Ice-creams and health never go hand-in-hand. But now, it’s a thing of past - thanks to the low-carb vegan options available in the market
Here’s the list of 5 best healthy ice-cream brands in India that have created a revolution-of-sorts in the frozen dessert segment. Besides the fact that they are made from 100% plant-based ingredients (non-dairy), they are free from preservatives, artificial colors, flavors and gluten.
And unlike their counterparts, they’re also low on carbs due to non-usage of sugar – the very fact that these have become the favs of vegans and diabetics, too. Now, hesitate not to satiate your cravings this summer.
A personal decision to ditch dairy gradually developed into a mission through WhiteCub – encouraging more people to avoid dairy consumption and making the dairy-free foods accessible across India.
WhiteCub DairyFree Foods, owned by Compassionate Choices Pvt. Ltd., was founded by Sonal in 2013. The India’s first cholesterol-free, transfat-free, vegan ice-creams come in 20 delicious flavors like Red Velvet Cake, Forest Bathing, Coconut Freezy, Indian Wedding, Choco Hazel Swirls, Buddha’s Fig, Blueberry Nights, Banarasi Paan, Almond Coffee Bite, etc.
WhiteCub became an instant hit with lactose-intolerant, people with dairy allergy and vegans, who had no option but to exclude ice-creams in their diet. Over the years, the brand expanded its base in Delhi NCR, Gurugram (Haryana), Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Noida, Coimbatore, Siliguri, Ludhiana and Kolkata. The ice-creams are available on WhiteCub’s website and also on online retail stores including Urban Platter, Big Basket, Modern Bazaar, Nature’s Basket and Greend, to name a few.
A brainchild of husband-wife duo, Nomou is a vegan artisanal gelato brand. Originally created in 2016, the gelatos were sold under 'Vegan Bites', a meals catering service set up by Mumbai-based Samir and Hemali. The couple worked relentlessly to turn their vegan son’s wish – including ice-creams in his diet – into a reality. They launched the plant-based artisanal gelatos as a brand – Nomou – only in 2020.
“Our Nomou vegan gelatos are made from almond milk, coconut milk and soy milk. They have jaggery as natural sweetener and are free from dairy, artificial flavors and additives. All the flavors of Nomou's are made in small batches to avoid use of preservatives and prepared from 3-5 ingredients, which are sourced locally to avoid carbon footprint,” explains its Co-founder Samir.
The brand is quite popular among flexitarians and vegans. The ice-creams are available in 22 flavors including Bourbon Vanilla, Saffron Pistachio, Fresh Mango, Cacao Nibs, Paan, Notella, Thandai and Mix Berry Blast. They can be bought from Nomou’s website, other e-commerce sites like VVegano & Greend and retail outlets in Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Goa, Jaipur, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Indore and Kolkata.
Launched in 2015 by Nishkarsh Arora, a gymnast, dancer and MTV Roadies’ finalist, Koozies is India’s first whey protein ice-cream brand. Whey protein is the liquid that separates from casein in milk or after making cheese. It has 9 essential amino acids and has 0.9g of protein in 100g of powder.
Arora realized that ice-creams in India always come as ‘too-sweet’ for diabetics and ‘full-of-fat’ for fitness freaks. His interest and research led to him founding Koozies ice-creams. The brand serves curated frozen desserts made from whey in 3 categories – Protein, Vegan and Premium.
The Protein range has flavors like Creamy Coffee & Banana Peanut, and provides healthy protein to the customers. The Vegan range has flavors like Tender Coconut & Magic Mango, and is for non-dairy enthusiasts. The Premium range has flavors like Rabdi Kulfi & America Nuts, and is perfect for making creamy shakes. Customers also choose their own combo from among these.
Koozies serves around 7.4g of protein in 85g of ice-cream – which it claims is ideal for body-builders and pregnant women. The low-fat, zero-sugar protein ice-creams are available on its website, in several retail outlets in Delhi NCR region and websites like Vvegano.
A dream of mother-son duo Guncha Wadhwa and Kapil Wadhwa, Vegan Heart Ice-creams came into being in 2018. The Mumbai-based frozen desserts are homemade and prepared by 55-year-old Guncha herself in small batches, to avoid the use of preservatives or additives.
“We use dates instead of sugar and other natural ingredients to offer a dairy-free and guilt-free experience to the consumers. Usually, we sell 6 flavors like Belgian Chocolate, Cookies & Cream and Coffee Bean Cinnamon throughout the year. However, we bring out additional flavors like thandai, custard apple, mango, chikoo and strawberry as per season,” says Guncha.
The sales of Vegan Heart have doubled up after lockdown, due to the growing demand for healthy foods. The brand believes in advocating veganism, for it is one of the best options for weight loss, gut health, nourishment, etc. “Our ice-creams are no exception to this, since we use coconut milk as core ingredient – considered the healthiest alternative for dairy – without compromising on taste. We are the first and only brand in India to introduce oat milk-based ice-creams,” she adds.
The vegan ice-cream brand is available at several retail stores in Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, Chennai and Jaipur, besides on Vegan Heart's own portal and other e-commerce aggregators like Greend, Vegan Mall and Vegan Dukan.
A mechanical engineer from Carnegie Mellon University, Papacream’s Founder-CEI Tanvi Chowdhri worked as an investment banker on Wall Street, New York. Her passion for food made her travel a lot, to try out local cuisines and research local ingredients and cooking techniques.
After returning to India in 2015, this Mumbai resident turned into an entrepreneur by setting up Papacream with her savings – with a view to bring gourmet ice-creams accessible to the masses here. Initially, she came up with a couple of delectable flavors like pani puri sorbet and nacho-cheese ice-cream. Thanks to the amazing response from consumers, Tanvi didn’t look back.
Papacream brings out vegan, premium milk-based and sugar-free ice-cream range. The vegan category has 6 flavors including Raspberry Sorbet, Coffee Mocha Crunch, French Vanilla, Chocofudgy Cake, Mango and Chocolate. These handcrafted vegan indulgences are made of plant-based ingredients and without added sugar or gluten; hence, they're are guilt-free. Every flavor is influenced by a childhood memory or the other.
The brand’s website delivers the products only in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai. However, it sells the ice-creams through several stores in Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Goa, Indore, Surat, Lonavala, Dehradun, Moradabad and Ahmedabad. They can also be ordered online through Big Basket, Vegan Dukan, Modern Bazaar, Greend, etc.