Dairy Free Yogurt + Nice Cream

Being vegan or dairy free is a far stretch from having to kiss your yogurt and ice cream loving days goodbye. A few years ago I had major FOMO that it seemed like Manhattan was the only place I could get my ice cream fix without compromising my lactose sensitive diet. Now delicious tasting vegan ice cream is no longer hard to find, but instead hard to decide where to begin.

Yogurt options have also expanded and improved vastly over the past few years. When I first eliminated my daily Greek yogurt from my diet, I was disappointed with the dairy free alternatives. Recently I have rekindled my love of yogurt with some great new vegan options. Here are my favorites based on taste and ingredients. 

NICE CREAM

Banana "whips" from HipCityVeg located in Philly and DC

Banana "whips" from HipCityVeg located in Philly and DC

Washington DC/Philly Winner

HipCityVeg- HipCityVeg is DC and Philly's By Chef Chloe. The entire menu is vegan and delicious. Their banana "whips" are customizable sundaes made with just banana. They also serve a milkshake made with soy ice cream.  

Vegan Banana Nut, Salted Caramel and PB Chocolate Chip with Cacao Nibs at Van Leeuwen

Vegan Banana Nut, Salted Caramel and PB Chocolate Chip with Cacao Nibs at Van Leeuwen

NYC/LA Winner

Van Leeuwen- In the cities of endless dairy free ice cream options, this one takes the cake (or cone in this instance). The consistency of their vegan ice creams taste almost identical to regular ice creams and their flavors are top notch. With a list ranging from salted caramel (my fave) to banana nut, there's something for everyone. In addition to weekly regular ice cream flavors, they have a special vegan flavor. The best part is the fact that they have scoop truck locations that serve their vegan flavors as well! 

Gluten free brownies in vegan banana based chocolate ice cream perfection

Gluten free brownies in vegan banana based chocolate ice cream perfection

Midwest Winner

Nana CremeThis awesome banana based vegan ice cream line has ice cream, cookie dough and ice cream cookie sandwiches available in organic grocery stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Missouri, as well as online. I am currently obsessed with their Brownie Nana Creme. 

Online Winner

DF Mavens- this former NYC storefront has their delicious almond, coconut or soy based dessert bars or pints available online for purchase  

Nationwide Grocery Stores Winner 

Coconut Bliss- of all of the lines that seem to be commonly available in most Whole Foods I have been to, this is by far the best ingredients and flavors. My favorite is their chocolate chip cookie pint. 

Just a few frozen bananas + peanut butter and cacao nibs 

Just a few frozen bananas + peanut butter and cacao nibs 

DIY

Yonanas- This device makes helps you turn froze fruit and your choice of condiments into a bowl of nice cream. I love mixing frozen bananas, raw peanut butter and topping it with cacao nibs. 

YOGURT

  • Kite Hill- Kite Hill yogurts are made with almond milk and are completely dairy free. The pros of this brand are the consistency which is similar to regular yogurt. Another pro is that they are made with probiotic cultures, which are great for digestive health. The reason I have not stuck to this brand as my go-to yogurt is because all of their yogurts, including the plain one, are made with cane sugar. I do not think yogurt needs sugar, but a healthier alternative would be to add raw honey to yogurt.
  • So Delicious- So Delicious has majorly improved their yogurt. I tried it years ago and was not a fan, but decided to give it another go recently. I love the unsweetened coconut yogurt. They have different flavors, but the unsweetened option has minimal sugar and tastes coconutty with a great consistency. 

 

Sakara Life- Is it Worth it?

Read below about my amazing experience with Sakara Life, an expertly chef created "organic meal delivery program based on the science behind a plant-rich, gluten-free, superfood diet." Follow my special link for $50.00 off your first order! 💚

This was mine and my husband's first week, but we will definitely be ordering again!

This was mine and my husband's first week, but we will definitely be ordering again!

Sakara Life meals are all Plant-Based and packed with protein

Sakara Life meals are all Plant-Based and packed with protein

I forget how I first heard about Sakara Life, but I think it was right when they began delivering to DC. I was so tempted to try the Plant-Based, Vegan, Gluten-free meal delivery service. I was shocked that food that met all of those strict dietary standards could look and sound so incredibly delicious. At the time, I felt it wasn't worth it because living in DuPont Cicle, I had tons of equally delicious and healthy counter restaurants that had pick up and deliver. 

Now, living in Louisville, we have less options for healthy and quick meals. That was part of my motivation. The other parts were that I wanted some ideas and inspiration for plant-based eating and I also wanted a break from cooking 3 meals a day every week for a while. 

I will detail the Sakara Life meals' pros and cons. I recommend it for anyone who is trying to learn how to or try to eat plant-based meals, food snobs who want to try healthy food that is actually beautiful and delicious, and those who do not have time to make or local businesses that create on the go healthy meals. 

The Earth Bowl and The Med Bowl- two of our favorite meals from the week

The Earth Bowl and The Med Bowl- two of our favorite meals from the week

Love the Botanical Bodies campaign. I am always trying to improve my digestive health.

Love the Botanical Bodies campaign. I am always trying to improve my digestive health.

The Pros:

  • Everything came packaged perfectly. All items were intact and cold when they were delivered. The containers kept parts of the meal separate to ensure freshness.

  • It came with morning rose and mineral, as well as night chlorella water. It also was a special promo that came with Sakara Life probiotics. There were packets of two detox teas for each day, which I absolutely loved and want to re-order.

  • I thought I would have to supplement the meals a lot more than I did. I kept some fresh, raw fruits and veggies to snack on or add to some of the meals, but was always satiated and happy with how they came.

  • The meals are probably enough food for most men as well. My husband who runs 7 miles and goes to Crossfit every day did it with me. He likes having eggs for breakfast so he stuck with that and had his breakfast pastries/granola as desserts after dinner. I thought I would have to add extra protein to his meals for him, but he didn't need it. I think he is the exception since he burns so many calories, but most men could probably stick with the breakfast as is.

  • The meals were all beautiful, colorful and tasty. A couple of them surprised me. I saw them in the package and wasn't sure how they would taste, but once I put everything together it all made sense.

  • The dressings are what really make it taste so good. Their homemade dressings taste like they should be bad for you but are quite healthy for the most part.

  • Community support is another great aspect of joining Sakara Life meal delivery. I posted many of the meals on social media and received supportive comments from others doing the program and the founders themselves.

  • I like how it indicates which meals taste better heated. I rearranged the meals based on which ones I would be able to heat in a toaster or not (not necessary to heat though).

  • Each item tells some interesting fact or quote that has to do with whatever superfood is in the meal.

  • The food was all creative and really different. Instead of avocado toast there was a cool turmeric and beet toast. Instead of plain almond milk for the granola, there was green spirulina mylk.

The meals came packed perfectly, organized and intact with plenty of reusable ice packs

The meals came packed perfectly, organized and intact with plenty of reusable ice packs

This meal was the most creative (Asparagus/Turmeric/Beet toast) and surprisingly delicious

This meal was the most creative (Asparagus/Turmeric/Beet toast) and surprisingly delicious

By far my favorite breakfast. Both the spirulina mylk and the  goji berry granola  were awesome.

By far my favorite breakfast. Both the spirulina mylk and the goji berry granola were awesome.

The Cons:

  • Some meals needed slight supplements (not necessary though). I added fresh berries to each breakfast and cucumbers/tomatoes to a couple of the salads. For people like my husband, you may have to add more protein to your breakfast.

  • Some of the dressings had added sugar. I can only recall one or two that had straight up sugar and a couple that had more natural forms like maple syrup. I usually make my own dressings and do not add sugar to them. It can make them taste better, but I don think it's necessary if you add enough other flavors.

Overall, I would say that Sakara Life was totally worth it! The meals were great and packed with superfoods and nutrients. They were easy to take on the go, and saved so much time not having to "meal prep" or cook breakfast/dinner that week. It was fun doing it as a household with my husband, so we could both still eat the same dinner and reap the benefits of having some extra time! We will probably try to do Sakara meals once a month or so when we have a really busy week. 

The breakfasts were great, but I needed to add fresh berries to mine for it to be complete.

The breakfasts were great, but I needed to add fresh berries to mine for it to be complete.

My husband loved Sakara Life and only had to supplement the breakfast meals

My husband loved Sakara Life and only had to supplement the breakfast meals