Love your chocolate?
Love your ice cream?
Then June 7th is your day.
It’s Chocolate Ice Cream Day, which celebrates the second most popular ice cream flavor in the world. (Can you guess the first?)
And if you are following a whole food plant-based diet, do not despair.
I’ll show you how to “freestyle” the holiday by going dairy free for your frozen, chocolatey celebrations.
But first, a little bit of history on one of the most popular frozen desserts in the world.
Chocolate Ice Cream… the Early Days
Before chocolate and vanilla emerged, most ice cream was fruit-flavored.
But in Naples, Italy in 1692, Antonio Latini’s The Modern Steward showed people how to freeze hot chocolate and the flavor we celebrate today was born. He published two recipes for ices based on hot chocolate, which only contained two ingredients: chocolate and sugar.
Over 80 years later, an Italian doctor would recommend chocolate ice cream as a cure for gout, scurvy and other ailments in a treatise entitled De sorbetti. There is no evidence that his prescription actually worked, but people ate it up nonetheless.
America’s Thomas Jefferson was no exception.
Before becoming John Adams’ Vice President and later America’s third president, Jefferson served as ambassador to France, living and traveling in Europe for several years. During his travels, he fell in love with chocolate ice cream and brought it back to the U.S. for all to taste and share.
Or so the legend goes.
There is no proof that the Founding Father also found chocolate ice cream and brought it home to the White House, but we do not mind giving him the credit.
Who ‘Screams’ for Ice Cream?
It seems nearly everyone loves ice cream. But the U.S. is one of the top consumers, producing about 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream every single year.
- The U.S. consumes more ice cream than any other country — about 48 pints of it per person, per year.
- 98% of U.S. households have ice cream in their freezers.
- It takes about 50 licks to finish a single scoop ice cream cone.
- The cone itself was invented in St. Louis at the 1904 World’s Fair.
- The biggest ice cream cone in the world was created by Italians Mirco Della Vecchia and Andrea Andrighetti. It measured 2.81 meters (9 feet, 2.63 inches) tall.
- Even though chocolate ice cream was invented first, it comes in a distant second to vanilla ice cream, which accounts for nearly 30% of all ice cream sales.
How to Celebrate Chocolate Ice Cream Day — Dairy Free Style
So how to enjoy chocolate ice cream if you do not eat dairy?
Believe it or not, chocolate ice cream was the reason I thought I could never follow a whole food plant-based diet. (True confession: I used to eat a pint of ice cream every night!)
My first few years on a plant-based diet, it seemed there were few, if any, tasty replacements for ice cream. (In theory, it is only ice cream when it is made with actual cream. Otherwise, it is called ‘frozen dessert’.)
Now, there are so many choices on the market that it is hard to decide which one to choose. There are dairy free frozen desserts made with soy milk, almond milk, and cashew milk. Even Ben & Jerry’s released 4 new flavors earlier this year! (though very few of them will be free of added sugar and oil.)
That is why I still think the best dairy free ‘ice cream’ is homemade.
Here is my very own super yummy recipe for Velvety Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream (i.e. Frozen Dessert!) just for you. It is amazingly simple to make and only calls for 5 ingredients, perfect for celebrating Chocolate Ice Cream Day in style!