In a completely different twist on the ice cream revolution, Little Bean ice cream offers a dairy alternative that doesn’t carry the fats associated with options like coconut milk — or depend on genetically modified crops like soybeans.
“Crap commercial ice cream has cultivated my generation, but [the next generation is]going to be craving healthier ice cream,” Oregon chef and Little Bean co-founder Micah Camden bluntly told culinary news website Eater. Little Bean’s chickpeas are billed as organic, gluten-free, sustainably grown and contain no genetically modified organisms; its ice cream flavors have included orange caramel, matcha mint and blackberry basil.
Camden, who began his exploration with chickpea tofu and then chickpea milk, found ice cream a natural progression — and tasty surprise. He opened a cart last summer in Portland, to be followed by a truck and scoop shop. It’s the latest venture into vegan ice cream territory, and Camden is hopeful it will expand to pints in grocery stores.
Nielsen reports that non-dairy ice cream drove the highest growth in the category from 2016 to 2017, expanding by 49 percent. Frozen custard, in the meantime, fared the worst, dropping by more than 70 percent in the same timeframe.