Restaurant Reviews

The Best Dairy-Free Ice Cream: Kippy’s! Ice Cream Shop

January 30, 2017

Finding dairy-free ice cream (or any kind, really) that’s made from real, organic, healthy ingredients is an extremely difficult task. Unless you make it yourself, pretty much every ice cream on the market contains less-than-ideal ingredients. Even if it’s vegan and gluten-free, you’re almost always guaranteed to find something on the ingredient list that you don’t really want – guar gum, agave, cane sugar… the list goes on. If you’re getting it from an ice cream shop instead of a store, half the time you don’t even know what the ingredients are. That’s usually for a reason, if you catch my drift.

And I’m not talking about soft serve. I’m talking about ice cream. Thick, dairy-free ice cream. Although I love the healthy soft-serve shops in this area, soft serve is not the same as ice cream.

There is one place, however, that I can always count on to give me delicious, dairy-free ice cream made with organic, real, healthy ingredients. KIPPY’S!

If you follow me on social media, you know that Kippy’s has been one of my go-to dessert shops for a loooong time. It’s located on Main Street in Venice, and they even have parking in the back! (A rarity in L.A.) I was so excited when I first discovered it, but honestly, I felt like it was too good to be true. I’m too accustomed to being wary of ingredients. I had found other gluten-free, vegan ice cream shops in the area, but nothing was totally clean. Kippy’s actually is, though. *JUMPING FOR JOY!* Let’s get down to the facts.

The ingredients are the most important part, and the ingredients are amazing. The ice cream at Kippy’s is made from completely organic ingredients – five ingredients or less. FIVE. Simple is always better. No soy, no nuts, no dairy, and no gluten. It’s a coconut-based ice cream, which means it’s thick, creamy, and flavorful even without the dairy. There are no secrets when it comes to Kippy’s ingredients. They literally post them on their wall! For example, the Vanilla Date flavor is made with organic dates, fair trade vanilla bean, coconut cream, and coconut water. Their Lemon Vanilla flavor is made with organic lemons, fair trade vanilla beans, coconut cream, coconut water, and honey.

All of the flavors are paleo, but not all are vegan. There are vegan options, though! Every ice cream is made with the coconut cream and coconut water base, and each is sweetened with either dates or organic honey. Fresh ice cream is made daily, and you can taste that freshness. I adore the owners for all of the time and care they put into making their ice cream as healthy as possible. Most store owners don’t want to go to the trouble of making fresh ice cream every day, so they don’t use clean ingredients. Not Kippy’s, though. They crack and shred over 1,000 coconuts every week! That’s dedication.

There are so many flavors, and one of the things I love most about Kippy’s is that they have new flavors almost every time I go. It’s always a surprise! (Even though I call to check basically every day…) Some flavors are staples (chocolate, double dark chocolate, vanilla, chocolate chip, coconut honey), and others rotate in and out (cinnamon, strawberry cream, coffee, matcha). They always have a seasonal flavor, which usually ends up being my favorite. During fall they had Persimmon Pumpkin Pie, and it seriously tasted like the best pumpkin ice cream you could ever imagine.

That’s the other thing – the flavors are unique. They have the basics like chocolate and vanilla, but they also have flavors you can’t get anywhere else. Matcha, cinnamon, mocha, golden milk, banana cream, orange creamsicle, hot chocolate, vanilla cappuccino, Snickers, and more. Are you drooling yet?! While I love all of Kippy’s flavors, my favorites are the cinnamon, matcha, vanilla cappuccino, and double dark chocolate.

I need to make a special note about the coffee flavors. I’m intolerant to coffee, but I love the taste of it. My body also has a strong, negative reaction to caffeine. Instead of coffee, Kippy’s uses ramon dust to flavor their coffee-inspired flavors, like vanilla cappuccino and mocha. Ramon is a South American fruit that’s ground and roasted, and it tastes exactly like coffee but doesn’t have the acidity or caffeine. Thanks to Kippy’s, I can get my coffee-fill!

Another flavor that stands out to me is the matcha. This isn’t your typical matcha. They get specialty, real, high-quality matcha that’s actually from Japan, and you can taste the difference.

When it comes to ice cream, I’m a toppings kinda girl. I need some crunch, and I also just love the idea of being able to customize my dessert. You can make it different every time, even if you want the same ice cream flavor. In my opinion, Kippy’s has the best toppings bar I’ve ever seen. Usually when I want toppings at an ice cream shop, I can only get one or two things, like walnuts and cacao nibs. I’m usually allergic to most toppings, or they’re just really unhealthy. As much as I love “vegan whipped cream,” it’s usually made with processed oils, thickeners, or soy. I do not want that. Kippy’s however, has a totally clean toppings bar. I can eat everything!

Just like their ice creams, the toppings rotate in and out. Some of the toppings are goji berries, mulberries, cacao nibs, (spiced) pecans, walnuts, dehydrated bananas, hemp seeds, lavender fudge bombs, peppermint fudge bombs, and bee pollen. Sometimes they even have raw brownies to add as a topping (I obviously get that when they have it.) My absolute favorite toppings are the dehydrated bananas and fudge bombs. So good.

Another amazing thing is that the nuts are soaked in order to break down the phytic acid content, make the nutrients more available to the body, and make the nuts generally easier to digest. I literally don’t know any other restaurant or dessert shop that soaks its nuts. That just shows how much the owners value their customers’ health and well-being.

My other two favorite toppings are the coco shell and the caramel sauce! The coco magick shell is made just with coconut oil, cacao, and honey, and the salted caramel sauce is made with coconut oil, honey, and pink salt. THOSE INGREDIENTS, THOUGH. So delicious, so simple, and so healthy! The chocolate hard shell brings me straight back to my childhood.

If you’re indecisive like me, then Kippy’s has you covered. You can get 2 flavors in one scoop, which is a lifesaver. You’ll have a hard time picking between flavors, trust me. So if you get more than one scoop, you’re lookin’ at a lot of different flavors to satisfy all of your pretty heart’s desires!

Another trick of the trade is to bring your own bowl! If you bring your own bowl, you get a free topping! I would also definitely join their rewards system so you can get points to eventually get freebies. (I’m very serious about this, if you can’t already tell.)

Kippy’s also sells other healthy grab-and-go goodies in addition to ice cream. They have bee pollen, raw desserts, a ton of honey, quick meals (sometimes), paleo tonics, and more!

Another new addition that I’m completely in love with is their coconut milk! There are a ton of different flavors, and they’re all absolutely delicious. They’re made with minimal ingredients, which I love. I hardly ever buy nut milk because 99% of nut milks at the store contain some kind of ingredient that I don’t want to put in my body. A lot have carrageenan, which has been linked to serious GI problems, chronic inflammation, and increased risk of cancer. Kippy’s is carrageenan-free, of course, and totally fresh.

They have plain, unsweetened coconut milk, matcha coconut milk, chocolate coconut milk, ginger coconut milk, and golden milk! I’ve tried them all, and I think my absolute favorite is the chocolate. It’s thick, creamy, and delicious. The coconut milks are made from coconut cream and water, and if they’re sweetened, it’s with honey.

Speaking of chocolate coconut milk, in the winter they carry paleo hot chocolate made with coconut milk, and it’s honestly to die for. You can get your ice cream as a hot chocolate affogato, which I highly recommend. Pour that thick, creamy, delicious, healthy hot cocoa over your paleo ice cream, and you’ve got a dream come true.

The owners, Kippy and Max, opened Kippy’s in the hopes of showing people that real, organic food is both delicious and life-changing. Max has had a passion for making raw food dishes for a long time, and years ago he showed Kippy how unprocessed food could transform her life and her health, ending her frustrating migraines. After that, they decided they needed to open up the shop to spread the love, and I’m so glad they did.

Kippy’s is a community. Everyone who works there is happy, smiling, and welcoming. Bring a friend, sample the flavors, go crazy with the toppings, and have a good time. Kippy’s is truly a guilt-free dessert, especially considering it’s healthier than most people’s “regular” meals. Even though it might seem too good to be true, IT’S REAL. It exists. Totally clean ice cream that everyone can enjoy, without any negative side effects later. Next time you’re looking for some healthy L.A. ice cream, HEAD TO KIPPY’S. Chances are high that you’ll see me there, too. It’s my favorite place to drag my friends to at 10:30 P.M.!

If you haven’t tried Kippy’s, head on over! And if you have, tell me your favorite ice cream combo! I always love to try new things!

What do you think?

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