Food News

Green Bar & Kitchen Now Serving Gluten-Free, Nut-Free Vegan Ice Cream

Ice cream is one of the world's greatest pleasures. In fact, we love it so much we may or may not have had a tab at the local parlor as a kid.

While most of us try not to eat the icy lactose-filled treat often due to dietary concerns, there are some poor souls who can't eat the sweet milk of the gods period.

Others abstain due to ethical concerns.

Either way, we feel bad for the non-ice-cream-eating segment of the population.

Green Bar & Kitchen has taken matters into its own hands. The vegan, gluten-free hot spot is now serving vegan ice cream that's suitable for most allergies, even nuts.

See also: Five Vegan Starbucks Drinks for Summer and How to "Veganize" the Rest

Available since March, the soft serve is a combination of vegan cane syrup, tapioca, vanilla soy milk, soy protein, guar gum, xathan gum, and salt.

Shortly after Green Bar added it to the line-up, the product has been flying out of the machines.

"It's taken off like wild fire, because there's no gluten-free soft serve anyway," says partner Elena Pezzo.

It's not made on-site (its made by Chicago Vegan Foods), but owners Pezzo and business/life partner Charles Grippo have been playing with different flavors, such as green tea, vanilla marshmallow, orange carrot, and chocolate.

"The chocolate was good," says Pezzo. "But it tastes kind of like a Wendy's Frosty. We may bring it back, but we're planning to introduce seasonal flavors."

Expect to see options like mango and sweet potato pumpkin in the future. Also on the roster are more frozen desserts like ice cream pies.

At the moment, Green Bar serving its most popular flavors, green tea and vanilla marshmallow, which are available separate or swirled together.

"It's so easy to blend together," says Pezzo. "The green tea is made with straight up matcha; so it's beneficial too. It's much healthier than those other ice creams that are made with sugar-infused syrups."

We can say from personal experience, it actually is rather reminiscent of real ice cream. Even for a non-vegan, it's enjoyable, much better than one would expect.

Pezzo and a former Green Bar chef found the ice cream while looking for a nut-free dessert.

"So many of the kids that come in here have nut allergies," says Pezzo. "They couldn't have anything in my bakery case."

And now they can.

A cone is $3.99. Brownie a la mode is $5.99.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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Sara Ventiera