Is being vegan standing between you and enjoying that delicious sorbet?
The growing vegan community has already managed to continuously influence the introduction of more vegan-friendly food items around the world. And this drives me to want to find even more vegan foods! Next on the list? Sorbets!
If you love fruits and enjoy frozen desserts, then I’m sure you love sorbets, too! Sorbets are like ice cream, and are often mistaken for it.
But who can blame those who mix them up, ice creams and sorbets look very much alike! This is why if you’re new to veganism, you’ll probably ask, is sorbet vegan?
The answer: most sorbets are. Read on to find out how to know if the sorbet you want to eat is vegan or not!
What Is Sorbet Made Of?
Although it looks like ice cream (well they’re both frozen!), sorbet contains much less ingredients. This frozen fruit dessert is more simple than you think! Sorbets are made from the following ingredients:
- Fruit Juice/Purée
- Wine (optional)
That’s all! They don’t even contain milk and food enhancers!
Wait, before we go further, let me just address something: You might also confuse sorbets with sherbets as they sound the same, but sherbets are different. Sherbets use fruit flavors too but have milk, always. In short, they are the milky version of sorbets.
Going back! Done the traditional way, sorbets are easily vegan. However, since companies (and people) love doing their own version by altering the recipe, non-vegan ingredients may also be added. Yikes!
Non-Vegan Ingredients In Sorbets: What Are The Red Flags?
Perhaps in an attempt to give sorbets a better taste, brands try to come up with new ingredients to add. Not that sorbets are boring, as they come in many fruit flavors. I actually like the simple, pure fruity taste of sorbets!
However, enhancers improve texture and lengthen shelf life. These are of course perfectly fine, too. But which of these new ingredients should vegans avoid? Here are the things that will tell you if it’s a non-vegan sorbet:
- Honey – an alternative sweetener in place of sugar
- Egg white – gives sorbets a creamy and smoother consistency
- Milk – usually for flavor only
- Cream – for a milkier appearance (and taste)
- Lecithin – an emulsifier that is usually obtained from egg yolks. Common vegan sources such as soy and sunflower are often shown in the list of ingredients.
- Mono and Diglycerides – emulsifiers which are either from plant or animal sources. Unless the label says vegetable or plant mono and diglycerides, treat them as non-vegan.
I seriously don’t get it when brands put milk or cream in sorbets and still call it a sorbet. It’s odd, isn’t it? Because you turn them into sherbets technically when you do that.
Yes that may sound silly but some companies really do that. Also, using non-fruit flavors, for me, deviates from the real definition of a sorbet. The problem is there’s nothing we can do about these technicalities.
We can only check the labels and choose from there. So always keep an eye out!
FAQs About Sorbets
Is all sorbet dairy free?
Not all. Some sorbets these days have milk and eggs in them.
Are there any eggs in sorbet?
Non-fruit flavors usually have egg whites and even some fruit sorbets may contain eggs in them.
Is Cold Stone sorbet vegan?
According to their ingredients list, they use mono and diglycerides. It does not specify the source though, so I will treat them as non-vegan.
Is Ben and Jerry’s sorbet vegan?
While their sorbet ingredients do not list anything suspicious, it doesn’t have a vegan certification like their non-dairy ice cream flavors. Also, on the product’s sourcing information, it contains symbols for cage-free eggs and caring dairy. Because of these, I would say they are NOT vegan.
Is Häagen Dazs sorbet vegan?
I understand that this means they rely on the bees to create a certain product. But is it for the honey? Or is it for pollination of the plants they use in it?
On their website, Häagen Dazs discusses a lot about saving the bees. The problem is that in my opinion they just go in circles and do not provide exact details.
So to clear my doubts, I have sent out a direct inquiry to Häagen Dazs about this for verification.
Here is what they said: “there isn’t any honey in our sorbets. If honey is used in our products it would be listed in the ingredient statement. While our sorbets may not contain any dairy, we have not gone through the process of certifying our products vegan or vegetarian, so cannot claim them as such.”
This is understandable as companies have to pay a lot of money to get their products certified vegan. I guess they aren’t willing to go through the process, which surprises me because they are a big company.
I did not stop there, I push them a little harder and also asked if their products are made in a facility that manufactures products that contain dairy.
And they answered: “our sorbets are made in the same facility as products made with dairy. If there’s a chance for cross contamination, we add ‘may contain’ and the allergen”.
This explains why they list their FAQ section mentions gelatin, milk, and eggs as animal derivatives they use, which they claim to list because they are allergens.
Is mango sorbet vegan?
It depends on the brand. Some mango sorbets have dairy ingredients so be sure to check the labels first.
Is lemon sorbet vegan?
Most of them are. However, as eggs and other animal products are also commonly used as an emulsifier especially in commercial brands, check the ingredients first.
Is raspberry sorbet vegan?
Fruit sorbets are usually vegan but you will have to check the ingredients list to make sure. Watch out for the red flag ingredients from the list above.
Vegan Sorbet Brands
A lot of these brands and flavors are certified vegan! Click on the brand name to find out where you can buy them!
Charlie’s Vegan Frozen Dessert (Non-GMO, Gluten-Free)
- Double Coconut
- Midnight Chocolate
- Passion Fruit Lovin’
- Pineapple Vanilla
Ciao Bella Sorbetto (Non-GMO)
- Blackberry Cabernet
- Blood Orange
- Blueberry Passion Fruit
- Peach Sangria
- Mango Tangerine
- Blackberry Non-dairy Sorbet Bar
- Mango Passion Non-dairy Sorbet Bar
- Acai Berry
- Café Almond
- Cocoa Haze
- Jam’n Lemon
- Peanut Butta Luva
- Pistachio And Caramel
- Raz’n Berry
Talenti Sorbetto (Gluten-Free, Non-GMO)
- Alphonso Mango
- Peanut Butter Fudge
- Roman Raspberry
- Black Cherry
Vegan Sorbets In Many Ways
Since traditional sorbet is quite simple, you can easily do it at home! From the Sweet Pea Chef, here’s a recipe you can easily tweak with any fruits or flavors of your choice.
What you need:
- Baking tray/sheet with parchment paper lining
- Freezer-safe container
- Food processor or a heavy-duty blender
Ingredients (adjust to your taste):
- Fruits of your choice, evenly cut into cubes (remove the pits, peels, and seeds)
- Lime or lemon juice (optional)
- Maple syrup or any vegan sugar syrup
- Warm water
- Place the cubes of fruits on the tray with spaces apart to avoid the pieces from freezing in clumps. Freeze for around 4 hours or just leave it in the freezer overnight.
- Once frozen, remove all the fruit cubes and place in the processor or blender.
- Add the sugar syrup and lemon/lime juice.
- Blend/process altogether.
- Add warm water little by little as needed. Use a spatula to scrape the sides.
- Continue blending until smooth and even.
- Try mixing and blending different fruits together for new flavors. For example, strawberries and lemon, or blueberries and raspberries.
- You can also blend flavors separately then partially mix them together in a swirl on a container.
- Top your sorbet with your favorite dried fruits or nuts and see which ones will complement it.
- Bags of frozen fruits are also available in groceries. However, they are more difficult to blend or process since the frozen fruits are in big chunks. You can thaw them first for a few minutes. Just be careful not to thaw too much as they still need to be frozen solid before blending.
Traditionally, sorbets are vegan. However, with all the flavors that people come up with today, the use of non-vegan ingredients have also become common.
Most giant brands also use stabilizers and emulsifiers, which are usually from animal products. This is why you should always check the labels before you buy sorbets.
What’s your favorite vegan sorbet brand and flavor? Have you tried making your own vegan sorbet already? How did it turn out? Let me know on the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article in your favorite social media platform.