Time for a much loved classic.The Magnum.
I’m pretty good with my plant-based diet – happy in the knowledge that how I choose to eat is better for my health, better for animals, and better for our planet.
But there are two things that still seem to stop me in my stride.
Fast forward to 2019 though, and the plant-based scene has developed with such a fervour, that we’ve now just seen the launch of fully certified vegan dairy free magnums. That’s right. All the same indulgence and delicious. Sans the dairy. (I’ve tried them, they’re delicious.)
In fact, across the board there are now dairy-free options abound – in the realm of ice cream, cheese, eggs, and even ‘meat’. It’s so much easier to choose a healthy whole foods plant-based diet now, compared to six and a half years ago when I first started this wee Be Good Organics blog. Plant-based whole foods, yet with all the flavours and familiarity of the foods we grew up with and loved.
And so, in honour of this progressively eco-friendlier market, we made a fun new video of these incredibly good Homemade Magnums, which I first encountered 6 years ago thanks to my good friend Insa (she invented these well before the real thing was available in stores). These ones are super fun, 100% whole foods, and taste every bit like a Magnum should.
So here they are, along with my original 6-year old blog post on dairy – which still holds as true today as it did all those years ago. Enjoy these. They’re super good. And definitely worth making while the sun’s still out!
The dark side of dairy
I’ve talked about my closet love affair with dairy before. Take anything that’s smooth and creamy and I’m in. Freeze it and add some chocolate and nuts, and I’ll likely be stealing your portion also.
I used to consume a lot of dairy, especially when I decided to be fully vegetarian. Back then I thought I needed it for protein and calcium, and of course I was a big fan of the taste having been brought up in dairy-crazed New Zealand. After some research though, I realised that the dairy industry is not that great a place for cows to hang out. You see in order to produce milk, dairy cows need to be kept continually pregnant and give birth every year. However once their calves are born there is no further use for the vast majority of them. These ‘bobby calves’, which include all male calves born and around three quarters of female calves born, are separated from their mothers within as little as 12 hours after birth. A few of them are raised for a couple of months, then slaughtered to be sold as veal (baby calf meat). However the remainder are transported, completely bewildered, to be killed as unwanted ‘waste products’ of the dairy industry.
Because there is little money in bobby calves, they are normally transported in terribly overcrowded conditions without food, water or room to lie down. Understandably they arrive at the slaughterhouse fragile, weak and absolutely terrified without their mothers. There is often additional abuse by farm workers that takes place. Mother cows also grieve for their lost babies, and it is common on dairy farms to hear the sad howling of mothers calling for their lost babies for weeks. I’ve read about a number of instances where a mother cow has broken out of the paddock and run for hours trying to find her lost baby calf.
In the New Zealand dairy industry alone (a country of only 4 million people), over 2 million bobby calves are killed every single year. The global dairy industry is one of the least understood animal industries, and has long operated under a veil of secrecy. What they want us to see is rolling meadows of happy cows milling about. Understandably, we’re never shown footage of what happens once they’re inside closed walls. The industry knows that many consumers of milk would find the callous treatment of bobby calves completely unacceptable and rethink their consumption of dairy and financial support of the industry.
Another shocking practice in the dairy industry is the induction of healthy, pregnant cows, who are forced to abort their calves prematurely simply to fit in with the farmers’ milking schedules. This is so the whole herd can be brought into line with each other and begin producing milk at the same time, rather than inconveniencing farmers until they have all given birth naturally. Many of these calves die during the abortion process, while some are born alive and killed not long after birth (2015 update – the practice of induction is now illegal in NZ, however is still practiced overseas – premature birthing is also still encouraged on some farms in the hopes of birthing a stillborn and therefore not having to ‘deal’ with another living calf).
In the US it gets worse, where dairy cow mothers are confined in factory style concrete sheds, unable to roam pastures as they naturally would, and fed artificial hormones and low quality grains instead of their natural diet of grass. Their baby calves earmarked to be sold as veal are kept in tiny steel metal crates for the few short months of their lives, where they can’t move their muscles, and are kept weak and anaemic (no iron) so as to achieve the apparent ‘delicacy’ that is a lighter coloured more tender piece of flesh.
It’s a pretty heart-breaking industry, all in the name of a slice of cheese, a tub of greek yoghurt, or a creamy ice cream. It’s also generally the reason why most people who’ve chosen to be vegetarian for ethical reasons, end up veering towards ‘veganism’. If you’d like to learn more, SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation) in NZ provides some great information here, as does Animals Australia here.
It was therefore with great excitement that I spotted my gorgeous friend Insa making these gorgeous homemade Magnum Ice Creams one day. Magnums have long been my all-time favourite ice cream, and truth be told I’ve struggled to replace them with an equally delicious creamy frozen treat that’s cruelty free too. So these tasty treats have been my saviour. Creamy, indulgent and delicious, yet healthy, dairy free and refined sugar free.
They also don’t contain palm oil which I was horrified to learn was also an ingredient in my beloved Magnums. Palm oil plantations are one of the main causes of mass deforestation in subtropical Asia, as well as the cause of a number of endangered species such as Orangutans, Rhinos, Pygmy Elephants, Sun Bears and Snow Leopards reaching near extinction (many of these animals now have less than 50 of their kind left in the world – truly shocking stuff). So here’s to the bobby calves, their dear mums, the orangs, rhinos, elephants, sun bears and snow leopards. And here’s to my wonderful friend Insa for sharing this delightful recipe with us, helping us save the world one cruelty free ice cream at a time.
Note this recipe recreates the classic “Magnum Ego” otherwise known as a “Magnum Double Caramel”. You can however also use the recipe to recreate many of the others in the range, eg:
- Magnum Classic – omit the caramel topping, and dip in two layers of chocolate creating one nice thick layer
- Magnum Almond – as per the Caramel Ego, but instead of the caramel layer in between, dip the first chocolate layer into a plate of chopped almonds before adding the second chocolate layer
- Magnum Dark – as per the Classic, but add an extra 3 tablespoons of cacao powder to your chocolate mix to create a dark chocolate
- Magnum Mint – as per the Dark, but add a few drops of mint oil, a handful of chopped fresh mint, and a teaspoon of spirulina to your ice cream mix
- Magnum Double Chocolate – as per the Dark, but add 1 tablespoon of cacao powder to your ice cream mix
- Magnum Mochaccino – as per the Classic, but add 1 tablespoon of cacao powder and a shot of organic fair trade espresso to your ice cream mix
- Magnum White – swap the cacao powder for coconut milk powder.
- Magnum Berry – add half a cup of berries to your ice cream base.
Enjoy these beauts, and let us know what you think!
Til next week, stay happy and well my friend.
Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
Insa Haidn is a Brisbane based librarian, crafter, cat mama, and organic gardener who is part-time studying a Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) at Endeavour College of Natural Health in Australia. She has a passion for creating delicious vegan treats using only wholesome ingredients, and is a whizz at making homemade dairy free ice creams. You can catch her delicious treats on Instagram.
- 1 c coconut cream
- 1 c about 2 ripe bananas
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ c cacao butter or coconut oil*
- ½ c cacao powder
- 1 Tbsp liquid sweetener
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 c soft medjool dates
- 2 Tbsp almond butter
- 1 Tbsp water
Vanilla Ice Cream
- Blend the coconut cream, bananas and vanilla extract in a high speed blender until creamy. Pour into four popsicle moulds and freeze overnight, or until solid.
- To remove the ice creams run water over the mould. They should pull out easily (if not, repeat this step). Lay the popsicles onto a tray lined with baking paper and return to the freezer while you make the chocolate.
- Stir the cacao butter over low heat until melted. Add the cacao powder, liquid sweetener, vanilla and salt extract and stir until smooth.
- Dip the popsicles in the chocolate. Place back on your paper lined tray and return to the freezer while you make the caramel.
- Blend the dates, almond butter and a splash of water in your blender, food processor or Thermomix. You will need to stop and scrape the sides of your machine a few times, and add small amounts of water as you go, to get a smooth thick caramel consistency.
- Spread the caramel on both sides of each ice cream, being careful to smooth the edges and top as much as possible. Return to the freezer for another 1-2 hours until the caramel has firmed up to the touch and is no longer sticky.
- Gently re-melt the chocolate over low heat if necessary and dip the popsicles in the chocolate one last time. Return to freezer for another 30 minutes or so. Allow to thaw for a few minutes before devouring!