When it comes to ice cream, most people will argue that nothing beats the real deal—but times have changed. With the emergence of vegan diets and plant-focused eating, more people are veering onto the dairy-free route. And that means all your favorite dairy products—cheese, yogurt, and, yes, even ice cream—are now available milk-free.
To help you find the healthiest pints and scoop the smartest cones, we rounded up the best lactose-friendly and dairy-free ice creams out there. All of these picks are low in sugar, so if you’re trying to swear off the sweet stuff, they’ll satisfy your cravings with a healthy indulgence. And if you want more helpful tips and advice on how to wean yourself out of a sugar addiction, pick up a copy of The 14-Day No Sugar Diet — available wherever books are sold!
How to Find the Best Dairy-Free Ice Cream
The best non-dairy ice creams are those that use coconut, cashew, or almond milk because they provide healthy fats as well as some protein and B vitamins. “Ice cream is a simple product to make and really only requires four or five ingredients to produce,” Lisa Samuels, RD, founder of The Happie House, tells us. “If there are more than seven ingredients in your ice cream with names you can’t pronounce, it’s probably best to skip that brand and opt for something that is made with more natural, organic products.”
With that said, it’s important to remember that ice cream isn’t a health food—it’s still a treat—whether you’re enjoying a cup of almond milk-based cookies and cream or a cone of mango sorbet. Samuels recommends avoiding dairy-free ice creams that use soy, carrageenan, and corn oil. “While soy-based ice cream can be tasty, non-fermented soy is not the healthiest ingredient. It typically has been highly processed, which breaks down the proteins and causes the production of carcinogens,” Samuels explains.
Samuels also says that carrageenan, which is a seaweed-based emulsifier found in many nut milks, has been linked to IBS, insulin resistance, and inflammation. “However, other studies claim that if we don’t consume carrageenan more than five percent of our diet, there isn’t enough to cause any real damage,” she notes. The corn oil you find in many food products is most likely genetically modified, so if avoiding GMOs is important to you, be on the lookout.
Nada Moo! Pistachio Nut Ice Cream
Certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegan, Nada Moo’s family-run business is all about crafting the best scoops with quality ingredients. Their melt-in-your-mouth pistachio nut ice cream, in particular, features spirulina powder for a hint of green, instead of artificial dyes that many other ice cream brands use. The coconut milk enhances the sweetness and nuttiness of real pistachios so it just has a touch of agave nectar and tapioca syrup, which brings the sugar count to eight grams.
$40.00 per 5-pack, Nadamoo.com
SorBabes Cafe Almond
Coffee and cold brew lovers won’t be able to get enough of the bold tastes in this frozen latte dessert. Made with smooth almond butter, cold brew, crunchy espresso beans, plus a swirl of espresso caramel, you get the best of salty and sweet flavors. The added bonus is you get to extend your morning buzz. Choose from one of these Best Cookies for Weight Loss to turn your average cone into a delicious, guilt-free sandwich. Are you salivating yet?
Available at a location near you.
Reveri Ice Cream in Purple Mint Chip
Whether you’re looking to wean sweet tooth or simply cut back, Reveri’s ice creams have no traces of white sugar. The purple mint chip flavor is sweetened with dates, wild blueberries, and bananas, and has crunchy chunks of organic cacao nibs and hemp seeds. Avocados lend a rich, creamy texture, while peppermint extract gives it mouthwatering flavor. If there was a superfood ice cream, this is it.
$9.99 per pint, Reveri.com
Beckon’s Sea Salt Chocolate Chip
Beckon’s ice creams are perfect for people who love the rich and creaminess of cow’s milk ice cream but can’t tolerate the lactose in them. So while they aren’t dairy-free, they use rBST-free milk and other high-quality ingredients. rBGH, aka rBST, is a genetically engineered hormone that some farmers inject into their cows to boost milk production. In this decadent-tasting pint, sea salt chocolate chip ice cream, unsweetened chocolate, non-GMO chocolate chips, and rBST-free milk and cream come together beautifully to give you a sweet and salty treat.
$8 per pint, Beckonicecream.com
So Delicious AlmondMilk Cookies ‘N Cream Gluten-Free Ice Cream
Good news for dairy- and gluten-free Oreo fans: You’ll want to dig into a pint of this almond milk-based frozen treat. Tapioca, cassava, potato and rice flour keep the chocolate cream cookies gluten-free.
Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Half Baked
The famous Vermont-based creamery launched their dairy-free line of ice cream earlier this year, and it doesn’t disappoint. This vegan version of the Half Baked creation has decadent chunks of chocolate brownies and peanut butter cookie dough folded into the chocolate and vanilla ice cream. It uses almond milk for the creamy base and has pea protein to keep you satisfied after one serving. So you still get the same satisfying, mouthwatering flavor for fewer calories, fat, and sugar.
$7.99 per pint, Benandjerry.com
Snow Monkey Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream
In the past decade, matcha has become one of the biggest health food trends—and there’s a good reason for it. Matcha has 137 times the amount of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants than regular green tea. Pureed frozen bananas and apples keep this frozen treat sweet and creamy, so it doesn’t have that much added sugar. It’s also infused with some hemp seed protein powder to deliver you some of the hunger-curbing, muscle-building macronutrient.
$6.99 per pint, Snow-Monkey.com
Talenti’s Alphonso Mango Sorbetto
We know what you’re thinking: 33 grams of sugar?! But before you get a panic attack, you can rest easy knowing that the mango is the first ingredient in this refreshing sorbetto, so a majority of its sugar is from the fruit and not from the white stuff. True to Talenti fashion, this sorbetto, like all of their ice cream, has high-quality ingredients sourced from the best places in the world. For example, the mangoes in this frozen treat are from Maharashtra, India, one of the largest producers of Alphonso mangoes. Alphonso mangoes are considered to be one of the best mangoes in the world because of their sweetness, juiciness, and color.
$3.98 per pint, Walmart.com
My/Mo Mochi Cashew Cream Frozen Dessert in Strawberry
If you’re not familiar with mochi, it’s a Japanese rice ball dessert that’s usually consumed for good fortune and wealth in the New Year. Thanks to My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream cashew cream frozen treats, dairy-free folks can enjoy this bite-sized treat any time of year. At 100 calories, 2 g fat, and 13 g of sugar a pop, this vegan-approved dessert will satisfy your cravings for something creamy and fruity. The ice cream filling features cashew milk, strawberry puree, and beet juice (for color), while the chewy dough that encases it has sweet rice flour, sugar, corn syrup, and beet juice.
$6.49 per 6-pack, Amazon
Cado Deep Dark Chocolate Avocado Ice Cream
When news hit that Whole Foods stocked up on this insanely rich, dairy-free ice cream, it quickly became one of the most sought-out pints in the avocado-obsessed wellness world. Unlike other dairy-free ice creams out there that use nut milk or fruit as their base, Cado’s ice creams are purely made with organic avocado puree. The deep chocolate flavor also features organic cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sea salt, and some cane sugar.
$7-8 per pint, Cadoicecream.com
Halo Top’s Cinnamon Roll Dairy-Free Ice Cream
In addition to the high-protein content, which Halo Top’s pints are best known for, these dairy-free ice creams come with prebiotic fiber. Prebiotics are carbohydrates that help support the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Coconut milk takes the place of regular cow-milk, and cinnamon, sugar, coconut oil, and brown sugar lend this frozen dessert with the decadent flavor.
$58.05 per 8-pack, Amazon.com
Arctic Zero Vanilla Maple Lactose-Free Ice Cream
Just like Beckon, Arctic Zero’s ice cream isn’t dairy-free, but it’s great for those who aren’t able to tolerate lactose. Your basic vanilla ice cream just got upgraded with a hint of vanilla and maple. Instead of cane sugar, Arctic Zero uses monk fruit concentrate in their ice cream to lend some sweetness. Monk fruit is sweeter than white sugar, but it won’t raise your blood sugar levels and has little to zero calories in its powdered form. So it’s just as good when you’re indulging in ice cream.
$37.80 per 6-pack, Amazon.com
Breyers Non-Dairy Oreo Cookies & Cream Ice Cream
If you love Oreo cookies, you’re in luck! Crumbles of Oreos are folded into an almond milk-based vanilla ice cream so you get a delicious crunch in every bite. While this frozen treat has only 14 grams of sugar per serving, it does have some high-fructose corn syrup, so be sure to keep your indulging to a minimum.
$4.88 per pint, Walmart.com
McConnell’s Eureka Lemon & Marionberries Dairy-Free Ice Cream
Since McConnell’s was founded more than 70 years ago, they’ve been producing some of the most unique pints with the finest ingredients. This Eureka lemon and marionberries flavor is just one example of that. Plucked from Willamette Valley in Oregon, marionberries—which look a lot like blackberries—impart an earthy, sweet, and tart flavor, while Eureka lemons infuse some zest.
$12 per pint, McConnells.com
Coconut Bliss Mocha Maca Crunch Ice Cream
When you’re hankering for a Mocha Frappuccino, indulge in a heavenly cup of this mocha ice cream instead. For a half-cup serving, you’ll get the mouthwatering coffee and chocolate flavor you love for fewer calories, fat, and sugar and zero regrets.
$9.49 per pint, HealthyGoodness.com