Friday, June 7, 2013

Field Report: Vegan Ice Cream: Say It Ain't Soy ('Cuz it Ain't)

I feel healthier just looking at their color palette.
My friend Rob Putnam submits his review (and photos) of KindKreme in Los Angeles. With a diet that has been free of refined sugar for 20+ years (KindKreme uses agave) and vegetarian for 18+ years, Rob is the man to listen to when it comes to the healthy side of dessert. 

Chris Rock once quipped "You could drive a car with your feet if you want to. That don't make it a good f@!#ing idea." Fortunately, the same general notion doesn't apply to vegan ice cream. It can be done and, no, it isn't a good idea. It's a great idea. 

Last week I strode into KindKreme in Pasadena, which is all vegan, all awesome. It's like real (i.e. dairy) ice cream only healthier, with most of the flavor and none of the insulin shock. I sampled four flavors: honey blueberry, Mexican chocolate and the soft serve chocolate and coconut. The blueberry flavors were subtle, the sweetness understated. It simply tasted and felt healthier. I didn't feel the heaviness or bipolar blood sugar fluctuations that often follows fraternization with the real deal.

Coconut-chocolate swirl.
While everything I tried was fantastic, the soft serve flavors were the standouts, coconut in particular. It was so good that I was surprised it was available without a prescription.*

Note that KindKreme variously uses coconut or almond milk and/or cashews for its base. As a longtime vegetarian with vegan sympathies, I'm accustomed to such shadings. Non-believers be advised: objects in cooler are more vegan than they appear. That is, the flavors aren't exceptionally social and may make a poor first impression, especially if you typically hang with a dairy crowd. But given time, neophytes will find them friendly enough. Amiable, even.

A word of warning: unlike its prices, KindKreme's servings fall on the small side. A single scoop comes in at $3.99, $4.99 for soft serve. No surprise, then, that so many vegans are thin. But consider the advantages of the higher price. Then buy it anyway. Because you deserve it.

*Check local laws in your area.

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