Vegan Ice Cream Trail

View Vegan Ice Cream Trail in a larger map
It may be getting cold here in the city but that does not mean I will stop eating the delicious treat that is ice cream. For my vegan and lactose-intolerant friends and family I cannot imagine the misery they face in not being able to partake in the joy of this sugary-cold dish. Lucky for them (and me) Austin is an accommodating city that offers options for all lifestyles and diets. There are places all around the Austin area that either specialize in or feature vegan ice creams on their menus.

In this map, I have compiled a list of some of the most delicious vegan ice cream locations in Austin, most of them located in the South Austin area. That should come as no surprise since the area is one of the “weirder” parts of the city.

I started at one of my favorite places in Austin, Toy Joy Café. This small café serves vegan soft serve and shakes and is connected to the eccentric toy store of its same name. I had the vegan chocolate shake and immediately was sent into a dreamland of sweet treats.

Next, I ventured into the giant that is Whole Foods where you can find many vegan options to take home and enjoy for those lazy, pajama-wearing days.

People go crazy for my next stop, Bananarchy. As the character George Bluth from Arrested Development once said, “There’s always money in the banana stand!” This stand features frozen bananas with vegan dipping sauce options.

The next place you should try is Daily Juice. Here you can take a little break from just ice cream and grab some sweet, vegan smoothies and drinks. You can either choice from their menu or create your own treat.

Kat’s Ice Cream is a food trailer to my heart. The owner of the same name is a hardworking woman who makes all the ice cream by herself and the results of her labor are absolutely phenomenal.

Hola Aloha is a small, treat trailer that features vegan ice cream flavors that rotate each week keeping you coming back for more.

I ended my adventure at the classic Amy’s Ice Cream, where you can find a delicious vegan option featured on their menu. The flavor is always changing and always divine.

On this sweet path, I no doubt experienced a Candy Lane like euphoria and trust me when I say this, you will too. Plus a vegan treat is healthier and equally as delicious as its dairy counterpart.

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A Flick and a Food Fix

In my family, knowing how to cook is an essential skill we all must master.  For many, including myself, knowing how to cook in the family is a survival skill.  If what you make is good enough, you may be saved from future “uncle” embarrassment. So cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews work and bake away until they have that one dish they make better then the rest of the family. To show off these culinary talents we usually parade them around the holiday season.

My case is no different and in recent years I have discovered my wondrous ability to make pies, especially blueberry, better then any other member of my competitive family.   Every summer I venture back to Michigan where my family lives.  The summer months are a great time to pick and buy fresh produce and fruit.  Certain fruits are only in season for a few weeks and I always go out to pick fresh blueberries, my favorite.

The recipe is simple, yet every time my mother (who is an amazing cook) tries to make this pie it comes out less appetizing then when I whip it together.

For this “How To” video I made my delicious blueberry pie but I also decided to try a new decorative crust design. Lately I have been obsessed with ruffles, I’m also obsessed with potatoes but we won’t get into that now. What better way to enable this new addiction then to incorporate it into my food.  This design comes from none other than the mother of baking herself, Martha Stewart.

The pie has very little ingredients but how you make it is the most important part to this recipe.  Any one can follow these instructions but just remember to bake carefully and to have fun with it.  If it doesn’t come out perfect the first time, keep trying.  It may be messy but once people taste it, there’s no doubt in my mind they will love it.

Ever since I mastered this pie it has been my go to dish for family get-togethers and our annual dessert contest, although, that prize has eluded me, thanks to my uncle’s suspicious ability to make a dessert that causes euphoria.  I love the feeling of success when members of my family praise my masterpiece and beg for more.  It’s a cheap and simple pie that will impress your friends, family and enemies.

To make this magical dish you will need 3 pie tops, butter (of course), blueberries (fresh if you can), one-minute tapioca package, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon.

The movie “Waitress” chronicles a young woman going through the struggles of life and finding happiness in baking pies. I too find happiness in hearing that oven timer go off, putting on my baking mitts, opening the oven door, smelling bursting blueberries and seeing that perfectly golden crisp dessert bubbling.  So I decided that to celebrate my culinary achievement that I would watch the film.  Call it a themed meal if you will.

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Are you sure you’re getting enough protein?  Is there any meat in this?  Being a vegetarian isn’t always easy but in the end the pay off is something delicious and healthy.  In Austin, TX where I reside, I, Anna Ragland will explore the abundance of vegetarian and vegan options the city has to offer me.  On this journey of veggies I hope to find treats that would even have a carnivore drooling.

The city of Austin is an eclectic mixture of retired hippies, college students and hipsters, a perfect place for unique veggie meals to flourish and I find myself right in the middle of this vegetarian haven.  Places vary from food trailers serving simple foods to upscale restaurants with sometimes confusing displays, (how do I eat this?).  Just as the people of Austin vary in appearance and personality so does the food.  I mean just look at the Austin Restaurant Guide and you can see that the options are near endless.

Im currently a junior at St. Edward’s University in the heart of Austin and I have started this blog as a way to not only share my love of good, healthy food but to also discover all that this city has for me to eat.  I have been a vegetarian for exactly one year and 5 months.  It started due to the healthy peer pressure of my friends.  Most of them were living the no meat lifestyle and I was curious.  Turns out it wasn’t as hard as I though it would be and the choice stuck.  My reasons for sticking with it are the health benefits and those cute animals.

Since becoming a vegetarian I have struggled to find food that was fast and easy to make and still healthy.  My college campus doesn’t have much to offer and so I cook most of my meals on my own.  Finding recipes that were easy to make and tasted good were essential to the longevity of my vegetarianism and I accredit the book “College Vegetarian Cookbook” for that and suggest to any college student struggling to find something healthy to give it a read.  Through this lifestyle choice I have a new found passion for cooking especially for other people.

An early tortilla soup creation

For that reason I will also venture into the kitchen battlefield where I will experiment with inexpensive and above all else delicious vegetarian meals.  Most of my meals now are eclectic combinations of foods that really don’t belong together.  For example, my dinner may consist of cereal and a quesadilla.  On this path to foodie freedom it is my hope that I will learn to compile a tasty and sensible meal.  Im wishing that along the way I am able to impress my friends with my cooking genius because let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to be called a good cook?

On this journey, who really knows what I’ll discover or gain, besides a happy abundance of weight? All I know for sure is that I won’t go hungry for one single day of it.

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