If you can’t live without ice cream, but you’re trying to adopt healthier eating habits, then you’ll be happy to know you can indeed enjoy the treat without the guilt. Here are four vegan and/or fruit-based options.
THE STORY When co-founder Kippy Miller discovered that adding raw coconut cream to her diet helped to ward off the migraine headaches she’d been suffering from, she started experimenting with using it as a base ingredient for non-dairy ice cream. In 2013, she and her business partner Max Wolf opened Kippy’s Ice Cream Shop in Venice, California, and in late 2015 their branch in Tokyo’s Sendagaya neighborhood followed.
WHY WE LOVE THEM Besides being delicious and creamy enough to pass for the real deal, Kippy’s ice cream is raw, organic, non-dairy, and sweetened with raw honey or dates. The team makes everything by hand, even draining, cracking, and shredding the organic coconuts themselves.
WHAT TO TRY If you love the taste of coconut, you’re in for a treat as any of the 11 flavors will go down well. Alternatively, go for coffee or cinnamon blends, and top with honey salted caramel sauce and spiced pecans. ¥500-¥900, ¥100 per topping.
Brown Sugar 1st
THE STORY If you’re always on the lookout for quality coconut-based products, you’ve most probably noticed Brown Sugar 1st’s range of products popping up on the shelves of health shops and Natural Lawson. Founder Midori Ogina started off small in 2011 with the desire to provide her children with natural, healthy sweets. In June 2016, she opened her first store in Harajuku, which sells the full line, including coconut sugar, oil, and nectar, and also boasts an ice cream bar.
WHY WE LOVE THEM Now, about that ice cream: It’s organic, vegan, soy-free, and made with coconut milk as a base. They test each recipe for quality and taste in-house, ensuring that the flavor will appeal even to those who are not specifically looking for vegan options.
WHAT TO TRY There are six flavors to choose from, but we go for the mint chocolate chip every time. ¥320-¥400.
THE STORY This brand combines two trends in one: vegetable ice cream, which became popular in Tokyo a couple of years ago, and vegan menus. We like how they’ve quietly built a following from their store in the backstreets of Okayama in Meguro.
WHY WE LOVE THEM Not a coconut fan? Then Mihane’s vegan ice cream blend will probably suit you best as it’s made from a base of low-fat brown rice milk. It’s sweetened with 100% organic agave nectar. Other ingredients include fruit, vegetables, nuts, and herbs, making it highly nutritious too. Best of all, you can order the ice cream in tubs from their online store.
WHAT TO TRY There’s always a lineup of interesting flavors including pumpkin, carrot, and even tomato, so try something different and go for a veggie ice cream. ¥290-¥830.
THE STORY The idea behind Paletas’ popsicles was to find a unique way to enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables. The name and concept was inspired by Mexican ice pops, which are called paletas, and are famed for their unusual mix of light and refreshing ingredients. The brand’s first store opened in Kamakura in 2013, and they now have Tokyo branches in Daikanyama, Roppongi, and Kichijoji.
WHY WE LOVE THEM There are so many flavors to choose from that you could buy a different one every day of the month. The ingredients are natural and additive-free so you’re getting the real goodness of fresh fruit and veg (some flavors contain milk or yogurt, so be sure to ask if you want diary-free). Also, they just look so darn pretty!
WHAT TO TRY We recently popped by their Tokyo Midtown branch, and we’d recommend the Rose Hip Tea (¥500) or Pina Colada (¥480) flavors.