn’t feel like a sorbet and isn’t icy, watery or thin tasting. It’s not quite ice cream as it’s maybe a little oily and maybe a bit more girtty but this is really minor and for all extents and purposes it’s pretty indulgent in mouthfeel.
The flavour is okay…. To be honest coconut is the main taste you get and I would describe it as a coconut with hints of vanilla taste rather than a vanilla taste that just so happens to be made of coconut. It’s sweet and pleasant tasting but it’s not overly exciting. Considering the sugar and sat fat is comparable to normal ice cream, I think I’d rather just have a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s instead as this isn’t exactly a clean and pure product either. Vegans and those who can’t eat lactose will love this but it’s just as unhealthy as regular ice cream and the taste although nice just isn’t enough to make me choose this instead of my favourite brands.
Bought at: Sainsburys
Nutrition per serving: 193 calories, 8.4g fat, 7.5g sat fat, 20.7g sugars, 0.03g salt