On my third year anniversary of living in New York, I would like to dedicate an ode to the best vegan ice cream this wonderful city has to offer. Many of you know that I am lactose-challenged and as you probably also know, I love ice cream. This makes for a challenging scenario, but with some digging, sweet, cool, creamy deliciousness can be found! Below are reviews of what I have enjoyed here.
Right photo courtesy of Kelsey Leland, check out her blog at: http://www.girlwiththecupcaketattoo.com/
You see, I used to be able to eat dairy like a champ. Hot days at the beach in my Southern California hometown would never be complete without some Thrifty’s ice cream, pizza was plentiful and cheddar cheese to complement all the Mexican food was essential. Then came college and my earthy-herbal vegan days where I cut out dairy completely. When I decided I was over it, I tried to go back to my decedent milkshake-loving ways and I quickly realized that I was doomed!! It was a particularly low point in my life. I had indeed become lactose intolerant- joining the ranks of my mom’s side of the family- we would all pay dearly for our cheesecake indulgences on Thanksgivings.
It’s estimated that 75% of adults in the world are lactose intolerant. Your body is missing lactase, which is the enzyme you need to digest lactose. Prior to pasteurization, milk contains lactase but the high heat process of pasteurization destroys it, making it hard for us to digest if we don’t already produce lactase. If you can find a trusted local, raw milk producer, you might not have any reaction at all. (In NYC, it is illegal to sell non-pasteurized milk…but ask around someone might be able to hook you up!)
Lactose intolerance is the heavy, stomachachey feeling you get from eating pizza, cream soup or ice cream. (Lots of bubbles…you know what I’m talking about.) Of course, the severity can vary. If you tune into your body enough, you can start to notice what might bother you the most. The sugar-lactose combo that is found in ice cream is particularly challenging for your body to digest. It might be worthwhile to pay attention to any correlations you notice between symptoms like: stuffy nose, you have to clear your throat a lot (ehem), for kids- if they get ear infections often, asthma, snoring or just tummy aches in general. It might not seem like such a big deal but over the years, I’ve noticed that I get totally grumpy when my stomach hurts, so for me it’s just not worth it to suffer through—especially when there are so many wonderful alternatives!