Find out if Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is gluten-free, plus which flavors and options you can eat while avoiding gluten.
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If you love ice cream on a warm day or for a celebratory treat, you have likely tried Ben & Jerry’s ice cream a time or two. This popular brand of ice cream is well known for its “happy cows” on their packaging and advertising, as well as a wide range of mix-ins and flavors with silly names.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream comes in a ton of different flavors and varieties, including classic ice cream, frozen yogurt, non-dairy options, and they even have collaboration projects rotating out with popular celebrities and other brands.
Their current collaborations are with Netflix and Chance the Rapper.
If you’ve been following a gluten-free diet for a while or are just getting started, you may know that even ice cream can sometimes be the culprit for hidden gluten ingredients.
In this post, we’re diving into the world of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to talk about what ingredients they use in their ice cream and help us understand if we can keep enjoying this treat while sticking with a gluten-free diet.
Discover what Ben & Jerry’s is, what the main ingredients are in their ice creams, and what their different product offerings are. Then we’ll talk about what gluten is and find out if ice cream is generally gluten-free.
We’ll wrap this post up with a list of gluten-free flavors and options from Ben & Jerry’s to help us all have a short list of choices to choose from next time we’re headed down the ice cream aisle at the grocery store.
If you love Ben & Jerry’s and are trying to stick with your gluten-free diet, this post is for you.
What is Ben & Jerry’s?
Ben & Jerry’s is a brand of ice cream, frozen yogurt, and cookie dough chunks made in the United States. They make pints of ice cream in a variety of flavors with fun and funky names, like Chunky Monkey, Phish Food, and Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz.
The brand has its signature “happy cow” in a field under a cloudy blue sky on its packaging, though the packaging can vary by flavor. Many Ben & Jerry’s ice creams have very colorful and fun packages.
The brand got its start in Vermont in 1978, and it was sold to the Unilever brand in 2000. Around this time, the brand started diversifying its offers and making many different types of ice cream and frozen dessert options.
What is Ben & Jerry’s made of?
Ben & Jerry’s is a brand of ice cream, so most of their products contain the same ingredients as you’d find in most other ice cream brands. This brand is well known for adding a lot of mix-ins to flavor their ice cream, so you’ll see a lot of additional flavorings like cookie or brownie crumbs or dough, fruit, and swirls of chocolate or caramel.
Here are the ingredients in three of their most popular classic ice cream flavors: Half Baked, Chunky Monkey, and Cherry Garcia.
Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked ingredients:
Cream, liquid sugar (sugar, water), skim milk, water, sugar, wheat flour, brown sugar, cocoa (processed with alkali), egg yolks, butter (cream, salt), cocoa powder, eggs, expeller pressed soybean oil, soybean oil, invert cane sugar, chocolate liquor, vanilla extract, salt, egg whites, guar gum, molasses, cocoa butter, natural flavor, carrageenan, soy lecithin, baking soda, malted barley flour.
Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ingredients:
Cream, skim milk, liquid sugar (sugar, water), water, sugar, walnuts, banana puree, coconut oil, egg yolks, cocoa (processed with alkali), cocoa powder, lemon juice concentrate, guar gum, natural flavors, milk fat, carrageenan, soy lecithin, vanilla extract.
Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ingredients:
Cream, skim milk, liquid sugar (sugar, water), water, cherries, sugar, egg yolks, coconut oil, cocoa (processed with alkali), fruit and vegetable concentrates (color), cocoa powder, guar gum, natural flavors, lemon juice concentrate, carrageenan, milk fat, soy lecithin.
What flavors and options does Ben & Jerry’s offer?
Ben & Jerry’s has a number of different types of ice cream flavors and frozen treats to choose from. These are the main types that Ben & Jerry’s has in their current product lineup:
- Ice Cream Pints
- Netflix Original Flavors
- Chance the Rapper
- Pint Slices
- Cookie Dough Chunks
- Non-Dairy Pints
- Cores Pints
- Topped Ice Cream
- Frozen Yogurt Pints
- Certified Gluten-free Ice Cream Flavors
- Scoop Shop Flavors
- Mini Cups
- Doggie Desserts
Though I certainly could list every single flavor and variety Ben & Jerry’s has to offer right now, I’m sure you’re really only here to see what it is that you can enjoy while avoiding gluten. Let’s get to that list after we cover some of the basics of what gluten is and what we need to understand about it as it relates to ice cream.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most wheat products, and acts as the “glue” that helps to hold wheat, barley, kamut, spelt, farro, durum, bulgur, rye, and semolina together to maintain their shape.
You can find gluten in whole grains, but also in many processed foods as well. If you purchase wheat bread, there will be gluten in it, because wheat by nature has gluten.
Many processed foods have hidden gluten in them in the form of gluten or wheat derivatives. These are also in the form of flavorings, binders to keep ingredients together, or other additives.
Read on: What is Gluten in Food? The Basics of a Gluten-free Diet
Is ice cream gluten-free?
A lot of ice cream is gluten-free when it is made using dairy or dairy-free ingredients and no additional gluten ingredients.
For the most part, you’ll find gluten in ice cream where there have been mix-ins added in, like cookie pieces, graham crackers, cookie dough, or brownie bites. You might also find gluten hidden in additives, starches, or other flavorings.
Ice cream on its own as a single flavor is almost always gluten-free. Those with multiple flavors, you’ll want to look a little more closely at.
It never hurts to look at ingredients lists and check for a gluten-free label if it’s available. Look for hidden sources of gluten in the ingredients so that you can avoid any ice cream with hidden gluten.
Some ice cream flavors that come to mind that are not gluten-free are: cookie dough, cheesecake, brownie batter, or birthday cake. Although there may be gluten-free alternatives, don’t rule them out entirely.
Anything with chocolate cookies or cookie crumbs will also be an indicator to you that the ice cream very likely contains gluten.
Read on: Is ice cream gluten-free?
Read on: Gluten-free ice cream cones
Is Ben & Jerry’s gluten-free?
Ben & Jerry’s has a number of flavors that contain no gluten ingredients, however only a handful of them are considered gluten-free by the brand.
Due to cross contamination during processing, there are plenty of their ice cream options that have no wheat or gluten ingredients, but they aren’t necessarily safe for folks who avoid gluten due to celiac disease or are very sensitive to gluten.
Because of this, in 2020, Ben & Jerry’s decided to put out a line of their top flavors with certified gluten-free labels to help you find these quickly and easily when at the store.
A certified gluten-free label on any packaged food simply means that a third party company was hired to come through and test the levels of gluten in their products to verify that these flavors contain less than 20ppm of gluten, as per FDA regulations.
The flavors that are certified gluten-free are definitely safe for folks on a gluten-free diet. Those that contain no certified gluten-free label but no wheat or gluten ingredients in their ingredient list have the potential for cross contamination. Keep this in mind when making choices of what kind of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to pick up from the store.
Read on: The ultimate list of dairy-free ice cream brands and flavors
Ben & Jerry’s gluten-free flavors
Ben & Jerry’s has a number of certified gluten-free flavors that they test regularly to ensure they are safe for folks who are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease.
To know you can enjoy some delicious ice cream flavors while sticking with your gluten-free diet is very exciting! Look for some of these options at your local grocery store.
Ben & Jerry’s Gluten-free Classic Ice Cream Flavors
- Cherry Garcia
- Chunky Monkey
- Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz
- New York Super Fudge Chunk
- Phish Food
- Pistachio Pistachio
- Vanilla Caramel Fudge
Ben & Jerry’s Gluten-free Non-Dairy Ice Cream Flavors
The non-dairy ice cream flavors from Ben & Jerry’s is made with a base of either almond milk or sunflower butter to offer a creamy taste and texture that won’t have you missing the milk or dairy products at all.
- Cherry Garcia
- Karamel Sutra Core
- Phish Food
- Bananas Foster
- Boom Chocolatta!
Read on: Dairy-free ice cream bars
Ben & Jerry’s Gluten-free Cores Ice Cream Flavors
- Karamel Sutra Core
Ben & Jerry’s Gluten-free Frozen Yogurt Flavors
- Cherry Garcia
Ben & Jerry’s Gluten-free Ice Cream Mini Cup Flavors
- Cherry Garcia
There are other flavors of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that do not contain any gluten ingredients, but remember that the likelihood of cross contamination is high due to shared equipment with flavors that have cookies, cookie dough, or brownie bits in them.
If you love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and have been hoping to find a few options that you can enjoy while still keeping up with your gluten-free diet, I hope this post has helped you. There are a number of choices for classic ice cream as well as some non-dairy options to choose from.
Look for the certified gluten-free label next time you’re shopping for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to help you narrow down your choices and make a quick decision.
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