The DeLish Bite

Lindsay Evans blogs about food, entertaining and her favourite recipes for Green Living.

We taste-tested to find our top organic and soy scoops

By Lindsay Evans

Some of life’s simple pleasures never change. Summer is always hot, ice cream is always sublime and those with a yearning for decadence will go the extra mile to scope out their favourite creamy treat. With more and more ice cream brands going organic, and incorporating healthier ingredients such as soy, there’s plenty of good reasons to indulge your sweet tooth. Along with my all-too-eager husband, I tasted dozens of varieties. We stuck to brands that are available nationally, although there are dozens of small producers in every part of the country that produce excellent ice cream and let you keep your food dollars in your community. Our verdict: The following three varieties were the cream of the crop.

Mapleton’s Organic Ice Cream

Mapleton’s is handcrafted in an organic dairy located on a family farm in Moorefield, Ontario. Their cows are raised with care to provide the freshest organic ingredients including milk and cream. The result is a creamy ice cream that tastes utterly smooth and refreshing. We sampled the chocolate flavour, which proved to be pure, fresh and delicious (although a tad on the unsweetened side, so it may not be a favourite with kids). Mapleton’s guarantees all its ice cream is gluten- and nut-free (except for their Cappuccino flavour, which is guaranteed gluten-free). My only qualm is the hefty price for a very small container ($6.59/473 ml), but I suppose you get what you pay for.

Green Claim

100% organic and free of chemicals, GMOs, antibiotics, artificial ingredients, added colours and salt.

The Deets

Mapleton’s Organic Ice Cream is available across Canada at select grocery stores including Sobeys, Whole Foods Markets and Rabba Fine Foods, as well as many other organic and health food stores. Flavours include Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cappuccino, Ginger and Vanilla with Chocolate Chips.

Organic Meadow Ice Cream

Canada’s Organic Meadow produces many traditionally made organic dairy products including ice cream, milk and butter. Its products are created in farms across Ontario and other provinces and distributed across the country. Well-suited for a crowd, their 1- and 2-litre containers are the perfect companion to summertime desserts. Organic Meadow Ice Cream is made from natural and organic ingredients including milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, guar gum, locust bean gum and carageenan. We tried the chocolate variety and found it to be rich, smooth and velvety. My only disappointment with it was the lack of inventive flavours. However, if you prefer simple flavours, such as vanilla and strawberry and are on the quest to eat organically, it is a great bet.

Green Claim

Only natural and organic ingredients. Organic Meadow supports eco-friendly practices and local, family-owned-and-operated dairies, such as Steen’s Dairy located in Erin, Ontario.

The Deets

Organic Meadow Ice Creams can be found in most major food chains and health food stores across Canada. Flavours include Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla Swirl, Chocolate Swirl and Caramel Swirl. $11.79/1L

Turtle Mountain’s Purely Decadent Soy:

U.S.-based Turtle Mountain is a large company which produces several soy-based and lactose-free products including three lines of ice cream: Organic So Delicious, Purely Decadent Soy and It’s Soy Delicious. For the purposes of this review, we chose to taste the Purely Decadent Soy in chocolate. This product reports to be dairy- and lactose-free, cholesterol- and trans fat-free, certified vegan, made with certified organic ingredients, and with half the fat and 65 percent of the calories of regular ice cream. We found that this “ice cream’s” texture was dense, creamy and chocolatey and had a hard time detecting a soy aftertaste. And, when you consider the nutritional benefits, it could easily rival your favourite gourmet ice cream.

Green Claim:

Certified organic ingredients. Turtle Mountain also supports sustainable agriculture practices and has joined forces with the Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP) to provide much-needed funds and to promote awareness of STRP’s fight to save these gentle creatures.

The Deets:

Can be found across Canada in health food stores and some grocery stores. The company offers an extensive line-up of tantalizing flavours including Chocolate Brownie Almond, Coconut Craze and Blueberry Cheesecake. However their price packs a punch at $6.79/500 mL.

The Final Scoop:

These ice creams were all made from high-quality, natural and/or organic ingredients, and for us, the taste lived up to the hype (and higher price points). The bottom line? Sometimes it is worth it to splurge for taste, exceptional ingredients and the health of your family and the environment.