The other day I was perusing my favorite health food store, Mountain Valley Foods, in Kalispell when I happened upon a new item in the freezer: Coconut Bliss Ice Cream. What’s special about this particular brand? It’s dairy-free, and uses coconut milk as a base instead of cow’s milk or cream.
Seeing as I’ve tried my fair share of alternative ice cream products such as Rice Dream, So Delicious, its arch-nemesis Soy Delicious, and other wannabes with mostly negative results, I figured I’d snatch their “Mint Galactica” flavor (essentially Mint Chocolate Chip which is basically my favorite ice cream flavor, after all) and give it a whirl. Onward to the review:
The packaging on the pint-sized Mint Galactica flavor was proudly showing off a green minty-cool theme, reminiscent of the colors you might see on St. Patrick’s Day. More on that later. Peering at the nutrition info on the label I noted its ingredients (parenthetical items removed): Organic Coconut Milk, Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, Organic Peppermint Extract, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Extract.
Looks good. This is the first alternative ice cream I’ve ever tried that contains agave syrup, which leads to a fun fact: Agave is the plant that (real) tequila is made from. Hmmm. My imagination began to run wild with visions of a party filled with college co-eds eagerly downing frozen shots of mint galactica, entering into a Coconut Bliss-induced bender. Then the thought of what it would look like once the puking started put a quick stop to my fantasy. Walking up to the counter, I realized I hadn’t even looked at the other flavors. Oh well, next time.
After arriving home and depositing it in the freezer, I got on the computer and curiously commenced googling for more information. A quick check of “coconut bliss” results in the number one hit being the manufacturer’s website, www.coconutbliss.com. I clicked. At this point, my confusion deepened. Right at the top of the site, the viewer is met with this logo:
Being horribly uncultured, I didn’t realize that the happy looking four-armed elephant man thing is Ganesha, the Hindu god of placing and removing obstacles. Ahhh, now we’re getting somewhere. I have the obstacle of not being able to eat dairy products, Ganesha wants me enjoy life to the fullest regardless! He’s even holding a spoon and an ice cream cone (which makes no sense if you think about it). Thanks, pal! Wait, it says that you’re the god of placing obstacles too. You rat bastard… I guess those folks at the paralympics got a double dose of your divine influence then, huh? But I digress…
Finally, it was time to eat. Note to self: do not attempt to use a plastic spoon on ice cream just taken out of the freezer. Tossing the pieces into the trash, I glanced at the label again. There’s a warning saying I should leave it out for 5-10 minutes before consuming for best taste. NOW they tell me. A nail-biting 5-10 minutes of suspense passed before I dove in again. The first bite: wow, that’s good! The texture was very close to that of real ice cream, perhaps a bit thinner but it left a very clean taste on the palate. Hardly any aftertaste, and didn’t leave a film on the roof of my mouth. I kept eating. The little chips of chocolate were plentiful and spread evenly throughout the ice cream, something that can’t always be said of its competitor’s counterparts. Before I knew it that whole gosh-dang pint had been consumed. No biggie, I thought. Then I inspected the nutrition facts. Uh oh. According to the label, I had just consumed a whopping 824 calories. Crap.
Let’s break down where all those little units of heat came from:
Serving: 1 pint (2 cups)
Holy mackerel! Suddenly this organic, healthy ice cream alternative became an artery-busting abomination.
But wait! After a little research, it turns out that fat from coconut milk is extremely good for you. At least that’s what Coconut Bliss’s own website states. How’s that for objectivity?
Wrap-Up: Coconut Bliss Mint Galactica Ice Cream
Pros: All organic. Made from coconut milk instead of milk, rice, or soy. St. Patrick’s Day. Clean, refreshing taste. College age co-eds. Overcoming obstacles. Lots of chocolate chips. Being half-elephant. The paralympics.
Cons: Consuming 824 calories of mostly fat at once. Non-alcoholic. Broken plastic spoons. Being a Hindu god’s plaything. Busted arteries. The paralympics.
Final Verdict: 9.5 out of 10
This product is highly recommended to anyone who likes ice cream, not just we cursed few who can’t eat dairy products. The only thing that might make it better is being sold in half-gallon containers.