Ben & Jerry’s is known for their delicious ice cream flavors like Cherry Garcia and Phish Food. However, some customers wonder if their dairy-free flavors are also gluten-free. This article will explore whether Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice creams are gluten-free as well.
Why Do People Need Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Ice Cream?
There are a few key reasons why people may need or want dairy-free and gluten-free ice cream:
- Dairy allergy or intolerance – Some people are allergic to dairy or lactose intolerant, meaning they need to avoid milk proteins.
- Gluten intolerance or celiac disease – Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity must follow a gluten-free diet, avoiding wheat, barley, and rye.
- Vegan diet – Vegans do not consume any animal products, including dairy, so they require dairy-free ice creams.
- Preference – Some people simply prefer the taste and texture of non-dairy ice creams.
Having dairy-free and gluten-free options allows more customers to enjoy ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s offers several dairy-free flavors, but are they gluten-free too?
Overview of Ben & Jerry’s Dairy-Free Ice Cream
Ben & Jerry’s currently offers 7 dairy-free and vegan certified flavors:
- Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Brownie
- Non-Dairy Chunky Monkey
- Non-Dairy Coconut Seven Layer Bar
- Non-Dairy Coffee Caramel Fudge
- Non-Dairy Cherry Garcia
- Non-Dairy Cinnamon Buns
- Non-Dairy Gimme S’more
These flavors are made with an almond milk ice cream base instead of dairy. They have no milk, cream, or other dairy ingredients. But what about gluten?
Are Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Ice Creams Gluten-Free?
After thorough research, I can confirm that Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free flavors are NOT certified gluten-free. While they do not contain wheat, barley, rye, or malt, Ben & Jerry’s does warn that there is a risk of gluten cross-contamination in their facilities.
Here are the key points on gluten and Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice cream:
- The dairy-free base contains no gluten ingredients.
- However, it is produced on shared equipment with gluten-containing products.
- Ben & Jerry’s cannot guarantee the dairy-free ice creams are 100% gluten-free.
- The company warns those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity proceed with caution.
This cross-contamination risk means those following gluten-free diets should be careful with Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice cream. The brand does not recommend their products for customers with celiac disease.
Ingredient Analysis: Risk of Gluten Contamination
Analyzing the ingredients in Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free flavors provides more context on the gluten cross-contamination risk:
Non-Dairy Chunky Monkey Ingredients
- Almondmilk (water, almonds), sugar, palm kernel and canola oil, rice starch, banana puree, contains 2% or less of: cocoa (processed with alkali), soy protein isolate, natural flavours, cellulose gum, dipotassium phosphate, locust bean gum, sunflower lecithin, gellan gum, soy lecithin, salt, carrageenan, calcium carbonate, potassium phosphate.
- Contains wheat-free grains like rice and corn which are low risk for gluten contamination.
- Processes soy ingredients which can sometimes contaminate.
- Made on shared equipment with wheat-based flavors.
Non-Dairy Cherry Garcia Ingredients
- Almondmilk (Water, Almonds), Organic Cane Sugar, Almond Butter, Palm Kernel and Canola Oil, Contains 2% or less of: Natural Flavors, Locust Bean Gum, Guar Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Salt, Annatto (Plant-Based Color).
- No obvious gluten-containing ingredients.
- Uses shared equipment with wheat-based flavors.
Based on these ingredients, while Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice creams themselves appear to be gluten-free, the cross-contamination risk from shared equipment and facilities remains. Customers with celiac disease or who are highly sensitive should exercise caution.
Are Any Ben & Jerry’s Ice Creams Certified Gluten-Free?
Currently, no Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors – including dairy and non-dairy – are certified gluten-free.
Some key factors leading to this:
- Use of shared equipment and facilities.
- Risk of trace amounts of gluten due to cross-contamination.
- Lack of dedicated gluten-free production lines.
Ben & Jerry’s states that none of their products are recommended for customers with celiac disease due to the cross-contamination risks. Those with celiac disease or who are highly gluten sensitive should avoid all Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavors.
Gluten-Free Ice Cream Brands
While Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice creams are not gluten-free certified, there are some brands that offer certified gluten-free non-dairy and vegan ice cream options:
So Delicious Dairy Free
- Offers dairy-free ice creams made from coconut, cashew, and almond milk bases.
- Their products are certified gluten-free to less than 20ppm.
- Flavors include Cookie Dough, Mint Chip, Mocha Fudge, etc.
Talenti Dairy Free
- Produces gelato-style sorbettos made from fruit and sugar.
- Certified gluten-free to less than 20ppm.
- Flavors include Cherry, Peach, Raspberry, etc.
- Offers dairy-free coconut milk ice cream.
- Certified gluten-free.
- Flavors include Cookie Dough, Mint Chip, Salted Caramel, etc.
These brands offer delicious gluten-free options for those with dairy and gluten restrictions. Check labels to ensure gluten-free certification.
Homemade Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Ice Cream
For those highly sensitive, homemade ice cream may be the safest gluten-free option. You control all the ingredients and avoid cross-contamination risks from facilities.
- Full fat coconut milk – thickens and adds creamy texture
- Bananas – natural sweetener and binder
- Vanilla – flavoring
- Salt – enhances flavor
Blend ingredients together then freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.
- Chocolate – cocoa powder, chocolate chips
- Strawberry – fresh or frozen strawberries
- Cookies and Cream – gluten-free Oreo-style cookies
- Mint Chip – mint extract, dairy-free chocolate chips
Get creative with your favorite gluten-free add-ins! Homemade allows you to personalize flavors.
Finding Safe Treats
Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice cream may not be suitable for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity due to potential cross-contamination. Always thoroughly read labels and contact companies directly with questions if uncertain about ingredients or manufacturing. Other brands offer certified gluten-free dairy-free options widely available in stores. Additionally, homemade ice cream with gluten-free ingredients can be a delicious option. With some care in label reading and proper substitutions, those avoiding both gluten and dairy can still enjoy ice cream!
- Ben & Jerry’s dairy-free ice creams are not certified gluten-free.
- The company warns about risk of cross-contamination from shared equipment.
- No Ben & Jerry’s products are deemed safe for those with celiac disease.
- Other brands offer certified gluten-free dairy-free ice creams.
- Homemade ice cream avoids contamination risks and allows flavor customization.
While Ben & Jerry’s cannot guarantee gluten-free products, there are still ways for those with gluten and dairy restrictions to enjoy ice cream through careful shopping and homemade options. Reading labels thoroughly and seeking clarity from manufacturers helps ensure safety. With creativity and care, almost any diet can include occasional sweet treats!