July 23rd is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day and just like everything worth eating, good vanilla ice cream is HARD to make. We know, we know, the term vanilla is too often used to denote something that is basic, ordinary or run-of-the-mill. But did you know that vanilla is actually one of the hardest ice cream flavors to get right? Yep. Vanilla ice cream is a classic and just like a classic, there are expectations. Vanilla ice cream has to have three things to be considered quality: it has to taste great, look good, and feel great when you’re eating it. So to celebrate National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, we’re sharing how we struck vanilla gold with our plant-based That’s A Mean Vanilla Bean and why vanilla ice cream is anything but “basic.”
The hardest part of making a quality plant-based vanilla ice cream: locking down the perfect vanilla flavor. There’s nothing basic about our flavors y’all. From the start, you can tell the quality of ice cream brands by their vanilla flavor so obviously we had to make sure our flavor was THE best.
To get the best vanilla ice cream flavor we had to first set our standards. We tasted every vanilla flavor we could get our hands on and came up with what we liked and didn’t like. Then we decided the number one thing we wanted to avoid: a bad aftertaste. The SweetPea team didn’t want our customers to be left with a fake and/or watered down vanilla taste. We wanted a vanilla ice cream that was delicious, flavorful, and creamy, and that didn’t leave a strange taste in your mouth after you were done eating it.
The SweetPea team also didn’t want our plant-based vanilla ice cream to lack in the vanilla bean department. We wanted those seeds!
Most plant-based ice creams are made with some kind of plant-based protein. This can make it tricky to develop a flavor like vanilla because vanilla is a flavor that lives on it’s own. It doesn’t have added chocolate or peanut butter or anything to help compliment or enhance the flavor pallet. Everything rides on the vanilla. This means that very often plant-based vanilla ice creams have a hard time masking that protein flavor.
Lucky for us, chickpeas have a very neutral flavor unlike most plant proteins. The key for us was to find the tastiest vanilla bean recipe to combine with our already amazing chickpea protein.
After many taste tests, we’re happy to report that we found the perfect combination!
Now that we have flavor down, let’s talk texture. The texture of ice cream is sacred. It’s texture that brings us back to soft serve on a hot beach, a double scoop at the country fair, the pint you shared with your grandma on the couch watching old westerns. Texture is everything and there is no flavor where this is more true than with vanilla.
Why? Because vanilla is a flavor that has to stand on its own. This means it not only has to taste good, but it has to feel good in your mouth and look good to your eyes.
Dairy ice cream has all the milk fat and milk protein to give it that “classic” texture most of us think about when we think about ice cream. It can be tricky to achieve that same classic texture with the high water content of most plant-based ice creams. It’s a balancing act between icy and creamy.
Too creamy and it’s like lotion in your mouth. Too icy and you risk crossing into smoothie territory in both feel and look.
So how did we achieve that classic texture for That’s a Mean Vanilla Bean?
The creaminess in our ice cream comes from the base mix. We worked hard to get this base mix right, knowing it would carry the ice creams we produced for decades to come. Look, it ain’t easy, sis, but what is? We would tell you how we perfected the base mix but, uh, trade secrets, ya know?
After going through 35 different versions of vanilla we finally found the winning combination. We have amazing flavor, that classic creaminess and the perfect visual texture that no photo could ever do justice to! It was a hat trick—and we nailed it.
Not to brag, but That’s A Mean Vanilla Bean has that WOW factor. It’s delicious and creamy and it’s versatile!
That’s a Mean Vanilla Bean is perfect in a root beer float, a creamsicle float, an ice cream sundae—it even works as a non-dairy creamer for your morning coffee. (Don’t shake your head. Try it!) There’s really no end to the creative ways you can incorporate this tasty flavor into your life. Also did we mention that That’s A Mean Vanilla Bean is non-dairy, plant based, vegan, soy free, gluten free and non B.E (meaning it has no bio-engineered ingredients!)? Yep! All that awesome packed into one tasty pint, just waiting to be eaten.
Is your mouth watering yet? Word on the street, when something is made with such skill and dedication it’s bound to taste better. Go get you some and make our hard work worth it. Order That’s A Mean Vanilla Bean HERE or ask your local grocer to carry us!
Follow us on Instagram, post yourself celebrating National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, and tag us @sweetpeawow! Order yourself a pint from www.sweetpeawow.com or go ahead and request SweetPea in your local grocery stores!
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