Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Ice - a - cream - oh!

Sun! Hope you've had some recently. Not only does it make us all feel better, I don't know about you, but it certainly puts me in the mood for beaches... and ice cream! 

My best effort yet!
When I was a child I used to love it when my parents would take us for a summer's evening stroll by the beach - for then there was the possibility that my Dad would agree to buy us one of those 'Mr Whippy' ice creams. On rare occasions, my siblings and I might get the added bonus of a '99 flake' - deep joy!!

Last year, I felt a tinge of sadness, as summer approached - thinking that Baby might never know the joy of ice cream and also that with no signs of her allergy to cows milk abating (just yet) that I might have to wait a fair while before I might taste it once again. Up 'til then, I had been contenting myself with the odd bit of sorbet, but actually although you can find some nice ones, when you get a craving for ice cream, sorbet just isn't the same!

That's when The Hub began researching dairy free ice cream for me. This post combines all that we have discovered so far.

This brand is probably the most widely available. It comes in a five different flavours - Vanilla, Chocolate, Raspberry, Blueberry and Neapolitan. For those of you who can tolerate soya, I think this is a pretty good bet. I once had a sneaky lick of the vanilla (I can tolerate that much) and it tasted almost creamy and really quite nice. 

I've seen it in Ocado, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, Holland and Barrett and quite a few health food shops, but apparently some branches of Morrisons also stock it. The price seems quite reasonable (most places just over £2), especially when you compare it with some other brands (more of which to follow)!

Bessant and Drury's
The only other ice cream that is both dairy and soya free and that is widely available (you can buy it at Tescos and some branches of Waitrose) is Bessant and Drury's, which is considerably more expensive, although I think it does taste nicer (it's around £4). 

The lemon flavour won the respect of the judges at the Free From Foods Awards. Unfortunately,  unless you go to a good independent health food store, like The Whole Foods Market, you will probably only be able to find the chocolate flavour. You can read more about that brand in this blog post, in which I reviewed it more throroughly, if you want to find out more.

Update: Bessant & Drury's has now been rebranded as The Coconut Collaborative. You can find their ice cream in Sainsbury's, but I can no longer vouch for it, as their labels now state that it is made in a factory on equipment used for products containing cow's milk. As 'Baby' appeared to react to their yogurts (see here) I am not prepared to risk another reaction with their ice cream. For more information on 'may contain' labelling, see here.

This is, perhaps, one of the more premium brands of dairy free ice cream. It is not only both dairy and soya free, it is also organic and is available in five flavours - chocolate, vanilla, coconut, ginger and, last but not least, maple and pecan. Each flavour boasts an exotic sounding name, such as 'Hunky Punky Chocolate' or (my personal favourite) 'Keep Smiling Vanilla M'Gorilla'.

It is available in Waitrose, and Holland and Barrett. You can also obtain it via Ocado or in independent local health stores. It retails around £5.99 in supermarkets. Prices may vary.

Sadly, I can't report back on these - they contain cashews (another thing I can't eat).

Update 2014:
There's a new dairy free and soya free (coconut based) ice cream recently brought out by Co-yo. Check out this post for more details.

And Tesco have started stocking their own dairy and soya free ice cream. See here.

Update 2015:
There's a new brand of dairy free ice cream by Almond Dream that is really worth checking out here and here.  AND Tesco now stock a dairy, gluten and soya free ice cream cones that strongly resembles a Cornetto. Check out this post for more details!! YUM!! is all I'm saying!! For those who can have soya, look out in independent retailers for Jollyum. The little lick I tasted, was rather nice. If you're trying to avoid sugar, as well as dairy, gluten and soya, another cashew based ice cream out now, Perfect World, is available through Holland and Barrett and Ocado.

Barkat's cones look just like 'normal'.
Something you take for granted, before becoming dairy free is the common, old, ice cream cone. Not so now! Not satisfied with ice cream itself, I wanted an ice cream cone, but reading the packets soon informed me that it wasn't going to be that easy. Research, however, has yielded an answer - for some, but not all of us.

Barkat produce a range of wafers and cones that are gluten free. Some are also dairy, nut and egg free but not, apparently, soya free. That said, I seem to be OK with them.

I have to be honest with you, although they look the same, they don't taste the same. In fact, they are tasteless - in my opinion. However, if you stuff the 'handle' (with a bit of nifty scoop work) before filling the 'bowl' of the cone, you really don't notice. The crunch is pretty much the same. 

Last summer, before I discovered the waffle version on the shelves of a large Sainsbury's, I managed to order some of the 'Mr Whippy' style cones through a helpful, local independent health food shop. If you can't find them locally, you can, however, order them online from Amazon as well as from online health food stores.

Update 2013: 
Only Askey's waffle cones are made without milk.
Worthenshaws no longer seem to be available BUT...

Since visiting The Allergy Show this year, I've made a few new finds:

Eskal ice cream cones - blogged about here.

Askey's waffle ice cream cones are also dairy free (but not gluten free)!

Asda's Cup cones are also dairy free!

As ever, this is just what I've discovered. If you know better, or know more, please do share!!

No comments:

Post a Comment