Local Organic Ice Cream and Non-Dairy Desserts

I had dinner with a friend last night who is vegan. I’m always impressed and slightly in awe of those who can maintain such a strict diet. I asked him how he does it and he replied with one word, “Practice.” A nice sentiment for just about anything that takes diligence, effort and continual dedication. I often toy with going vegan and my husband all but begs me not to (I’m a picky enough eater as it is).

And so it was that I thought of my friend today, while standing in front of the clear glass freezer doors at Whole Foods looking for a small, family-owned dairy that produces its own ice cream. Turns out that isn’t such a big challenge, at least here in the Bay Area. I was also moved to consider buying an ice cream maker (I left mine in Costa Rica) so that I could make my own. I opted for the easy way out and bought some Mint Chocolate Chip from Strauss Family Creamery. If you already have an ice cream maker, here is the recipe I love:

Image from www.davidlebovitz.com

2 quarts half-and-half cream
1/2 pint heavy cream
1 1/2 cups white sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pinch salt

Follow the instructions for your ice cream maker. If you don’t have those, as I recall, you mix the creams and vanilla, add the sugar and salt, stir until dissolved and pour into the frozen ice cream maker bowl.
If you are uber industrious, and have oodles of time on your hands, check out this utterly delectable ice cream without an ice cream maker recipe from David Lebovitz.
Or, if you are ready for your ice cream right now, like I was at 4:37 p.m. this afternoon, check out these brands that are doing a great job at sustainable, local, organic ice creams:
Straus - Tomales Bay, CA. All certified organic ingredients, kosher, non-GMO, no hormones, no antibiotics. Certified organic since 1994, Strauss was the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi River.
Tara’s – Berkeley, CA. She has flavors like Cardamom, Garam Masala and Sage (they have regular flavors too). Tara’s also offers ice cream cakes and is CCOF organic certified – in order to be organic certified no hormones or antibiotics are allowed. Tara’s practices sustainability throughout their retail establishments and offices, even using stainless steel tasting spoons.

Image from www.threetwinsicecream.com

Three Twins – San Rafael, CA. They are a member of 1% For the Planet (that means they donate 1% of profits), they purchase carbon offsets and use all compostable serving dishes. Oh, and of course, their ice cream is certified organic.

For those of you who don’t do dairy, here are some non-dairy frozen dessert alternatives:

Nature’s Flavors – Orange, CA. An interesting concept – it’s a powder you add to water. It’s kosher, vegan, gluten-free and certified organic under NOP guidelines. It’s ingredients are, “Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Dextrose, Organic Rice Powder, Organic Stabilizer, Citric Acid, Organic Flavors”.

NadaMoo – Austin, TX. Made from coconut milk, certified organic, kosher, fair trade certified, certified gluten free. Although I haven’t had NadaMoo, I can attest to coconut milk “ice cream”. It’s delicious and though you would know the difference, it’s worth a try.

Tempt – Portland, OR. Ahh, an ice cream alternative made with my favorite milk alternative – hemp milk. All ingredients besides hemp are organic.

Julie’s – Eugene, OR. Organic coconut milk and agave based non-dairy desserts.

Image from www.strausfamilycreamery.com

Why is organic ice cream better for you and for the environment, you ask? Ice cream made from organic dairy products keeps the harmful antibiotics, hormones and chemicals given to non-organic dairy cows out of your system and out of the larger ecological system. Aside from that, non-organic dairy cows are mistreated. They are artificially inseminated, so they are continually pregnant and giving milk – cows, like any other mammal, only produce milk when nursing. Their calves are taken from them at birth and never allowed to nurse. Whether we think cows are smart or not, I believe that cows and calves don’t want to be separated at birth. Non-organic dairy cows are penned together, usually inside or in a mud pasture and given large amounts of antibiotics to keep them from getting each other sick due to the unhealthy proximity to each other and to their own waste. For a more in-depth article (but not a terribly graphic one) on dairy cows and other food animals, check out FarmSanctuary.org

-Jocelyn Broyles


Jospeh R.
Jospeh R.2 years ago

An unbelievable blog. This blog will indisputably be definitely recommended to my friends as well. fostream.com

klemens o.
klemens okkels6 years ago

delicious food.

May Howie
may Howie6 years ago


Past Member
Elena Arutiunova6 years ago

M-m-m... I love it :)

Tim Cheung
Tim C6 years ago


Francisco W.
Francisco W6 years ago

Hope these companies expand to the sutheast!!!! It is really neeeded in this part of the country.

Ron b.
Ron b6 years ago

eat organic...don't poison yourself!

Laurita Walters
Laurita Walters6 years ago


Charlene S.
Charla D6 years ago

I would only eat ice cream made with organic milk.

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

Location, location, location...there's no such thing here in this state. Sounds lovely though.