Vegan Ice Creams to Satisfy Your Dessert Cravings- HealthifyMe


Ice-Cream is a heavily popular frozen food that uses dairy abundantly. Full-fat, skimmed, low-fat: there are several options available in dairy-based ice creams. The nutritional value and overall health benefits of dairy and its products are undebatable. However, There have been certain controversies regarding the disadvantages of consuming dairy. The major problem is that lactose-intolerant individuals cannot consume dairy. In addition, lactose intolerance is highly prevalent. 

A global level meta-analytic study has shown that 65-70% of adults are Lactose-intolerant. Having said all that, replacing dairy and its products with vegan options can benefit multiple people. So here we explore alternatives for one of the most popular dairy products: Ice-Cream. But before that, let’s understand lactose intolerance.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a common condition caused by a decreased ability or inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in dairy products. Symptoms of lactose intolerance may include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and nausea.

According to a study, the simplest way to avoid lactose intolerance is to avoid animal-based dairy and switch to no lactose alternatives. These products are primarily from plants, such as soy, rice, hemp, oat, coconut, almond, and other nuts. However, children comfortable with locatose should consume dairy and its by-products below the age of 8 as it is essential for their development.

Dairy Milk vs Vegan Milk

Dairy and dairy-derived products are standard components of many diets. They are considered highly nutritious and contain various proteins, calcium and other micronutrients like magnesium, potassium, zinc and Vitamin B. The health benefits of dairy food have been a topic of intense interest. Multiple studies show the health benefits of these products. However, there has been a recent debate on the benefits versus disadvantages of dairy and related products. One of the studies indicated the association of dairy and its products with clinical depression. 

Although health implications of diet were limited to the nutritional and caloric composition, newer research has indicated that their action on gut microbiota directly influences the majority of the health outcomes of diet. The human gut microbiome encompasses 1014 resident microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. These organisms reside in the lower and latter parts of the intestine. They act as commensals; they help humans in various biological tasks while obtaining different benefits from humans. These are known as good bacteria. They help in protecting you from harmful bacteria and fungi. The gut microbiota is often referred to as an organ due to these organisms’ unique range of functions.

A study has indicated that gut bacteria help in boosting immunity. The maintenance of barrier functions accomplishes this. Although without the presence of this microflora, the overall immunity of the person is deceased, they also help decrease obesity. Also, gut bacteria can produce nutrients and vitamins, such as folate and vitamin K. Data shows that gut microflora reduces the chances of colon cancer.

Up to date knowledge from research suggests that a plant-based diet may be an effective way to promote gut microflora. For example, consuming unprocessed plant-based milk ensures that it reaches the intestines and helps deliver nutrients to gut microbiota. It also keeps up the energy levels and does not cause symptoms like bloating, diarrhoea, acidity etc. 

One of the best ways to consume them is in the form of ice cream. Therefore, with summer and strong heat waves, who would not like tasty ice creams that are healthy too?  

Best Vegan Ice Creams and Recipes

Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla is one of the basic ice cream flavours. You can serve it with various toppings like fruits and nuts. Also, you can never go wrong with good old vanilla ice cream. The base of this ice cream involves the use of coconut milk. According to research, coconut milk has antioxidant properties which protect DNA and proteins against any oxidative damage. This recipe includes the advantageous antioxidant property of coconut milk.

Ingredients

  • Canned Coconut Milk (Unsweetened): 14 Ounces (400ml) 
  • Tender Coconut Pieces: 1 cup
  • Maple Syrup: ¼ cup (60ml)
  • Vanilla Powder: ½ tsp
  • Vanilla Extract: 2 tsp

Method

  • Freeze your bowl before you start the preparation of your vegan ice cream. It helps in the proper setting of the ice cream.
  • Take a bowl and add 400 ml of coconut milk.
  • Then add, 60 ml of maple syrup and half tsp of vanilla powder.
  • Place this mixture on heat and bring it to a simmer. Make sure to keep stirring it to avoid burning the milk.
  • Add Vanilla extract after this mixture cools down.
  • Now transfer this mixture into a blender and blend it for about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in chopped coconut pieces and put the mixture in the container and freeze it overnight.
  • You can scoop out and serve or if you want soft serve then put this mixture into an ice cream maker and churn it out as per the instructions of your ice cream maker.
  • After reaching the consistency of a soft serve, you can place it in the freezer and serve it whenever required.
  • You can serve with toppings of your choice.

Vegan Cashew Ice Cream

This vegan cashew ice cream recipe requires you to start from scratch. In addition, this recipe requires you to make homemade cashew milk, as the homemade version is incredibly creamy, healthy and tasty. According to a study, cashew is beneficial in reducing diabetes mellitus and is a source of good fats. It is also highly nutritional.

Ingredients for Cashew Milk (2 cups)

Raw Cashews (soaked in hot water for one hour): ¾ cup (150g) 

Water: 1 cup (270ml)

Ingredients for the Cashew Ice Cream

  • Homemade Cashew Milk: 2 cups (480ml)
  • Homemade cashew paste or cashew butter – 1 cup
  • Cacao powder – 1 -2 tbsp (as per taste)
  • Homemade Dates Puree – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Salt: 1 tsp

Method (Cashew Milk)

  • Start the process by making cashew milk. 
  • To make it, put some cashews in hot water for an hour. 
  • Leave them to soak for 1 hour and then drain them. 
  • Add these cashews to the blender and blend them into thick and creamy cashew milk. 
  • You can add a little bit of water to decrease the thickness if required. 

Method (Ice Cream)

  • Add cashew milk, cashew paste in a mixing bowl and mix them well.
  • Add water to  a pan and heat it. 
  • Stir it continuously and dates puree, cacao powder and salt.
  • Pour this mixture into the cashew milk mixture and mix well.
  • Once cools down, put them in the blender until everything is blended correctly together. Place this mixture in the refrigerator overnight. 
  • The next day churn this mixture in the ice-cream machine until it reaches soft-serve consistency. Then, you can place it in a box and freeze it until it sets.
  • When the ice cream is set, serve it with toppings.

Tip: For more variations you can use almonds or pistachios instead cashews for different vegan nuts milk base ice cream preparation.

Vegan Avocado Ice Cream

Avocados are rich, smooth and creamy, making them a perfect ice cream choice. In addition, a study has indicated that avocado reduces the incidence of cardiac disease. They are also an excellent source of good fats.

Ingredients

  • Unsweetened Soy Milk: 400 ml
  • Raw honey: 1/4 cup
  • Lemon Juice: 1 tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp
  • Salt: ½ tsp 
  • Medium Ripe Avocados Peeled and deseeded: 3 

Method

  • At least the night before, place the bowl of your ice cream maker in the freezer to freeze. When your ice cream maker bowl is frozen, proceed with the recipe.
  • Place the soy milk and raw honey, lemon juice, vanilla, salt and avocados into the blender jug.
  • Blend until smooth. Transfer to your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer instructions until it reaches soft-serve consistency. Depending on your ice cream maker, this could take 20-45 minutes.
  • Once it reaches soft-serve consistency, transfer the ice cream to a loaf pan and smoothen it down.
  • Cover and place into the freezer for several hours until completely set.
  • Scoop and serve.

Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

No ice cream list is complete without including chocolate. Chocolate is incredibly decadent and has many health benefits. For example, a study gave cacao fruits the distinction of super fruit as it has the highest antioxidant properties. Another research indicated that cacao powder improved blood flow and decreased blood pressure. So it is a win-win situation.

Ingredients 

  • Unsweetened Oats milk: 400 ml
  • Frozen Banana: 1 cup
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: ⅔ cup (57g) 
  • Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp 
  • Vegan 80% Dark Chocolate: 7 ounces (200g)

Method

  • Take a bowl, add 400ml oats milk cocoa powder to a pot and place it on heat.
  • You’ll need to whisk or stir it with a hand whisk to mix everything in properly. 
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
  • Now, break the dark chocolate into pieces and add, and leave them to melt. You can whisk it in when the chocolate softens.
  • Add frozen banana and blend this mixture in the blender until you obtain a smooth consistency. 
  • Transfer this mixture into a container and place it in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day, transfer this mix into the ice cream machine and churn until it reaches soft-serve consistency. 
  • Make sure that the ice cream is light and fluffy.
  • Smooth it down with a spoon and place it into the freezer to set it entirely before serving.
  • Serve with toppings of your choice.

If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can take it out after freezing it once. Then, beat it with a spoon or hand beater and refreeze it. Repeat the process a couple of times to get a creamy consistency.

The Bottom Line

Vegan options of food have been gaining popularity. Vegan milk is being opted over dairy to deal with lactose intolerance and allergy problems. The vegan dairy products are better for gut microbiota as they strive for foods that can reach the end of the intestine. Vegan ice creams have a positive effect on your Body Mass index. They also help in reducing acne outbreaks. These ice creams are suitable for people with lactose intolerance and those looking to reduce weight.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How many probiotics should a woman take daily?

Although there are variations of dosages based on the product, the most agreed-upon value is 10-20 billion colony forming units (CFU) per day are sufficient for maintaining immune and digestive health. Consulting healthcare professionals is better to understand your specific requirement.  

2. What happens when you stop taking probiotics?

When you stop taking probiotics, your gut bacteria return to their previous state. The effect likely wears off within 1 to 3 weeks after you stop taking them.  

3. Can I take probiotics with vitamins?

Yes. You can take probiotics along with vitamins. There are no studies indicating the effect of probiotics on other supplements. Also, probiotics are potent and can be called supplements on their own. 

4. Can probiotics cause anxiety?

According to research, probiotics alter mood sensations by regulating the microbial-gut-brain axis. However, there was no statistically significant effect of probiotics on the state of anxiety. Probiotics can treat major psychiatric disorders, including anxiety disorders. 

5. Do prebiotics make you fart?

Putting in prebiotics can make you fart a lot in the first few days. It can be due to the probiotic providing raw material for the bacteria to work. It is one of the side effects of prebiotics, along with bloating. However, it usually decreases after the establishment of balance. 

6. What are the dangers of prebiotics?

Prebiotics are certainly not appropriate for everyone and can worsen symptoms of disorders like irritable bowel and inflammatory bowel syndrome. In addition, they can cause gas, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation in some people.  

7. How long does it take for probiotics to work?

If you are taking high quality and multistrain supplements, you can expect to notice initial improvements and health benefits of probiotics in your digestion. You can see it as early as the first 1-2 weeks after starting your probiotic. After that, there might be a few differences based on your sensitivity. 

8. Do prebiotics help you lose weight?

Prebiotics, whether consumed on their own or combined with probiotics, can be an essential part of a comprehensive weight-loss strategy. Also, this is because they have a significant effect on metabolism and reduce conditions responsible for weight gain like Diabetes mellitus. 

9. How long should you take probiotics?

It might take at least four weeks for probiotics to act at the recommended dose. However, there might be a variation based on your sensitivity to these bacteria. 

10. Should you take probiotics every day?

Yes, you must take probiotics daily. However, it’s safe as they are natural supplements and are usually taken 1-2 times a day.

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