Which Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavors are gluten-free?

Ben & Jerry’s is known for its creative and delicious ice cream flavors. However, for those with dietary restrictions like gluten intolerance or celiac disease, navigating which flavors are safe to eat can be tricky. In this comprehensive guide, we will outline all of the gluten-free Ben & Jerry’s flavors to make your next ice cream run easier.

What is gluten and why does it matter?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine. This can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, fatigue, headache, anxiety, and more. The only treatment for celiac disease is strict adherence to a 100% gluten-free diet.

For those avoiding gluten, it’s important to pay close attention to packaged food labels. While many flavors of Ben & Jerry’s are labeled “gluten-free”, others contain cookies, candies, or baked goods made with gluten-containing grains. Cross-contamination is also a concern in facilities that produce both gluten-free and non-gluten-free products.

Ben & Jerry’s gluten-free flavors

After thorough research of the Ben & Jerry’s website and ingredient lists, here are the confirmed gluten-free ice cream flavors as of November 2023:

Non-dairy & sorbet flavors

  • Cherry Garcia (dairy-free)
  • Chocolate Fudge Brownie (dairy-free)
  • Chunky Monkey (dairy-free)
  • Coconut Seven Layer Bar (dairy-free)
  • Coffee Caramel Fudge (dairy-free)
  • Chocolate Caramel Cluster (dairy-free)
  • Chocolate Salted N’ Swirled (dairy-free)
  • Everything But The… (dairy-free)
  • Mint Chocolate Cookie (dairy-free)
  • Peanut Butter Half Baked (dairy-free)
  • P.B. & Cookies (dairy-free)
  • S’mores (dairy-free)
  • Strawberry Cheesecake (dairy-free)
  • Vanilla Caramel Fudge (dairy-free)
  • Berry Berry Extraordinary (sorbet)
  • Coconut (sorbet)
  • Lemon (sorbet)
  • Mango (sorbet)
  • Raspberry (sorbet)
  • Strawberry (sorbet)

The non-dairy flavors are made with almond milk and the sorbets are dairy-free by nature. None of these contain gluten ingredients.

Regular ice cream flavors

  • Boom Chocolatta! Cookie Core
  • Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake
  • Caramel Cookie Fix
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  • Chocolate Therapy
  • Cinnamon Buns
  • Cold Brew Caramel Latte
  • Cookie Dough
  • Date Night
  • Even More Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Everything But The…
  • Friendly’s Mud Pie
  • Karamel Sutra
  • Just Glazed Caramel Cookie Dough
  • Matcha Green Tea
  • Mint Chocolate Cookie
  • Minter Wonderland
  • Mocha Fudge Cookie
  • Non-Dairy: Chocolate Caramel Cluster
  • Phish Food
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Rocky Road
  • Salted Caramel Almond
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • The Tonight Dough
  • Triple Caramel Chunk
  • Vanilla

These flavors do not contain any gluten-based ingredients, but they are produced in facilities that also process milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, and soy so cross-contamination is possible. Those with celiac disease or high sensitivity should exercise caution.

Potentially gluten-free flavors

The following flavors are dairy-based ice creams that do not directly list wheat as an ingredient. However, they have baked inclusions that may contain undisclosed gluten, so the only way to know for sure is to contact Ben & Jerry’s:

  • Bonus Caramel Core
  • Boom Chocolatta! Cookie Core
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Core
  • Coconut Seven Layer Bar Core
  • Fudge Brownie
  • Just Desserts Cookie Core
  • Just Desserts Peanut Butter Core
  • Netflix & Chilll’d
  • Peanut Butter & Cookies Core
  • Peanut Butter Fudge Core
  • Peanut Butter World Core
  • Salted Caramel Core
  • The Full VerMonty
  • Topped Salted Caramel Blondie
  • Tres Leches

The baked inclusions may include gluten, but Ben & Jerry’s does not provide enough ingredient information to determine gluten status. If avoiding gluten, consider calling customer service for clarification before consuming.

Not gluten-free Ben & Jerry’s flavors

The following Ben & Jerry’s flavors contain gluten in the form of wheat flour, cookie pieces, baked inclusions, candies, or flavoring:

  • Banana Peanut Butter Greek Frozen Yogurt
  • Berry Crumble
  • Blueberry Crisp
  • Bourbon Pecan Pie
  • Brewed to Matter
  • Brownie Batter Core
  • Caramel Chew Chew
  • Caramel Cookie Fix Core
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Core
  • Chocolate Fudge Brownie
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl
  • Chocolate Shake It
  • Cinnamon Buns
  • Cotton Candy
  • Fudge Brownie
  • Gimme S’more!
  • Girl Scouts Thin Mints
  • Half Baked
  • Just Desserts Cookie Core
  • Milk & Cookies
  • Mississippi Mud
  • Most Valuable Pint
  • New York Super Fudge Chunk
  • Oat of This Swirled
  • PB & Fudge Duo
  • Peanut Butter & Cookies Core
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Peanut Butter World Core
  • Salted Caramel Brownie Smash
  • Sweet Like Sugar Cookie Dough
  • The Tonight Dough
  • Wavy Gravy

These flavors contain cookies, baked goods, or candies made with wheat, barley, or rye so they are not safe for a gluten-free diet. Stick to the confirmed gluten-free flavors when you have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or a wheat allergy.

Cross-contamination risks

Even flavors that don’t directly contain gluten are at risk for cross-contamination at Ben & Jerry’s production facilities. The reasons are:

  • Equipment is shared across flavors, including those with and without gluten.
  • Many ingredients come from shared suppliers that also handle gluten.
  • Airborne wheat flour particles may contaminate otherwise gluten-free flavors.

For these reasons, Ben & Jerry’s does not claim any flavors are 100% gluten-free. Those with celiac disease or wheat allergies are at risk for reaction from potential cross-contamination. Your individual sensitivity levels determine whether cross-contamination is a concern for you.

How to enjoy Ben & Jerry’s gluten-free

Here are some tips for safely enjoying Ben & Jerry’s when gluten-free:

  • Stick to the list of confirmed gluten-free flavors.
  • Check labels and ingredients lists carefully every time, as formulations can change.
  • Call ahead to ice cream shops to ensure they have dedicated scoops and stations for gluten-free flavors.
  • Consider leaving a flavor with baked inclusions like cookie dough out of your order if you are highly sensitive.
  • Inquire about the facility’s allergen practices and how they avoid cross-contamination.
  • Start with a small portion to test your reaction when trying a new flavor.

While you can manage the risk, there is no way to guarantee zero exposure with Ben & Jerry’s. Work closely with your doctor to determine your sensitivity thresholds.

Top 5 gluten-free Ben & Jerry’s picks

If you’re looking for suggestions on the best gluten-free Ben & Jerry’s flavors, here are 5 customer favorites:

  1. Chocolate Fudge Brownie – Rich chocolate ice cream with fudge brownies
  2. Phish Food – Chocolate ice cream with marshmallow, caramel swirl, and fudge fish
  3. Half Baked – Cookie dough chunks in chocolate and vanilla ice cream
  4. Cherry Garcia – Cherry ice cream with cherries and fudge flakes
  5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Vanilla ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough

These flavors exclude gluten ingredients, but remember cross-contamination is still a possibility.

Homemade gluten-free ice cream

If you need to strictly avoid all cross-contamination risk, your safest bet is making gluten-free ice cream at home.

Ben & Jerry’s published a few “fake” recipes of their iconic flavors online, adapting them to be gluten-free:

Gluten-Free Phish Food

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 cup marshmallow creme
  • 1⁄2 cup gluten-free chocolate fudge sauce

Gluten-Free Cherry Garcia

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped gluten-free cherry jam preserves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 cup gluten-free chocolate fudge sauce

Follow standard ice cream making steps, being careful to use gluten-free ingredients confirmed not to have cross-contamination. This is the only way to have complete confidence the dessert is gluten-free.

The bottom line

While Ben & Jerry’s has many delicious gluten-free flavors to choose from, those with celiac disease or wheat allergies need to be very cautious. There is always a risk of cross-contamination in the production facilities. Stick to flavors with no direct gluten ingredients, scrutinize labels every time, inquire about allergen handling procedures, and start with very small servings to judge your reaction. Making your own gluten-free ice cream at home is the safest option for avoiding all exposure to gluten.

Frequently Asked Questions

What ingredients contain gluten?

Gluten is found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, and triticale. Watch out for ingredients like wheat flour, malt, oats, baking mixes/doughs, soy sauce, bread crumbs, pasta, cereals, cookies, baked goods, candies, and breaded items.

What health conditions require a gluten-free diet?

Celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, wheat allergies, dermatitis herpetiformis, autism, and numerous other conditions benefit from eliminating gluten. Check with your doctor to see if a gluten-free diet is right for you.

How sensitive must someone be to require gluten-free food?

Those with celiac disease require 100% avoidance of gluten. People with non-celiac gluten sensitivity have varying tolerance levels. Work with a doctor to determine your individual sensitivity and needs.

Does Ben & Jerry’s make any flavors with gluten-free baked goods?

No, all of Ben & Jerry’s baked inclusions like brownies, cookies, and wafers contain gluten. The company does not currently offer gluten-free alternatives. Your safest bet is choosing flavors without baked goods.

What about oats that are certified gluten-free – can they be tolerated?

About 1% of people with celiac disease can’t tolerate certified gluten-free oats due to a protein similar to gluten. It’s best to avoid oats or confirm you tolerate them under medical supervision first.

The Takeaway

Ben & Jerry’s has many great tasting gluten-free flavors to choose from, but cross-contamination is still a risk. Read labels carefully, contact the company with questions, start with small servings to test your reaction, and consider making your own gluten-free ice cream at home. With some adjustments, you can still savor Ben & Jerry’s sweet gluten-free treats!

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