No Meat, No Problem
If you think giving up meat to become either vegan or vegetarian will destroy your chances of eating out —think again. This monthly column explores the vegetarian and vegan opportunities in Eagle River and Anchorage area restaurants. It will also look at other healthy options available in area restaurants like whole grains and low fat.
OK Cold Stone Creamery isn’t a restaurant, but you may find yourself there through “peer pressure,” or to celebrate someone’s birthday. So, just in case, here’s some information. Cold Stone offers an “Ingredient Statement” for everything they sell. This is available for your perusal in the establishment and online. You must ask for it. As I glance over it, I notice that all the ice creams contain milk — no surprise there — but at least one, also has egg yolk. Vegans fare better with sorbets, none of which contain either milk or eggs and the fruit flavor comes from actual fruit concentrates.
Shakes all have milk and or cream as well as ice cream. One can create their own by adding ingredients. “Sinless Smoothies” are made with real fruit and juice and sweetened with Splenda. The ingredients are listed on the board. “Lifestyle Smoothies” also have an ingredients list posted. In addition, nutritional supplements are available for various desires. Of course, anything you add will change the nutritional values.
There is also a sensitivities chart for those with allergies available online. I didn’t see it at the store, but can’t say for sure that it wasn’t there. More nutritional information is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, can you find a low fat, vegan treat at Cold Stone Creamery? Yes, in fact you can. More than you’d expect from an establishment that labels its products as “Decadent.” Vegetarian goes without saying. (Ice creams, here or anywhere are high in fat.)
Want to make healthy ice cream or a smoothie at home? Try these:
Blueberry Ice Cream
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup soymilk or other non-dairy milk
1 t. pure (natural) vanilla flavor.
Hit the bag of frozen blueberries on the counter or other solid surface to loosen the berries and make them easier to measure. Blend everything together. You may need to stop the blender and use a spatula to stir things around a bit once or twice. Serve in a dessert dish. Note: If you use vanilla soymilk you may not need the vanilla.
Orange Banana Smoothie
1 cup orange juice
1 frozen banana (easier if it is in 1”pieces)
Blend together. Drink to your health.
Optional: Add a few frozen strawberries for variety.
A vegetarian since 1964, Ruth deGraaff is retired and lives with her husband in Eagle River, after careers teaching in Pa., Ak. and in international schools. Her two grown children, raised on a vegetarian diet, still follow the diet themselves.