“ Brand: Swedish Glace / Type: Ice Cream „
With the festive season and its associated culinary delights fast approaching, my thoughts recently turned to Christmas Pudding. Actually, not to the pudding itself but to what to serve with it. Most of my family like to go for the cream or ice cream route (some wicked devils go for both at the same time), but because I am allergic to dairy products, ice cream was something I used to miss during my Christmas lunch. And then a few years ago - and much to my delight - someone in my family discovered a product that is basically a dairy-free ice cream. The name of the product is Swedish Glace, and the main ingredient is soya milk (this is much nicer than it sounds!). For the purpose of this review, I'm going to call this 'frozen dessert' ice cream from now on.
The ice cream now comes in a range of flavours - Rich Chocolate, Wild Blueberry, Neapolitan, and Raspberry - as well as Smooth Vanilla, and I buy mine from our local Tesco.
The ice cream is dairy (lactose), cholesterol and gluten free, is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, is Kosher approved, and contains no genetically modified ingredients. It comes in a sturdy black octagonal tub, which contains 750ml/400g of ice cream. The lid has a black background, with the Swedish Glace name curved across the top, and the words 'Smooth Vanilla' and 'Lactose, Cholesterol & Gluten Free' across the middle. Below that is a photo of the ice cream, showing the tiny dark specks of vanilla within.
On the base of the tub is a label that, among other things, lists the ingredients. Because this is a product that I'm reviewing partly because it is suitable for so many people who might otherwise have problems eating ice cream, I will list the ingredients and the nutritional values (both are taken from the Swedish Glace website and relate to the Smooth Vanilla flavour):
'Ingredients: Water extract from premium graded soya beans (Soya milk), sucrose, dextrose, vegetable oils non-hydrogenated, vanilla flavour, emulsifiers: mono- and diglycerides from vegetable oils, stabilisers: carob bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan, salt, vanilla grains, colour: beta carotene.
Nutritional Values: per 100g
. Energy 850kj/200 kcal
. Protein 2.5g
. Carbohydrate 24g
of which sugars 23g
. Fat 11.0g
of which saturates 6.0g
of which monounsaturated 3.0g
of which polyunsaturates 2.0g
. Fibre 1.0g
. Sodium 0.1g'
The label on the base of the tub also states that there is:
No Animal Constituents
Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, please remember that I'm reviewing this product partly as a Christmas treat - and if you're interested in eating a Christmas treat, then you will probably already be aware that most of them will contain some form of fat and/or sugar!
While this product doesn't have quite the same creamy smoothness as 'normal' ice cream, it is still absolutely delicious, and is a huge treat for those of us previously denied such delights. The vanilla - represented by tiny black specks distributed throughout the ice cream - is in no way overpowering. The ice cream just tastes of ice cream. Most of my dairy-eating family still prefer the 'real' version, although they are quite happy to accept this substitute should the occasion arise. As an added advantage, this product can be served straight from the freezer with no fear of bending your serving spoon or ice cream scoop.
After checking today, I've found that Swedish Glace should be available at Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrison, Asda, Co-op, Waitrose, Ocado and Booths. The price for the Smooth Vanilla version varies from £2.00 at Asda to about £2.20 at other stores. Some of the flavours may not be widely available, and my online check found only the Smooth Vanilla, Raspberry, and Neapolitan (the Neapolitan comes in a 1.3L tub, for about £3.19) varieties.
If you would like to know more about this product, the website is www.swedishglace.com.
I am thrilled that I can now eat something with my Christmas Pudding (or with my own speciality, Black Cherry Crumble), and am more than happy to give this product a resounding five gold rings (sorry, five stars).
(This review is also on Ciao, under the same user name.)
My son has a dairy allergy and until we found Swedish Glace, he had a very limited choice of desserts. In the summer especially he always had to have an ice-lolly and sometimes he would get quite upset that other children could have this mysterious thing called ice-cream, in cones with sprinkles & sauces. Swedish Glace was the first non-dairy ice-cream substitute we came across, and we were really excited to have the chance to indulge the boy's sweet-tooth and let him have something "normal".
Swedish Glace's most properly called a "vanilla flavoured iced non-dairy dessert", but I shall be calling it ice-cream as shorthand for this review.
It's available in vanilla flavour in most supermarkets. Our local Sainsburys briefly had the chocolate version as well, but now is back down to just the vanilla. Waitrose has a much better provision, often having raspberry, chocolate, vanilla and even neapolitan dairy-free ice-creams.
It's reasonably priced, but comes in a relatively small tub of 750g, so we tend to keep it just for him while buying a larger tub of normal ice-cream for the rest of the family. We also keep a tub at the school for his desserts when he has school dinners, as previously he used to have a piece of fruit instead while the children around him scoffed sponges and custard. Yes, it was healthier - but poor wee chap!
Swedish Glace's easy to spot in the freezer section in its distinctive black hexagonal pot. It is lactose, cholesterol and gluten free, made without genetically modified ingredients and suitable for vegans as well.
When you open up the tub, it reveals a tasty-looking, pale cream dessert. It's flecked with black specks of vanilla so it looks classy and appealing. The consistency is very similar to normal ice-creams: the texture is thick and creamy. It's perhaps grainier but that's being pretty picky.
It tastes very much like a normal vanilla ice-cream - you can detect the soya as a slight after-taste, but essentially it does a good job of recreating the real thing. In the mouth, the consistency lacks a little of the fullness and creaminess of a true ice-cream. Compared with more expensive gourmet ice-creams, it's not great, but it certainly competes well with the lower end of the market.
It's good in cones and melts gorgeously with hot fruit pies or crumbles. My son can add crackling chocolate sauce and sprinkles to his bowl of ice-cream and feel like he's not missing out on anything, so it's just brilliant.
It doesn't say on them whether the tubs are recyclable, so I assume they're not - but they're a very useful size and we have several about the place, filled with hamas beads and crazy bones and so forth!
I wanted a dairy free ice cream; I am not vegan or dairy intolerant buy I like to avoid dairy when I can. I have heard of Tofutti ice cream, and also Swedish Glace, but have only seen them in Health food shops; and they would have been long melted by the time I got home. Not that I need an excuse to eat a whole tub at once... So I was very surprised when I was told on 43 things that other people get their ice cream from Tesco's. We were going there on Sunday - great.
So in the freezer, I found it! They only had one flavour, vanilla, but that's okay. Chocolate is my favourite ice cream flabour, but if it's a nice vanilla I like both equally.
After lunch, I indulged. It was still very soft, as we hadn't been home long (and therfore the ice cream hadn't been back in the freezer long) Amazing is the only word I can use to describe it. I wouldn't have noticed it was vegan at all, if I hadn't known. The vanilla flavour is really there, and not fake either, you can even see the black dots of vanilla in the ice cream. It's so rich and dedacant. The texture is very similar to that of dairy ice cream too. And at £1.69 per tub, it isn't bad value. Granted, it's more expensive than ordinary ice cream if you usually buy the basic own brands, but it's cheaper than Ben and Jerry's and other high end ice cream brands. Definatly value for money.
Water extract from premium graded soyabeans, sucrose, glucose, non-hydrogenated vegetable oils, emulsifiers: mono- and di-glycerides from vegetable oils, stabilisers: carob bean gum, guar gum, carrageenan, salt, vanilla flavouring.
Energy 850kJ/200kcal, Protein 2.5g, Carbohydrate 25g (of which sugars 24g), Fat 10g (of which saturates 5.0g, monounsaturates 3.0g and polyunsaturates 2.0g)
I have been enjoying Swedish glace for many years, originally i could only get it at my local health food shop and this meant that is was really pricey. However in the last couple of years the supermarkets have caught on and have been stocking a wider selection of gluten and dairyfree foods which had ensured that the cost has gone down, it is normally about 2-3 pounds a tub in my local Waitrose. Food being lactose and wheat free doesnt mean that there is no taste and Swedish Glace is the prime example of lactose and wheat free food at its best. When given to friends and family they truely believe that they are eating high end expensive ice cream because the texture is thick and creamy, there is flecks of vanilla running throughout the ice cream and the taste is second to none not too sweet and sickly, it is just right. Ive never had a problem with scooping out the ice cream it is more a problem with portion control and ice cream headaches
Being lactose intolerant means dairy ice cream is out of bounds. While it might be heavenly, the after effects aren't and so it often isn't worth the hassle.
However, one day I was shopping in a local supermarket and browsing the freezer section (for lollies, rather than ice cream) and I found Swedish Glace Smooth Vanilla. It's a non dairy, soft scoop, frozen dessert and an alternative to dairy ice cream. Having tasted some truly awful alternatives to dairy, I wondered if my purchase would be worth while.
I needn't have worried, however, as Swedish Glace Smooth Vanilla dessert is delicious and tastes pretty much like any dairy vanilla ice cream! Baring in mind that this dessert is not only lactose free, but also cholesterol and gluten free, it's a wonder it tastes so good. It is also suitable for kosher and vegan diets. Despite the lack of cream, it does taste creamy and of vanilla (but not like some of those cheap and awful vanilla ice creams).
Importantly, as this dessert is soft, it is easy to scoop out of the black hexagonal tub. It can be put in a cone or in a dish and can even be used to make such things as homemade milkshakes. Either way, it's delicious! I sometimes like to chop up some banana to put with it and/or squeeze some strawberry sauce over it.
It costs around the £2.50 - £3 mark for a 750ml tub, which I don't find is too expensive considering it allows me to eat ice cream and enjoy it without any after effects.
So, if you're looking for a dairy free alternative to ice cream then Swedish Glace Smooth Vanilla dessert is the stuff for you. It can be found in all good supermarkets and in some health food shops too.
Ingredients include: Water extract from premium graded soya beans (Soya milk), sucrose, dextrose, vegetable oils non-hydrogenated, vanilla flavour, emulsifiers: mono and diglycerides from vegetable oils, stabilisers: carob bean gum, guar gum, carrageenam, acidity regulator: calcium citrate, salt, vanilla, grains, colour: beta carotene.
So this dessert is not suitable to those allergic to soya. You may also notice the salt content... this is quite common in dairy-free/lactose-free foods.
(Other flavours are also available).
I'm a vegan - so vegan products are of great interest - but there's no reason why non-vegans shouldn't buy this. Dairy free is a healthier option in many nutritionists' eyes. With this in mind, I say that this is a win-win product - you win on the healthier option and you win on taste - because it tastes great. There is another brand of soya ice cream available but I prefer this one because it has a rounded vanilla taste and a creamy texture. You can even see the little dots that come from the vanilla pod in the ice cream. How many commercially available ice creams have this?
This ice cream is a perfect accompaniment to apple crumbles and pies and friut compotes. I would happily eat it in a cone if I could find one that was vegan.
This product can be found in some health food stores and in some (better end) supermarkets so it isn't difficult to make a healthier choice whilst still giving yourself a treat!
Non-dairy soft-scoop frozen dessert