Fresh from the Wicked Kitchen, chefs and brothers Chad and Derek Sarno are about to make spring a little sweeter, with their new non-dairy ice cream made with a base that is as unlikely as any. The company just announced that they will launch ice cream made from protein-rich lupini beans, a legume popular in Mediterranean countries, starting next month.

The new plant-based ice cream will be available in 2,200 Kroger stores, in several different varieties and flavors – from cones to bars and pints – including several flavors.

A new kind of vegan ice cream

“In true Wicked Kitchen style, we are launching a product that is unlike anything else that has come before it,” Derek Sarno said. “And because it’s so delicious and with a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, it is revolutionizing the category, not only for non-dairy but in the overall ice cream and novelty category.”

The Wicked Kitchen ice cream will be available in multiple varieties, including pints, bars, and cones. The lupini ice cream pints will feature popular flavors such as Vanilla, Cookie Dough, Chocolate, and Mint Chocolate Chip. Consumers will get to choose between two lupini ice cream bar flavors, Chocolate & Almond and Berry White which will consist of a sweet vanilla ice cream blended with a berry sauce swirl topped with red berry pieces.

The final ice cream product in the lineup is the Chocolate & Red Berry Cone, which will feature ice cream topped with a red berry sauce and chocolate chips. Wicked Kitchen has created a gluten-free cone to make the treats as allergen-free as possible. The cone will be made from maize-based flour, flavored to taste like traditional sugar cones.

“The ultimate ice cream experience is luscious creaminess, rich mouthfeel, and zero aftertastes with bold flavor, and our new Wicked Kitchen plant-based ice creams and novelties are game-changers that won’t be considered an alternative, just great tasting premium ice creams,” CEO of Wicked Kitchen Pete Speranza said. “It is impossible to contain our excitement about these new stellar treats because of their exceptional taste, texture, and dynamic flavors.”

Wicked Kitchen’s new ice cream line will be available at approximately 2,200 Kroger stores this spring, as well as in Kroger partners including City Market, Dillons, Foods Co, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Gerbes, Jay C Food Store, King Soopers, Mariano’s, Metro Market, Pay-Less Super Markets, Pick’n Save, QFC, Ralphs, Ruler and Smith’s Food and Drug.

With plant-based demand increasing at unprecedented rates, Wicked Kitchen intends to dramatically expand its product offerings this year. The company currently makes vegan foods in 15 different categories sold at Kroger, Sprouts, and Amazon Marketplace. The company expects to expand its product selection as it begins to introduce more of its UK-exclusive products to the US market.

Within the UK, Tesco recently reported that its sales of Wicked Kitchen products doubled last year and rose again this January. Its vegan meat alternatives increased nearly 40 percent in a single month, while vegan pasta and soups sales increased by approximately 140 percent.

What is a Lupini Bean?

The lupini bean, alternatively known as a lupin bean, was once reserved for traditional Mediterranean cuisine or as a bar snack to be munched on like peanuts, but recently, food manufacturers have discovered that this protein-rich legume can be used to create slightly bitter snacking beans, and now the beans are coming to America in the form of flavored healthy snack alternatives.

Lupini beans are high in protein and fiber, making them a "superfood" that delivers more benefits than just calories. Lupins contain 26 grams of protein per cup, making them one of the most nutrient-packed legumes available.

Lupini beans provide high levels of essential B vitamins and fiber. Several studies have even connected lupin bean consumption to disease prevention due to the high level of phytochemicals which have been linked to preventing coronary heart disease, certain cancers, as well as neurodegenerative diseases, and osteoporosis.

Beyond health and nutrient content, the lupin bean is also a highly sustainable ingredient, requiring essentially no water use for production and manufacturing. The lupin bean also is connected to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and helping crop rotation techniques.

Wicked Kitchen’s new lupin-based ice cream is the first product of its kind, but other companies have already started experimenting with lupin-based recipes. Most notably, Lupreme just gained mainstream attention when Beyonce’s former personal chef announced his endorsement for the company’s plant-based meat alternative. Lupreme – developed by Eighth Day Foods – provides people with a plant-based chicken alternative that is extremely versatile and nutritious.

The Ultimate Vegan and Dairy-Free Ice Cream Taste Test

More From The Beet