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Cold Comfort

Vegan ‘ice cream’ just keeps getting better - now it even comes with added health benefits. 

Firstly excuse the forthcoming inverted commas, but if it looks like ice cream and tastes like ice cream but its vegan, then legally and technically it’s a frozen desert. The term ice cream remains jealously guarded by the dairy industry; just ask Unilever the multinational consumer goods giant, who earlier this year had to market the newly launched vegan version their best-selling Magnum ice cream as a ‘velvety plant-based product’ providing ‘a creamy experience without the need for dairy’. 

Yet despite the clumsy marketing ‘get arounds’ the sheer number of vegan ‘ice cream’ products and companies exploding onto the market in recent years could easily give the impression that vegan ‘ice cream’ is an entirely new product, but the fact dairy-free ‘ice cream’ recipes have been around since at least 1899, when a recipe for a peanut-based ice cream appeared in a Seventh-Day Adventist cookbook. 

However it wasn’t until the 1980’s that vegan ‘ice cream’ hit the mainstream public consciousness, with the soy version Ice Bean and the tofu-based Tofutti hitting sales of 17 million dollars in the US by 1985, spurring a major trend and a host of hopeful competitor brands. By the end of the noughties products containing coconut and cashew milk were confecting a more authentic and even creamier frozen dairy experience. 

Today you can find vegan ‘ice cream’ readily available in most freezer, with everything from almond milk to avocado standing in for traditional cow-juice. However, with so many brands now out there on the market, the choice of ingredients and flavours on offer has become almost as broad the spectrum of quality. Making dairy-free frozen dessert that really does taste like old-fashioned ice-cream, it transpires, takes some serious food-science know-how. 

Cream Of The Crop 

Rich, chewy and cold. According to the experts, this is the holy trinity of attributes necessary for creating the perfect ice-cream experience – and as it turns out, ticking these three crucial boxes without using dairy milk in your recipe is quite a challenge. 

Getting the vegan milk base right is crucial: Do it wrong and you end up with something that's icy and unappetising. "The high water content in many vegan milks is the enemy of the creamy ‘mouthfeel’, non-dairy milks generally have high water content and low fat content, which creates hard, icy crystals when frozen. 

The goal for any ice cream is to evenly distribute tiny crystals of ice as well as air bubbles. The fats and proteins are working together with the air bubbles to create this fluffy, creamy food, which is why milks with a high fat content similar to dairy, such as coconut and cashew, make an excellent base for frozen vegan treats. 

'Ice Cream' That’s Good For You! 

At Maws we’re delighted to supply vegan ‘ice creams’ that not only tick all the boxes above, but are actually good for you too! The frozen desert range from Perfect World have gone a leap beyond delivering an alternative that’s not quite so bad for you, and created products that actually have health benefits, with each tub providing your daily recommended intake of 12 important vitamins and minerals. 

Perfect World ‘ice cream’ benefits equally from what its makers have left out. There’s no added sugar (just what occurs naturally within the selected ingredients), and no egg, gluten, wheat or soy either. At the same time Perfect World have replaced saturated fats with unsaturated fats in their products and use natural Stevia leaf extract to amplify the sweetness of the minimal amount of naturally occurring sugars found in their flavouring ingredients. 

So check out our range of vegan ‘ice creams’ and enjoy a delectable array of flavours, from crunchy caramel pecan to refreshing raspberry ripple, all made by Perfect World, an aptly named brand that’s managed to make a delicious product entirely free from dairy – and guilt too!