When my proposal for the Foodbuzz 24X24 event was selected, summer had just hit. It’s humid and hot here in Boston. My proposal suggested that it was time for a vegan ice cream event or “V.I.C.E.” as I took to calling it. I loved the idea of covering a traditional topic such as ice cream in the summer but with a vegan spin to show that yes, vegan ice cream is really delicious!
Despite our winters here in the northeast, we New Englanders eat a lot of ice cream. In fact:
“New Englanders [...] consume more ice cream per capita than people in any other region in the country: 22 pints a year, according to Bob Bryson, executive director of the New England Ice Cream Restaurant Association in Merrimack, N.H.”–Jane Roy Brown and Bill Regan, Boston Globe August 28, 2005
This doesn’t surprise me at all. As anyone who grew up in this region can tell you, ice cream has long been a regular part of family and social outings especially in the summer months. Back in the day, whether you and your family were visiting the “big” city of Boston (Boston is small but not to New Englanders!) to watch a Red Sox game and then stop by Bailey’s ice cream parlor or if you were escaping the heat at one of our many lakes in a cabin nestled away in a pine forest, going for an ice cream cone was always a must.
So what to do when you decide to go vegan? Most ice cream places do not serve non-dairy ice cream. There are some vegan ice cream options at markets such as Whole Foods or a local natural foods store. A lot of vegans I know are also quite skillful at making their own ice cream. While it’s great that we have these options, we do miss out on the whole social aspect of going for ice cream as a summer ritual.
I decided to that a vegan ice cream social was a must. Indulgence would be the word of the day. We can go to the gym later, right?! Using Facebook, email and just plain word-of-mouth, I told all the local vegans I knew and they in turn told other vegans. By the end of the last week, we had close to 35 people who wanted to attend. The emails were often cute and would say something like this “Hi Amanda, I’m a friend of X and I heard about your vegan ice cream party. Is it okay if I come and bring my girlfriend/boyfriend/partner/friend.” How could I say no? =)
So let’s get down to business! The ingredients. Nowadays it’s so simple to replace dairy-based ice creams with nut, soy and coconut milks. The result is delicious.
We had some home-crafted vegan ice creams including:
- Mint-chip ice cream with a base of coconut milk and cashews
- Mud pie ice cream also with a base of coconut milk and cashews
- Chocolate hazelnut gelato with a base of almond milk
- Rocky road ice cream made with coconut milk
- Raw “cheesecake” ice cream made with young coconuts
For toppings we had:
- Fudge sauce
- Raspberry wine sauce
- Strawberry sauces
- Peanut butter sauce
- Caramel sauce
- Marshmallow topping
- Chocolate chips
- Crushed sandwich cookies
- Colored and chocolate sprinkles
- Ice cream cones
- Two kinds of whipped cream..a soy and a rice milk based one