Who doesn’t love a delicious scoop of ice cream to chill our throats on a sunny day, right?
In a country like Malaysia where the weather is almost constantly blazing hot, a cooling cup (or cone) ice cream would eagerly be welcomed by many.
However, although ice cream has been in existence as far back as the second century, it has always been basked in a bad light because of its nutritional value.
Many of the commercial ice creams produced today generally contains refined sugar
, full fat cream or milk
, vegetable fat
, permitted food colouring
, artificial flavours
You needn’t be a rocket scientist to know that those stuff are bad for you and your body. Plus, it’s a big no-no for those who are trying to maintain their svelte figures or trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
But what if you can eat all the ice cream in the world without having to worry that it will all go straight to your waist?
Sounds impossible? Well, such a dream may just have been made possible by Kind Kones
, Malaysia's first vegan ice cream
For those of you who have not heard of the vegan concept, it is a type of vegetarian diet that excludes meat, eggs, all dairy products including cow’s milk and all other animal-derived ingredients.
More and more people are embracing the vegan diet for its potential health effects and this is where Kind Kones, which is located in Mont Kiara, steps in.
recently spoke to Kind Kones’ owner, Serina Bajaj, who co-owns the place with her husband Ishpal Bajaj.
For A Healthier Lifestyle
Recalling how Kind Kones was conceptualised and came into existence, Serina said it all started from her passion for a healthy lifestyle and clean eating after she got married.
“My husband is a vegetarian and I am trying to be a vegetarian as well. I started to cook at home and posted my dishes and recipes in the social media and received good responses.
“That’s when I started a healthy, vegetarian food blog called ‘Skinnydish’, and it got pretty popular while I was living in Dubai. We never really thought about taking it beyond that,” she told us.
However, things changed for the couple when they moved to Malaysia in 2014.
“We decided to venture into F&B and we started a healthy, vegetarian lifestyle restaurant called ‘Raisin’ the Roof’ in Plaza Damansara two years ago.
“We realised that our desserts sell very well. We have a lot of gluten-free, raw and vegan options such as raw cakes, sweet potato brownies, raw snickers bars and gluten-free doughnuts," she recalled.
Serina understands the guilt we all feel after devouring a whole tub of ice cream, and she wanted to do something about it.
“Whether you are a vegetarian or not, you want to eat dessert and not feel bad about it. So we thought we need more of this, especially when we realised that there is no vegan ice cream in Malaysia. That’s was how we started Kind Kones,” she said.
Serina said with Kind Kones, she wanted to make something for everybody.
“Basically I wanted to make ice cream for all, including for the vegans, non-vegans, vegetarians, the non-vegetarians and the kids.
"Being a mom, I don’t like to give my daughter any refined sugar and chemicals. So, I am very mindful about what she eats. We wanted to make a healthy indulgence that even people who are not vegan will enjoy,” she shared.
It Came With A Risk, Though
However, Serina said making vegan ice cream has its own challenges.
“You may get some dairy-free ice cream in the supermarket nowadays. It’s a very new thing. But they are still full of chemicals, additives, emulsifiers and so on. You get a funny taste in your mouth after eating them.
“We wanted to make something that is not only vegan, but also chemical-free. It is very challenging because there is nothing holding the ice cream together unlike commercial ice cream that has cream and milk in them.
On top of that, she explained that they had a tough time creating the ice cream to make it to look and taste like the normal ones do texture-wise, as well as to find a way to avoid ice crystals forming on the ice cream.
“It is also quite a risk on our part to make it vegan as there are a lot of people who are turned off by the whole vegan movement because they associate it with food that taste bland. It is a real challenge,” she said.
Unlike your usual ice cream, Serina said the vegan ice cream are all coconut-based and nut-based
, or a combination of both. They are sweetened only with coconut sugar, pure maple syrup or agave.
The colour of the ice cream comes from natural fruits.
Kind Kones’ best selling ice cream flavours include the Mocha Almond Choc Chip, Salted Chocolate, Cinnamon Toast, Matcha and Salted Gula Melaka. They also offer sorbets with flavours such as pineapple mint, passionfruit, lemon lime, dragon fruit and banana.
All the flavours are sold for RM9.90 per scoop
and RM17.90 for two
“The beauty of ice cream is there is nothing fixed. We launch new flavours all the time. We also produce our own ice cream cones to keep up with the healthy ice cream concept.
“We offer two types of cones including our signature, a flourless, gluten free cone made completely out of almonds, as well as wholemeal cones,” she said.
Good Things Come In Small Packages
Serina said everything is in Kind Kones are made in small batches.
“We don’t mass produce. When we sell out of a certain flavour, we replenish immediately,” she said.
Being a person who is very conscious about the environment, Serina said she grows her own herbs like mint and basil in a hydroponic wall in the eating space of her small café.
“I harvest my own herbs for my ice cream. We also decided to reduce plastic waste by encouraging customers to bring their own spoons. They are rewarded with free toppings if they bring their own spoons,” she said.
Not only that, the eating space in Kind Kones has a kids’ corner incorporated into it, complete with colouring books and colour pencils.
“I am very mindful about kids and we wanted to make this place as kid-friendly as possible. We also have a book exchange table where customers can bring a book and exchange it with another book, left by other customers.
“I saw this concept being practiced a lot while I was in overseas and I wanted to introduce it here,” she said.
When we asked Serina about her future plans, she said that Kind Kones will be expanding its operations and open two new branches by November.
So, what are you waiting for? There's no better time to eat some healthy ice cream and lose weight too!