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Product Review: Purely Decadent Ice Cream

purely decadent coconut milk chocolate peanut butter ice cream

Purely Decadent’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream

This is my family’s favorite ice cream.  I’d have to say they like it quite a bit more than my homemade Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream.

When I posted that recipe last week, several people asked if I had heard of various brands of store bought vegan, gluten free ice creams.  Yes, I have and here it is.  Purely Decadent comes in quite a few flavors and I can attest that each one I have tasted is delicious.

Many people also asked if I had ever made coconut ice cream from scratch.  In fact, I have been making it for the last few years and my boys love it.  They are big coconut eaters and I will post the recipe for my Coconut Ice Cream recipe in the next few weeks.

Although it is supposed to be ice cream weather, we have had day after day of rain here in Boulder.  The creek is little higher every time we walk down to it.  The grey weather has been quite soothing, though the boys are home from school on summer vacation and going just a tad stir crazy.

As for the winner of last weeks Freebie Friday… Gabrielle Dodd has won a copy of Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s G-Free Diet.  Hooray for Gabrielle!


posted on June 3, 2009

53 comments leave a comment

  1. Justine

    Have you tried Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss ice cream? Amazing. I’m not sure how Purely Decadent measures up …

    • Barbara

      I’ve eaten both Coconut Bliss and Purely Decadent, and they’re both good. But as far as creaminess and taste, I think that Purely Decadent blows Coconut Bliss away. And Coconut Bliss has a slight aftertaste that you just don’t get with Purely Decadent. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    • Tracy

      I am saddened that the Purely Decadent contains soy. They have it in my local store but we can’t eat it cause we are SOY FREE. Oh well. Elana, looking forward to your coconut recipes. Tracy

      • Barbara

        I’m holding a container of the Purely Decadent Passionate Mango coconut milk ice cream in my hand (there’s always at least one container in our freezer!), and it doesn’t list soy in the ingredients statement.

      • Heather

        Purely Decadent makes soy ice cream and coconut milk ice cream. We don’t do soy either (unless it’s fermented). If you don’t see it at your local health food store, see if they can special order it for you. It should be available to them through United Natural Foods.

      • Katherine

        I’m pretty sure the only coconut milk one that contains soy is the cookie dough, which is made with soybean oil. The vanilla, coconut, mango, and coffee flavors at least are all soy-free.

  2. Marci

    I love Purely Decadent, but have not seen the coconut milk varieties before – sounds wonderful!

  3. Abby

    I have tried both and although both good, I have to say I am a fan of Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss. Whole Foods just started carrying it and it is delicious. All organic ingredients and they use agave nectar.

  4. I’m with the above commenters – the Coconut Bliss ice cream line CANNOT be beat!! :-)

    • Michael Koren

      To me the difference between Coconut Bliss and the Turtle Creek brand of Coconut ice cream is that Coconut Bliss is much fattier and coloric than the other so it has a denser, creamier texture compared to the Turtle Creek (Purely Decadent) lighter fluffier texture.

      I think Purely Decadent Vanilla hands down tastes better than Coconut Bliss’s but the opposite true for the Chocolate. Purely Decadent’s Passionate Mango and Mocha Almond Fudge are great – especially if you mix them with the Vanilla, and the Cookie Dough is adequate as a Ben and Jerry’s substitute, but I find the Coconut flavor a bit flat. I am addicted to the Mini Ice Cream Pops called So Delicious also by Turtle Creek and fully coconut (no soy dairy or gluten).

      I love the Coconut Bliss Cappucino and Hazelnut Fudge but am not so hot on some of the other Coconut bliss flavors I tried, the Cherry Amaretto being a disappointment.

      There you have it. Well almost – the So Delicious Coconut Milk Yogurt is really good. How confusing – Turtle Mountain uses Purely Decadent and So Delicious seemingly interchangeably!

      I wish one of the two companies would do a cherry-garcia-like flavor! With the coconut background it would be superb!

      I have BIG QUESTIONS about BOTH their use of Agave Syrup for sweetener (though cane sugar is in the yogurt). The reason – Agave is high fructose just like the corn syrup we’re all rejecting. It SHOULD have the same physiological issues as HFCS which makes it seem like a new-age organic facelift which succors us into thinking we have a great sweetener due to its low glycemic value – also true of HFCS. But there are defenders of Agave who claim its inulins and other magic ingredients are nature’s way of protecting us from the awful effects of fructose plus give us many healthful other properties. So at this point the jury seems to be out and we are playing Russian Roulette by using this sweetener everywhere. My two cents.

      Any other view points?

      Michael

      • Misty

        I think the Purely Decadent Cherry Amaretto is to die for!!! I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed! I bought 2 pints a few days ago and have already gone through 1 1/2!

      • Eric

        @Michael

        High Fructose Corn Syrup normally has a mix of 55% Fructose and 45% Glucose. Agave is around 80-90% Fructose and 10-20% Glucose.

        This is important because Glucose has a high score on the Glycemic Index — approximately 100. HFCS has a GI of 85, while Agave has a score of 15-25. Much of this is due to how HFCS is made, as enzymes are added to the corn syrup to break down the inulin and fibers to make the glucose more readily available, while the process of making Agave syrup does not include this enzyme process — your body is forced to do the digestive work.

        This means Agave does not spike your blood sugar levels nearly as high as HFCS. A high spike means a higher crash, and a strong desire to eat more. This feeling of needing to re-dose on sugar is the major drawback of HFCS and table sugar, a.k.a. sucrose (which is a 50/50 split of fructose and glucose).

        Both Agave and HFCS have the same amount of calories, of course, but your body feels less hungry after Agave. This is important if you’re in a weight loss program, as calories-in/calories-out is still how weight is gained and loss.

  5. I have tried Purely Decadent and Coconut Bliss ice cream. Both are soo good! Purely decadent seems more like ice cream to me, whereas Coconut Bliss is SOO creamy and coconutty, and doesn’t have that cold mouth icy feel that Purely Decadent does. Coconut Bliss feels warmer and thicker in your mouth, it’s hard to describe, not as ice cream-ice crystally. I love all the flavors, but they put soy in almost all of the non-standard coconut, vanilla and chocolate flavors. Larry and Lunas has more choice for me of the other flavors without the soy. I also love Lala Loo’s goat milk ice cream!!

    I look forward to your own coconut ice cream recipe Elana! I am now trying to convince my family to buy an ice cream maker (have been for at least a year now) and hopefully they will give in soon!

  6. Jennifer @ EFTHypnosis.com

    Yum! I’ll have to try this flavor. I’ve had Purely Decadent’s “Mocha Almond Fudge” and it’s the best non-dairy ice cream I’ve ever tasted. Love the coffee flavor and like that it *doesn’t* taste coco-nutty!

  7. gfe-gluten free easily @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    I’ve not had the Purely Decadent Coconut Milk ice cream yet, but think I should do a taste test of your favorite (chocolate and PB–yum!) against a similar Coconut Bliss flavor per everyone else’s recommendation. Just have to wait until I go into the big city to pick some up. Neither are carried around here right now.

    Thanks, Elana!
    Shirley

  8. I hate to be the party pooper here but this icecream is far from natural & healthy.
    “Natural flavors” which can be not-so-natural in order to recreate a common flavor are a politically correct a non-scarry way to say that you’re icecream contains MSG.
    If you are prone to migraines after eating some foods, look no further, you got the culprit.
    The “peanut butter” part is made of soybean oil, which is a highly refined oil. Soybeans in all their variations (ans especially in a non fermented form) are sky high in phytoestrogenes (hormonal disruptors) and a natural source of MSG (ounce again).
    CAROB BEAN GUM & GUAR GUM are thickeners and allergens, also a source of MSG.
    Agave syrup has become controversial because of its high fructose level. If you have a sensitive liver or are prone to sugar imbalances, this may not be the best sweetener for you.
    And to finish, processed chocolate, especially if it comes from Africa (the origin of the cocoa used in a product is often not mentioned) contains amounts of lead! (I read an article about this recently).
    You may find more info about some of things zi mentioned if you visit the Weston A. Price Foundation’s website: http://www.westonaprice.org/
    For now, I think the wisest thing to do is to make your own ice cream with coconut milk or other nut milks, there are a few books on the topic if you need some inspiration.
    Sorry Elana & everybody but I had to let you all know!

    • Barbara Filteau

      I’d like to have the names of the books that you mentioned to be able to make my own coconut ice cream.

    • Paula Peters

      Your comment concerned me, because I am highly sensitive to MSG. Whenever any MSG sneaks into my diet, I get serious, debilitating migraine headaches. I have eaten this delicious ice cream, and had no ill effects. But I contacted Turtle Mountain anyway, and they assured me that there is no MSG in any of their products.

  9. Amy

    I have tried Purely Decadent’s vanilla and enjoyed it. My husband doesn’t like the taste of coconut and is very sensitive to the slightest hint of it (it’s kind of unnatural, really), so we are looking into other non-dairy options for him. Not that I mind trying out new ice cream varieties!

    @Alchemille I would be happy to make my own if it didn’t involve purchasing yet another kitchen contraption. Maybe one day.

  10. Amy,
    I don’t use any ice cream machine.
    I pour the ice cream in popsicles molds or containers. It may not have the texture of commercial ice cream, but the taste and flavor are there!

  11. Rebecca Cherry

    Two things: 1) Coconut Bliss is truly the best i’ve had of all the store bought Coconut Milk and Non-dairy Frozen Desserts. I am waiting for the company to follow Purely Decadent’s footsteps and make chocolate covered ice cream bars on a stick.
    2) I just bought an ice cream maker attachment to my Kitchen Aid so that i can make my own non-dairy frozen desserts. i saw a recipe book called Vice Cream, but, Elana, i await your recipe; please no eggs in it, though.

  12. LK- healthy delicious @ healthy-delicious.com

    its been rainy here lately too. i kind of like it, but its also a crazy busy time at work ,so i don’t feel like I;m missing out on the gorgeous weather anyway.
    coconut ice cream sounds fantastic!

  13. Kate

    Alchemille voices most of my concerns but didn’t mention that this ice cream almost surely also contains GMOs. The soybean oil and soy lecithin are problematic enough but if they’re not organic (which it doesn’t state so they must not be) they almost surely are GMO soy. The Mocha Almond Fudge has beet sugar which could also be GMO as beets are now genetically engineered. GMOs are scary, folks. Try reading Jeff Smith’s book “Seeds of Deception” to find out just how scary they are. I’d avoid them at all costs and certainly wouldn’t feed them to my children!!

  14. gfe-gluten free easily @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    Popping back in … just FYI–Coconut Bliss is made from all organic ingredients, certified fair trade ingredients, gluten free, dairy free, and soy free. You can read more below. Each flavor only has four or five ingredients.

    http://www.coconutbliss.com/html/flavors.html

    I’ve been making a version myself with just a blender using frozen ingredients (just coconut milk and bananas lately, per Coconut Gal’s recipe). You can make lots of ice cream that way. And, you can freeze just in a regular pan in the freezer for many recipes.

    Looking forward to Elana’s homemade coconut milk ice cream recipe soon!

    Shirley

  15. Gabrielle Dodd

    OMG I won? How exciting! I never win anything. Will I be getting an email? ^.^

    That ice cream looks amazing by the way. I might ask my local health food store to carry it, or maybe somehow send it to my mom in california for her birthday… hmm.

  16. Andrea

    I haven’t seen the peanut butter swirl with coconut milk, but my daughter and I love the mint chip made with coconut milk. I’ll have to ask the manager to order it for us!

  17. Stacie K

    I have only tried Coconut Bliss so far because of the short, recognizable ingredient list, but this has inspired me to add some almond or peanut butter into the chocolate Coconut Bliss I bought Monday-YUM! Why didn’t I think of that sooner?? Thanks Elana! You are always an inspiration.

  18. Christianne

    Wow, what a great country you have that sells these products! I checked out their website too and the icecream looks delicious to me!
    @ alchemille, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the icecream! When there are allergies, you allways have to be careful, obviously. On the other hand, here in Holland I have seen many people with health problems because they were undernourished. Not because they were on a junkfood diet, but because they restricted their healthy diets so much they started to miss out on essential nutrients.
    Right now, the Dalai Lama is here visiting our parliament. He talked about balance and the middle road in life. To me, the middle road contains coconut icecream every once in a while :-)!

  19. I have had Purely Decadent chocolate, vanilla and mint. Those are the only flavors I have seen. I liked them all but of course, chocolate was my favorite. I recently made my own coconut milk ice cream with cherries and dark chocolate. Yummo!

  20. Charlotte

    I believe this company also makes coconut milk based yogurts. It is very costly around $1.79 a cup at Whole Foods. I’ve learned to make my own from scratch using yogurt starter and adding my favorite flavors to it. I also made my own coconut milk using equal parts of dried organic sulfite free coconut and boiling water. I would blend the coconut-water mixture in my high powered blender for several minutes and sieve it thru a nut bag. Add the yogurt starter, flavoring and into the yogurt maker it goes. Fantastic non dairy yogurt!

  21. Wow! Who would of thought ice cream would create such a hot debate?! I am in agreement with Christianne. It’s not as if you are eating this everyday, life is no fun when we worry too much about food (I should know) and this is a treat and treats are meant to be scandalous, that’s part of the fun :-)
    We are totally on the same page Elana! I just posted my new no ice cream maker coconut ice cream yesterday: http://bananasncoconut.wordpress.com/2009/06/03/put-the-gal-in-the-coconut/

    As for brand of store bought coconut ice cream– I think it’s pretty obvious where I stand ;-)
    Although I must say- if I could eat peanuts I would definitely be chowing down on this flavor! Chocolate and peanut butter is the best combo ever.
    We have had an out-of-the-norm hot week here and it’s been so nice. I have been reading outside and hoping to squeeze in a walk today, I need some Vita-D while I can get it! Hoping your rain goes away, but on the bright side it’s helping your beautiful green garden!

  22. Marissa

    I have been loving purely decadent and coconut bliss for some time now, but I keep moaning over purely decadent’s cookie dough flavor. I want to try it SO BAD! But I don’t eat grains :-( Maybe on a very very special occasion I will have some, but I fear I will like it too much!

  23. Rebecca Cherry

    two more things: 1) According the Coconut Bliss website, they have just put out ice cream pops! Yippee 2) Somebody asked for the name of books with recipes. i mentioned seeing a book called Vice Cream. it is a small, thin, soft cover book that i saw in a local chain here called New Seasons. i’d check Amazon.com for it.

  24. Ok, just had to weigh in…

    Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss ***Chocolate Peanut Butter*** flavor is rolling out RIGHT NOW as we speak–three new flavors, blog post here: http://bit.ly/huvxO

    It should be in stores mid to late June.

    Our staff/family has tried out Chocolate Peanut Butter (rogue pints made their way into our freezer, but didn’t last long!), and I can say it’s way awesome. Way awesome. I’ve never seen people eat something so quickly.

    Commenters, thanks for mentioning that were USDA 95% organic with fair trade ingredients — big differences between us and our (big company) competitors. And we’re just 8 people. Let us know what your needs are, and we’ll get back to you. Ask Coconut.Gal (who doesn’t work for us, despite the similar name. ;) ) And we invented this ice cream category 4 years ago.

    Ok. Thanks ya’ll for your comments. Luna, Larry, and the other 6 of us in Eugene appreciate it. :)
    -V
    A Dispatch from Coconut Bliss HQ

    • Rebecca Cherry

      Vince,

      Thanks for the weigh in. I saw that you have popsicles, now! i haven’t seen them in my stores, though. i live in Hillsboro, OR. Any way you can get them to the neighborhood New Seasons or Whole Foods this summer?

      Rebecca

    • AnneMarie Francione

      Excuse me, but isn’t a blog about a new product an inappropriate place for the competition to be touting its own products? It seems a bit tacky to me. I read these kinds of blogs to learn about foods that my dairy and gluten intolerent child can enjoy. I am truly not interested in reading how a competitor might like to “weigh in.” I most value what the reviewer, who is unbiased, has to say.

  25. oops, that link doesn’t work- this is the blog coconutbliss.blogspot.com

    peace,
    V

  26. So, I went out last night and got some Purely Decadent Coconut ice cream. Yumm. And I’m not even a huge ice cream fan but I do like something cold every once in a while and this hit the spot. Thanks for the heads up!

  27. CoconutGal,
    Your ice cream is simple and all natural…My kind of treat ;).

    For the people who requested book references about non-dairy/vegan ice cream, here are some:
    “Vice Cream” uses a variety of nut milks
    “Ice Dream” uses coconut milk

    There’s also a new one the “vegan scoop”, but it relies heavily on soymilk and I avoid soy at all costs! (see the “Soy Alert” article by the Weston Price Foundation).

  28. Another book worth mentioning:
    “Mother Necessity Gluten Free/Casein free
    Ice Cream, Smoothies & Protein Shake Recipes”

  29. cate

    Hi Elana,

    I have been reading about agave and would like to know what you think about the recent news that it many actually not be as good as we all think. I am not a raw foodie but found good info on this site: http://www.living-foods.com/articles/agave.html

    Specifically #4. A & B

    Thanks!

  30. Diane-Thewholegang @ thewholegang.org

    This is one of my favorite ice creams. I also love the Mango Passionate Fruit coconut milk ice cream. They have great vanilla, chocolate and coconut flavor too. The hardest part is keeping the serving size appropriate.

  31. Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet @ thenourishinggourmet.com

    Gotta say, I love Coconut Bliss the most! I now make most all of my own ice cream, so that I can control what sweeteners are used as we try not to have agave except on rare occasions. Like others, I like coconut bliss for the few ingredients they use, but also for their rich taste. That’s real ice cream to me!

    But to each his own. :-) I am sure that Elena is right and some of Purely Decadent’s ice creams are good (I’ve only tried their vanilla which none of us liked, texture and taste wise).

    As a fellow ice cream “maker” ;-) I am looking forward to your recipe Elena!

  32. Okay, just tried the Coconut Bliss Hazlenut Fudge and hmmmm–it was delicious. I really liked Purely Decadent simple Coconut flavor too. Even made my mom a convert to that one.

    I love, love, love that I can actually eat coconut ice cream. There is so much that I can’t eat that it is nice to have a treat I know I can buy.

  33. Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen @ meghantelpnerblog.com

    I can’t wait to see the recipe for the from scratch coconut ice cream.

  34. Paula, of course they won’t tell you their products contain MSG (it’s possible they don’t even know it).
    MSG takes many forms (natural or not) and glutamic acid is even found in vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms.

  35. Gail Davis @ turtlemountain.com

    We have been joyfully making dairy-free frozen desserts here at Turtle Mountain for more than 20 years. When we decided to start making coconut milk-based ice cream, we weren’t attempting to reinvent the wheel, but rather, create an alternative for our customers, who cannot consume soy. We could have chosen to use rice, hemp, cashews, or oats, but found that coconut milk not only gave us the great taste and creamy, rich consistency we were looking for, but offered many nutritional benefits.

    Regarding the concerns that have been raised in comments posted to this blog, let me begin by saying that we care deeply about the health and safety of our customers and work hard to make products that are not only enjoyable, but free of questionable ingredients and non-declared allergens.

    While MSG can form naturally during soy fermentation or yeast extraction, it is not a normal, or common constituent of natural flavors. It is a myth that the term “natural flavors” is a cover for ingredients containing MSG. Our natural flavors come from botanicals and extracts from natural sources, and we purchase them from only a handful of companies with whom we have developed a trusting relationship.

    Each manufacturer extracts individual components from natural sources and combines them into various combinations to achieve the flavor and texture profile they desire. We use guar gum, which is derived from the seed of the leguminous guar plant, to thicken, stabilize, and prevent graininess, and carob bean gum, derived from the seed of the leguminous carob tree, as a stabilizer. Neither ingredient contains MSG. In fact, all of our ingredients are carefully screened for the presence of MSG, and they are all free and clear of MSG.

    The question of whether phytochemicals in soy may contribute to an increased cancer risk due to estrogenic effects has been raised. However, there is evidence that consuming soy at a young age reduces cancer risk later in life. Isoflavones (types of phytoestrogens in soy), are the subject of numerous scientific studies. Most of these studies indicate that isoflavones have some health benefit. Research in several areas has shown that the consumption of isoflavones may play a significant role in fighting disease on several fronts:

    1. Reducing long-term overall cancer risk
    2. Reducing risk of heart disease
    3. Protecting against the progression and development of breast and prostate cancer
    4. Preservation and improvement of bone health
    5. Easing of menopause symptoms

    We believe that there is a significant amount of scientific evidence supporting the inclusion of soy as part of a healthy diet.

    We began using agave syrup in response to customer requests for a low-glycemic alternative to dehydrated cane sugar crystals. Agave syrup has a delicately sweet taste, blends well with coconut milk, and has the lowest glycemic index of any natural, caloric sweetener.

    Our line of coconut milk ice cream has been so well-received, that we have also introduced a line of coconut milk yogurts and coconut milk beverages to meet our customers’ demand for delicious, healthful alternatives to dairy and soy-based foods.

    I think it is important to remember that dairy-free ice cream is a delicious treat made with fat and sugar to be enjoyed as part of, but certainly not as the centerpiece of a healthy diet. However, I think it is also worth noting that Purely Decadent Made with Coconut Milk is significantly lower in fat and calories than Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss. We strive hard to meet our customers’ needs, and value and welcome your feedback and suggestions.

  36. We make our own coconut ice cream by blending the ingredients and freezing them into ice cubes before adding them to our vitamix. It turns out really well and it tastes like the soy delicious or coconut bliss except better! I like the reduced waste of making your own and I believe it is also more economical. We use vanilla bean so it has the added flecks of the bean which make it look more authentic as well.

  37. Hannah Handpainted @ HannahHandpainted.etsy.com

    Wow…

    That thread took forever to read! Quite intense, too. I have tried all these kinds of ice cream (including the goat’s milk line), and I’ve enjoyed them all.

    I think people should do what’s right for themselves and their family diet-wise. We can safeguard our health to a certain extent but I don’t know if we can ever fully protect ourselves, so I’m in agreement to enjoy the things we feel comfortable eating, in accordance with our values.

    To everyone in good health and happiness,

    Hannah

    p.s. liking this rain, Elana? Jeez :) I’m in Loveland–so I’ve gotten the odd mix of rain, hail and the occasional ‘tornado spotting’…

  38. Hi Everyone,

    What a fabulous debate over ice cream. Who would have thought that such a simple treat would inspire the sharing of so much information?

    First off, I want to thank both Purely Decadent and Coconut Bliss for stopping by to share nutrition, product development and other information in the comments section of this site.

    I invited each company to do so and it is not only entirely appropriate, it is a gift to us that these manufacturers would take the time to bring the information right to our conversation, so that we don’t have to take the time to hunt it down.

    Here is a summary of some of my thoughts on this great debate:

    1) I agree with Barbara’s comment, that the Purely Decadent tastes better than the Coconut Bliss (just my personal preference though).

    2) I also would agree with Alchemille’s comment about the Coconut Bliss being healthier. And, as Shirley points out, you really can’t beat a store bought product that has only 5 ingredients. In that realm, I would say that Coconut Bliss wins.

    3) On the other hand, I would also agree with Alchemille’s comment about MSG, I think Purely Decadent dispelled any worries that I might have had about this ingredient being in their product.

    4) In terms of Kate’s comment regarding GMO’s, I would have to say this is quite an issue and sways me back over to team Coconut Bliss!

    5) I also want to thank Christianne and CoconutGal for pointing out the “middle path.”

    In the end, I have decided not to eat the Purely Decadent (though still purchase it for the boys). Because of this post,I have decided to go just a tad more Paleo and avoid legumes (hence the Purely Decadent’s gums and other ingredients don’t really work for me at this point).

    Finally, I want to thank Vince for sticking his neck out and joining the debate (entirely appropriate) and thank all of you for providing your thoughts, insights and information!

    It’s amazing that we could have such great conversation about ice cream!

  39. It is scary how good this is. My husband and I just ate the whole coconut container….

  40. Rayna Powers

    What stores can I find the coconut ice cream in? My son has a soy allergy so this would be great if we could find this somewhere close to us.

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