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One thing about me: I love ice cream. One thing about my lactose-intolerant husband: So does he, which doesn’t exactly bode well for me and our shared living space, if you catch my drift.

Because of his, ahem, fragrant refusal to acknowledge that he is, in fact, lactose-intolerant, I’m always on the lookout for recipes that will satisfy his sweet tooth without upsetting his stomach. I don’t prefer store-bought dairy-free desserts, because I find that they often either contain questionable ingredients or don’t deliver that quintessential creaminess of traditional ice cream.

So when I started seeing viral videos of the Ninja Creami whipping up non-dairy ice cream that people swore tasted just as good as the real thing (and looked pretty dang delicious, too), my interest was piqued.

My husband was (obviously) on board when I told him we were going to conduct an ice cream experiment: comparing the flavor, texture, and “side effects” of store-bought dairy ice cream with both a dairy and non-dairy homemade recipe using the Ninja Creami. Eating ice cream in the name of science? Basically our dream job.

ninja creami in green

Ninja CREAMi Deluxe 11-in-1 Frozen Treat Maker w/ Extra Pints — $200.00

Sale Price: $200 (Original Price: $280 if purchased separately)

  • Can be used to make ice cream, sorbet, milkshakes, slushies, and more
  • Very easy to use, even on first attempt
  • Can easily substitute ingredients to make standard recipes dairy-free, lower-sugar, etc.
  • Comes with four extra-large pints so you can always have frozen treats in the freezer
  • BPA-free and dishwasher-safe parts
  • Mixtures must be frozen for 24 hours before they’re ready to blend into ice cream, but you can make several pints in advance for on-demand snacking
  • Pricey when not on sale

To start our experiment, we chose one of the 30+ recipes from the booklet that came with the Creami: Double Cookie Chocolate using whole milk, cream cheese, and heavy whipping cream (so, heavy on the dairy). Mixing together the six ingredients took less than five minutes, and then into the freezer it went. The following evening, we devoted a total of six minutes to processing the pint on “ice cream mode” (I had to do it twice to get the texture right), adding our cookie pieces, and processing once more on “mix-in” mode.

The result? Seriously decadent, chocolatey ice cream that gave our favorite pint a run for its money on flavor. The texture was lighter than your average scoopable ice cream, but denser than soft serve—the sweet spot if you’re like me and you prefer your ice cream to melt just a touch before digging in.

The following night, we sampled our dairy-free attempt with Strawberry. From the standard recipe, we subbed heavy cream for unsweetened coconut cream and agave nectar for corn syrup. We’re not big fans of coconut, so I was a little skeptical that the taste would be masked by the strawberries. But to my surprise, there was no trace of coconut flavor in the finished product, and the texture was nearly identical to the chocolate ice cream we made the night before.

The best part? If I hadn’t told my husband the strawberry ice cream was dairy-free, he never would have guessed, except for the fact that his digestive system was (blessedly) not rumbling in complaint the entire next day. Call that a win for me, for science, and for lactose-intolerant ice cream lovers everywhere.

Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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