This is the news many of us had been waiting so long for. Oatly ice cream has finally arrived in the UK and is available from this week exclusively at selected Tesco stores.
Once blended, oats have a creamy texture which goes way beyond porridge. Oatly has made its name producing a range of dairy-free products including milk, latte, cream, spread, custard, yogurt and now ice cream. Some of my favourites include Oat Barrista, Vanilla Custard, Creamy Oat Single Cream, Whippable Vanilla Custard, Creamy Oat Fraiche (as featured in Chiquito’s menu).
I have now added Oatly ice cream to my “Best Of Oatly” list as last week, ahead of the UK launch, I headed to Kalifornia Kitchen on Percy Street for a taste preview. Quirky and fun, Kalifornia Kitchen is a great vegan spot that serves a full plant-based menu throughout the day.
Available in three flavours: Chocolate Fudge, Hazelnut Swirl and Salted Caramel, Oatly ice cream is made, as you would have guessed, from oats and is completely dairy-free and egg-free. Don’t expect any healthy claims here, except that for people like me with a (slight) lactose issue, it is much easier to digest than dairy ice cream.
This is really luxurious smooth and creamy caramel ice cream (my favourite in fact) with salty caramel sauce and candied hazelnuts.
I am not a big fan of chocolate ice cream, so I was surprised to like Oatly Chocolate Fudge. It has a smooth and rich texture but the taste is not too overpowering. Oatly Chocolate Fudge contains delicious fudge bites made from oat drink. And the cocoa is UTZ-certified ensuring it has been responsibly produced both socially and environmentally.
Again this Salted Caramel does not disappoint. Smooth and silky vanilla ice cream with ripple of salted caramel. It is hard to go wrong!
I put Oatly ice cream to the ultimate kids’ test at home and it passed with flying colours. My nine year old was convinced that Oatly was another brand of regular ice cream. No one could tell the difference.
Already available in Sweden (Oatly’s home country) and in the US, it was about time Oatly ice cream was launched in the UK. I am so glad the wait is over. Silky and smooth, it has none of the grainy bits you sometimes find in almond-based ice cream. It is also taste neutral and free of soya.
Does it mean that because it is vegan you can eat as much of it as you want? Of course not! Oatly is keen to highlight that vegan ice cream is not healthier just because it is plant-based. In order to get the consistency right, it uses fully-hydrogenated plant-based fats. So the less good news here is that like any other ice cream, this is a treat to enjoy once in a while and the rule of 80% healthy, 20% indulgence still applies.
How does switching from cows’ milk to oat milk stack up when it comes to climate change? Pretty well actually. Oatly’s sustainability report highlights that in 2018 it sold over 71 million litres of oat drink worldwide. Assuming that the same amount would otherwise have been consumed as cows’ milk, switching to Oatly resulted in a 56,471 ton reduction in greenhouse gases, as much as would be generated by travelling around the world 11,478 times in a car. Now that’s impressive!
Whether you choose Oatly because it’s plant-based and environmentally friendly or not, this is a darn good ice cream. It goes pretty well in milkshakes too.
Oatly ice cream (SRP £4.50 for 500ml) is available from this week exclusively at selected Tesco stores.