I Ate a Pint of Avocado Ice Cream So You Don't Have To

cado ice cream

If you like avocados, and you like ice cream, then you’d probably like avocado-based ice cream, right?

Eh.

It seems like avocados are in more things than they should be lately. There’s an NYC avocado bar, avocado lotion, avocado ranch dressing, and probably more items I’m not yet aware of. I’m not completely opposed to this– in fact, I’ll applaud their performance in baked goods until the very end. They’re a great whole-food source of fat and contain a ton of nutrients. And let’s face it: avocados are great marketing. Adding avocado to even the most unhealthy garbage automatically makes it seem just a tiny bit healthier. (Beef burgers, for example.)  

Being someone who pays attention to vegan product launches, I first heard about Cado Ice Cream last year. The Iowa-based company has three flavors: Deep Dark Chocolate, Simply Lemon, and Mint Chocolate Chip. The product has been praised by nutritionists for having such few ingredients. Though it’s been around for a bit, I’d actually never seen it in the flesh until last Saturday when I was perusing Mom’s Organic Market in Center City (after a plant-based nutrition conference, no less). It felt fateful, so I copped the chocolate one.

I think I ate about ⅓ of the pint that night, and I spent that entire time trying to decide whether I liked it. It had minimal ingredients, yes; and it definitely had a chocolatey taste. But I wouldn’t say I fell in love. Here, I’ll break it down for you:

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The Pros

Obviously, the fact that Cado has minimal ingredients was a huge selling point for me. I don’t need a ton of added oil or five different forms of sugar in my food. The ice cream itself had a decadent feel and a silky texture, no doubt due to the fat of the avocado. It was undoubtedly chocolatey. I also appreciated that the flavor relied more on its richness than its sweetness. It has half the sugar of most ice creams, coming in at 12g.

The Cons

It took a while to thaw. Like stupid long. I segregated a spoonful of the ice cream in a different bowl to monitor how it melted, and it ended up looking more like sorbet than ice cream as it sat. This isn’t a case of false advertising as Cado refers to itself as a “frozen dessert,” but creamier is always preferable. I didn’t enjoy the texture as much as I had anticipated. After the first few spoonfuls, it began to feel more greasy than creamy. This was amplified by the slight avocado taste that the 12g of sugar was unable to mask.

The Final Verdict

I finished the rest of the pint the next day and still couldn’t decide whether or not I liked it. I think that’s telling in and of itself. Avocado ice cream is a good idea in theory: avocados work well in smoothies, and it’s nice to have a vegan ice cream alternative with minimal ingredients. But I just don’t think Cado is a home run. To be honest, I’d rather just blend up some frozen bananas– it’s cheaper and even more minimalistic. I guess this is one less avocado product that will prevent me from owning a home.

Danielle Kocher