By Alisa Fleming, www.GoDairyFree.org ~ Several years ago, when I experienced my first soy-based ice cream (from Turtle Mountain in fact) I wondered why soy in particular was used. Don’t get me wrong; it was love at first bite. Yet, with all of the soy controversy floating around, since some people are allergic or intolerant to soy, and since that little bean really isn’t very high in fat, I wondered why they didn’t use coconut milk instead of soymilk. I have always been a fan of coconut; its creamy capabilities rival if not top milk in my personal opinion. But, with little imagination and no ice cream maker at my disposal, I would have to wait a few years for someone else to give it a shot …
Well, the time finally arrived last year … in the form of Coconut Bliss. I was excited by its arrival, but still could not access a taste … their distribution was limited and did not include my state. But now, at long last, the company that makes dairy-free living so easy has arrived on the scene with a coconut milk-based ice cream ready to be shipped to stores nationally! That’s right; Turtle Mountain has created their new line (be prepared, this is a mouthful in itself) … Purely Decadent made with Coconut Milk Organic Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert. And I must say, I am impressed.
Not only is this yummy “ice cream” dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan, but it is also downright virtuous. The ingredients are simple (aka legible), with only use agave nectar to sweeten this creamy treat. Plus, if you are like me, following the notion that coconut milk is a health food, then yes, this new “ice cream” could be considered a healthy snack … but it sure doesn’t taste healthy!
Though I would normally reach for the vanilla flavor first, I found myself bowing to my chocoholic husband’s cravings for our initial taste test of this new frozen dessert. My ice cream scoop slid with ease through what must be the creamiest non-dairy ice cream available. I shoveled out a beautiful, ice cream parlor worthy scoop, which is almost unheard of for me. My ravenous husband reached for the first bowl, and almost immediately proclaimed, “It tastes like a coconut fudgcicle!” He was so right; I really couldn’t imagine a better description. The taste was pure, creamy, soft, flowing, and rich in cocoa, but with that definite coconut backdrop.
I admit, if you aren’t a fan of coconut at all, the subtle coconut flavor may not be to your liking, but if hints of coconut are no problem for you, then you may very well have discovered the perfect ice cream, because I have.
Considering the extreme creamy indulgence factor, the fat is quite reasonable, and the sugars are relatively low. Since it is made with coconut milk, I actually feared an ice cream that might be too rich for my taste buds, which haven’t tasted the likes of a dense Breyer’s in many years. But, it was actually a unique blend of very creamy and very refreshing. I felt quite fulfilled after a scoop (or two), but I didn’t feel weighed down in the slightest, and my stomach was actually quite happy.
I peeled back the lid of the vanilla pint to discover the purest shade of white I had ever laid eyes on in an “ice cream.” Most vanillas are a bit yellowed, but this looked like a cloud of whipped cream with natural vanilla bean flecks. Definitely inviting.
The vanilla had the same wonderful texture as the chocolate, but it was a bit softer. Literally melting on my tongue, it was also a luxurious mix of creamy and refreshing, not the least bit heavy, but oh so smooth. Just as it looked, the texture was also reminiscent of whipped cream. Gone are the days of icy hard dairy-free ice creams!
Yet, I never realized how coconut, coconut milk really is until I tasted this vanilla. I would hesitate to call it just vanilla, but rather I might rename it vanilla-coconut. Both flavors equally shared time and united in the spotlight. Once again, this ice cream may not ideal for the coconut averse, but it was quite delicious according to my taste buds.
Noting a mild coconut flavor in both the chocolate and vanilla, I was curious how they would make the actual coconut flavor really stand out … but it did! This one is for true coconut fans (such as myself) or someone seeking to create that perfect pina colada. Though a bit thicker than the vanilla, it was still insanely soft and creamy, with giant shreds of coconut throughout! There was no tainting with those pesky vanilla or chocolate flavors, the Purely Decadent Coconut made with Coconut Milk, is just that, coconut with coconut added. I loved it! The purity was so wonderfully inviting.
For some reason, all three of these new coconut ice cream flavors seemed to be shouting for an ice cream cookie sandwich or an ice cream pie. Perhaps because they are so soft and well suited for spreading, with a pleasant, easy going flavor.
There are two other flavors, and both have my curiosity peaked … Cookie Dough and Mint Chip. At first glance the idea of mint and coconut sounded odd, but then I remembered the Mint Coconut Crispy Cat Bar and how heavenly it was. Now I must get this flavor!
Turtle Mountain’s new Coconut Milk Frozen Desserts should be hitting ice cream and frozen natural food shelves around the U.S. very soon, so keep your eyes open and visit the Turtle Mountain website for more information.