is vegan ice cream lactose free

Your Complete Guide to Is Vegan Ice Cream Lactose-Free

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Updated on February 25, 2024

Imagine a world where you can indulge in the creamy delight of ice cream, the sweet symphony of flavours dancing on your tongue, without the dreaded consequences of lactose intolerance. Sounds too good to be true? Well, hold onto your spoons because the world of vegan ice cream might just be your sweet salvation!

This article dives into the delicious dilemma of “Is vegan ice cream lactose-free?” by exploring the connection between these two seemingly opposite concepts, offering hope for those who yearn for a guilt-free scoop of frozen happiness. 

We’ll delve into the reasons why vegan ice cream is inherently lactose-free, explore the diverse world of plant-based kinds of milk that create unique flavour experiences, and even answer burning questions like “Can vegans eat lactose-free ice cream?” 

So grab a napkin (because drool is inevitable!), and let’s embark on this delicious journey together!

Decoding Vegan and Lactose-Free: Unveiling the Connection

A colourful vegan ice cream bowl surrounded by fruits and flowers.

Before diving into the creamy world of vegan ice cream, let’s take a quick crash course on understanding “vegan” and “lactose-free.” This understanding will be crucial in deciphering their connection and how it relates to your ice cream cravings.

Vegan: Embracing a Plant-Based Lifestyle

The term “vegan” refers to a lifestyle choice and dietary philosophy that strictly excludes all animal products from one’s diet. This goes beyond just avoiding meat and poultry, encompassing dairy products like milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, and honey. 

Vegans choose this approach for various reasons, including ethical concerns surrounding animal welfare, environmental sustainability, and potential health benefits.

Going vegan essentially means embracing a plant-based diet, focusing on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Vegans often seek plant-based alternatives for commonly consumed animal products to fulfil dietary needs. 

For instance, plant-based bowls of milk made from soy, almonds, coconut, and oats have become popular substitutes for cow’s milk.

Lactose Intolerance: When Lactose Disrupts the Digestive Party

Lactose intolerance, on the other hand, is a digestive issue affecting individuals who lack sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase. Lactase is vital for breaking down lactose, the sugar naturally found in milk and other dairy products.

When someone with lactose intolerance consumes dairy, undigested lactose remains in the digestive tract, leading to unpleasant symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhoea.

Therefore, individuals with lactose intolerance must either strictly avoid dairy products or find alternatives that contain minimal or no lactose. This is where the connection between veganism and lactose-free options becomes intriguing. 

By understanding the different aspects of these terms, we can now explore whether vegan ice cream is a lactose-free solution for ice cream lovers with lactose intolerance.

Why Vegan Ice Cream Is Lactose-Free

Vegan ice cream is lactose-free because it contains no milk or milk-derived ingredients. Instead of cow’s milk, vegan ice creams are made with plant-based milk like almond, coconut, or soy.

These dairy alternatives don’t have lactose, making them suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. So, if you’re looking for a frozen treat that won’t upset your stomach or cause any discomfort, vegan ice cream is a great choice!

Dairy Ice Cream Without Lactose

So, there is a kind of ice cream without lactose. Makers use an enzyme called lactase to take out the lactose from dairy products. The taste stays the same, but no more tummy troubles! There’s no milk protein, so it’s safe for those intolerant to lactose.

Dairy ice cream without lactose lets everyone enjoy this sweet treat!

Dairy-Free Ice Cream

Dairy-free ice cream is a tasty choice for many people. It doesn’t have any milk or lactose in it. This makes it good for people who can’t eat dairy foods. There’s a lot of types you can buy! Some are made from nuts, some from soy and others from fruits.

Coconut-based ice creams use fats from the coconut instead of dairy fats to make them thick and rich. Not all non-dairy ice creams are healthy, though.

You should check the ingredients list before buying them to ensure they’re not too high in sugar or fat.

Nut-Free Vegan Ice Cream

You can try nut-free vegan ice cream. It is tasty and safe for people with nut allergies. This type of ice cream uses plant-based ingredients instead of milk or nuts. Some brands like Oatly Ice Cream are even free from gluten and soy! So, they work great for those who cannot have dairy products or anyone following a vegan lifestyle.

You get the same sweet taste as regular ice cream without worrying about lactose or nuts.

Fruit-Based Frozen Treats

Fruit-based frozen treats are a sweet joy. These are made from fruit juice or puree. They can be great for both vegans and those who avoid lactose. Take care, though! Some use yoghurt or other dairy items.

So, always check the label before you eat them. Sorbet and Italian Ice are good picks if you want to play it safe. They have no dairy in them at all! On the other hand, Sherbet might have some dairy in it, so it’s a good idea not to pick that one unless the label says otherwise.

A cool treat should never cause a sweat about what’s inside!


Sorbets are a great choice for those who can’t have lactose. They are made of fruit and water, with no dairy in them at all. This makes sorbets vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free too.

Graeter’s Ice Cream Shops make some really good ones you should try. Their sorbets have tart flavours because they are more acidic and don’t use any dairy products. But be careful not to mix up Sherbet with sorbets! Sherbet has milk or cream in it, which means it’s not safe for vegans or people intolerant to lactose.

Lactose-Free Gelato

Gelato is a type of ice cream that comes from Italy. It usually has milk in it, which means it has lactose too. But, some types of gelato do not have any lactose in them.

One such brand is O’My Dairy-Free Gelato. This brand uses coconut cream to make their gelato without any dairy.

Talenti is another popular gelato brand. They also offer options for people who can’t eat or don’t want to eat lactose. I enjoy these ones as they taste good and don’t upset my belly! So you see, even if you can’t have or don’t want lactose, you can still enjoy a sweet treat like gelato!

Dairy-free Ice cream

Exploring Plant-Based Milks in Vegan Ice Cream

Now that we’ve cracked the code on vegan and lactose-free, it’s time to delve into the delicious world of vegan ice cream! But what exactly makes it lactose-free? The answer lies in the magic of plant-based milks, which take centre stage in creating this creamy, dairy-free treat. 

Let’s explore four popular plant-based milk options and how they contribute to the unique flavour profiles of vegan ice cream:

1. Coconut Milk

Coconut milk, derived from the white flesh of mature coconuts, boasts a naturally sweet and slightly nutty flavour. This versatile ingredient adds a tropical touch to vegan ice cream, making it suitable for flavours like mango, pineapple, or chocolate chip. 

Additionally, coconut milk’s creamy texture contributes to the frozen treat’s overall richness and smoothness. However, it’s important to note that full-fat coconut milk can be higher in calories than other plant-based milk options.

2. Almond Milk

Almond milk is a fantastic choice for those seeking a subtler and slightly sweet flavour. Almond milk is made from ground almonds and water; this plant-based milk pairs beautifully with various flavour profiles, from classic vanilla and chocolate to fruity options like strawberry or cherry. 

Its mild flavour allows other ingredients like fruit purees and chocolate chips to shine, creating a balanced and refreshing taste experience. However, individuals with nut allergies should be cautious and opt for alternative plant-based milks due to potential allergic reactions.

3. Soy Milk

Soy milk, derived from soybeans, offers a neutral flavour profile with a slightly creamy texture, making it a versatile base for various ice cream flavours. Its ability to blend seamlessly with other ingredients allows for a wide range of flavour creativity, from classic cookies and cream to more adventurous choices like matcha or peanut butter. 

Additionally, compared to other plant-based milks, soy milk generally contains more protein, making it a potentially appealing option for those seeking additional nutrients in their frozen treat. However, some individuals may find soy milk’s mild “beany” flavour less desirable, highlighting the importance of individual taste preferences.

4. Oat Milk

Oat milk, the recent darling of the plant-based world, is quickly gaining popularity due to its naturally sweet and slightly creamy texture. This oat-based milk creates a smooth and rich mouthfeel in vegan ice cream, making it a perfect choice for classic flavours like vanilla bean or chocolate fudge. 

Additionally, oat milk tends to be naturally thicker than other plant-based milk options, potentially contributing to a more decadent and luxurious ice cream experience. However, like soy milk, some individuals may find the subtle oat flavour less appealing, emphasising the importance of exploring different options to find your personal favourite.

Benefits of Vegan Ice Cream

While the primary focus of this article is explaining the connection between vegan ice cream and its lactose-free nature, it’s important to acknowledge that this delicious alternative offers additional benefits beyond catering specifically to lactose intolerance. Here are some additional points to consider:

1. Potential Health Advantages

  • Lower Saturated Fat: Compared to traditional dairy ice cream, vegan options often contain less saturated fat, which can benefit heart health. Plant-based milk alternatives like almond or soy milk typically have lower saturated fat content than whole milk used in conventional ice cream.
  • Increased Fiber Intake: Depending on the specific ingredients, some vegan ice cream options might be naturally higher in fibre due to the use of ingredients like fruits or nuts. This can contribute to improved digestion and satiety.
  • Potential for Added Nutrients: Certain brands of vegan ice cream may be fortified with additional nutrients like vitamins, minerals, or probiotics, which can offer further health benefits.

2. Environmental Impact

The production of dairy products, particularly milk, has a significant environmental footprint. Choosing vegan ice cream can contribute to a smaller carbon footprint and reduced water usage associated with dairy farming.

3. Ethical Considerations

For individuals who choose a vegan lifestyle for ethical reasons, opting for vegan ice cream aligns with their values of minimising animal exploitation and promoting animal welfare.

4. Delicious and Diverse Flavors

The world of vegan ice cream is no longer limited to basic options! Today, a vast array of delicious and exciting flavours are available, catering to various tastes. 

From classic vanilla and chocolate to adventurous choices like salted caramel or matcha, vegan ice cream offers everyone a delicious and satisfying alternative.

5. Suitable for Lactose-Intolerant Individuals

If you’re lactose intolerant, vegan ice cream is a great option for you. It doesn’t contain any dairy products, so that it won’t cause discomfort or digestive issues. You can enjoy delicious frozen treats without worrying about the lactose in regular ice cream.

Vegan ice cream is made with plant-based ingredients like coconut milk or almond milk, which are lactose-free alternatives to cow’s milk. So, if you want to indulge in a tasty dessert without worrying about lactose intolerance, try vegan ice cream!

Popular Vegan Ice Cream Brands and Options

The world of vegan ice cream has exploded in recent years, offering a wide variety of delicious and creamy options for everyone to enjoy. Here are some popular brands and their delightful offerings:

Ben & Jerry’s non-dairy ice cream

It’s a great option for those who can’t have dairy or are following a vegan diet. This non-dairy ice cream is made with almond milk or sunflower butter; these flavours are certified vegan and contain no eggs.

There are 19 delicious options to choose from, including classics like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cherry Garcia. The best part is that they’re made with high-quality ingredients, so you still get that creamy and indulgent taste without any dairy.

It’s a must-try for anyone looking for a tasty and cruelty-free treat!

So Delicious Snickerdoodle vegan ice cream

It’s one of many favourite dairy-free options. Made with cashew milk, it’s delicious and lactose-free, making it a great choice for people with lactose intolerance.

The brand is certified vegan by Vegan Action, so you can indulge knowing it’s cruelty-free and suitable for those following a plant-based lifestyle. With its creamy texture and wonderful flavour, So Delicious Snickerdoodle vegan ice cream is definitely worth trying!

Coconut Bliss Cherry Amaretto vegan ice cream

Coconut Bliss Cherry Amaretto vegan ice cream is a delicious dairy-free frozen dessert that you’ll definitely love. It’s made with cherries swirled in an aromatic blend, giving it a delightful taste.

The best part? It’s low glycemic, gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan-friendly! You can enjoy this sweet treat without worrying about any allergens or animal products. Coconut Bliss is a well-known brand offering amazing vegan ice cream options for those looking for a dairy alternative.

So grab a spoon and indulge in the creamy goodness of Coconut Bliss Cherry Amaretto vegan ice cream!


Yes, vegan ice cream is lactose-free. It is made without any dairy ingredients, so it’s safe for those who are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy. With its plant-based milk alternatives and delicious flavours, vegan ice cream offers a tasty and guilt-free treat for everyone to enjoy.


Is vegan ice cream lactose-free?

Yes, vegan ice cream is lactose-free as it is made from plant-based ingredients and contains no dairy products.

What are the main ingredients in vegan ice cream?

The main ingredients in vegan ice cream are typically non-dairy alternatives such as almond, coconut, or soy milk. Other ingredients can include sweeteners, flavours, and add-ins like fruits or nuts.

Can people with lactose intolerance enjoy vegan ice cream?

Yes, people with lactose intolerance can enjoy vegan ice cream without experiencing any discomfort since it does not contain lactose.

Does vegan ice cream taste different from regular ice cream?

Vegan ice cream may have a slightly different taste and texture than regular dairy ice cream due to the use of plant-based ingredients. However, wide varieties offer delicious flavours that vegans and non-vegans enjoy.

Where can I find vegan ice cream?

Vegan ice creams are available at most grocery stores that carry speciality or health food products. You can also find them at certain cafes, dessert shops, or online retailers specialising in plant-based foods.

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