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Best ice cream 2023: Indulge in your favourite frozen treat all year round

Discover your new favourite flavour with our pick of the best ice cream

While it might be most associated with summer, the best ice cream is definitely an all-year round dessert. Whether you’re looking for classic flavours or exciting new creations, there are plenty of options for filling your freezer. What’s more, there’s also a range of ice creams to suit pretty much any dietary requirements, with many brands now offering vegan alternatives, exclusively dairy-free flavours and even low sugar options. Whatever type of ice cream you’re looking for, we’ve taste tested a range of flavours to bring you our top picks.

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Best ice cream: At a glance

How to choose the best ice cream for you

What ingredients can ice cream be made from?

Ice cream is usually a mix of cream, milk and sugar but it can depend entirely on the brand. Traditional ice cream tends to have a higher amount of cream and therefore, a higher fat content, while low-fat brands may use skimmed milk and sweetener instead, to cut some of those calories. Vegan ice cream either relies on using fruit to make sorbet-like creations or by using dairy-free milk equivalents-such as oat, soya, coconut or almond milk.

Is ice cream bad for you?

There’s no denying that ice cream isn’t always the healthiest choice, but as long as you eat it in moderation, it’s not all bad. In fact, ice cream can be high in calcium and even vitamin D, while some brands fortify their ice cream with things such as vitamin B12. Whatever way you look at it, ice cream can be enjoyed with any diet.

Does vegan ice cream taste the same as dairy ice cream?

Nowadays, vegan ice cream has come a really long way and often tastes very similar to dairy-based ice cream. However, this will differ from brand to brand and your personal taste preferences, of course. Plant-based ice creams are great for those who are following a vegan diet or can’t have dairy for other dietary reasons.

However, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t necessarily mean vegan options are healthier or any lower in calories. They still may contain just as much sugar and fat from non-dairy sources.

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The best ice cream you can buy in 2023

1. Jude’s Salted Caramel Ice Cream: Best overall ice cream

Price: £4.50 | Buy now from Sainsbury’s

Originating in the Hampshire countryside, Jude’s ice cream has racked up an impressive range of flavours with a range of regular, lower calorie and vegan varieties, as well as plenty of accomplishments. To date, the brand has won over 60 great taste awards and is a certified B Corp too. We were blown away by Jude’s salted caramel, which also comes in a vegan variety that’s equally as impressive. Not only is it the best salted caramel ice cream we’ve tasted, it’s also the best tasting ice cream we’ve had full stop.

Made with fresh whole milk, free range egg yolk and double cream from local produce suppliers, this ice cream takes creamy to the next level. The quality of the fresh ingredients shine through, while the caramel notes are prominent, without being too sickly sweet. It really is the perfect all-rounder.

Key details – Size: 460ml; Gluten free: Yes; Vegan: No

Buy now from Sainsbury’s

2. Mandira’s Kitchen Lychee Martini Sorbet: Best sorbet

Price: £5.99 | Buy now from Mandira’s Kitchen Mandira’s Kitchen sells authentic Indian dishes which can be delivered straight to your door and that includes this delicious dessert too. The lychee martini sorbet contains real vodka, which perfectly complements the sweet and fruity lychee juice. This sorbet is super refreshing and sophisticated; meaning it’s ideal if you prefer a palate cleanser to a creamy ice cream. It’s also suitable for those with a range of dietary restrictions as it’s gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free. In our opinion, it’s the perfect dessert after an indulgent meal.

Key details – Size: 500g; Gluten free: Yes; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Mandira’s Kitchen

3. Little Moons Mochi Ice Cream – Passionfruit and Mango: Best unique ice cream

Price: £5 | Buy now from Tesco

If you’ve not heard of mochi ice cream before, then we urge you to give it a try. Made from gluten-free rice flour dough, this ice cream combines a chewy, soft outer exterior with a smooth, ice cream filling. It’s utterly addictive and we only wish we’d tried it sooner. Each pack contains six bite-size mochi balls, making them perfect for snacking or sharing, and they come in a range of flavours, with some vegan options too.

We tried a range, but the tropical tasting passionfruit and mango was our favourite. The gluten-free rice dough that surrounds each ball is mild, soft and chewy, in perfect contrast to the sweet, fruit puree and cashew paste that emerges at first bite. It’s one of those treats you need to taste to believe– and good luck at stopping at one.

Key details – Size: 6 x mochis; Gluten free: Yes; Vegan: Some options available

Buy now from Tesco

4. Oatly Mint Chocolate Ice Cream: Best vegan ice cream

Price: £4.50 | Buy now from Ocado Vegan brand Oatly now offer vegan ice cream in three very delicious flavours: strawberry, mint choc chip and salted caramel. Made from oat milk, this vegan ice cream tastes exactly the same as many dairy ice creams we’ve tried and we’re not quite sure how they do it. The mint chocolate is our favourite of the trio with a great combination of sharp mint flavour and crunchy chocolate chips. And for the eco-conscious, the environmental impact of the ice cream extends beyond being vegan, with the recyclable carton being made of PEFC certified paperboard.

Key details – Size: 500ml; Gluten free: No; Vegan: Yes

Buy now from Ocado

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