Ditch the high sugar, artificial ingredients in classic Root Beer Float recipes and swap them for health-promoting, low sugar and real food sources, all without sacrificing taste! This healthy, vegan root beer float recipe uses root beer kombucha and sugar-free coconut vanilla ice cream, resulting in creamy decadence that's perfect for adults and kids alike.
This post is sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
When I was a kid, I loved root beer floats. There's something about the combo of the classic American fizzy, molasses flavored soda mixed with creamy, rich vanilla ice cream that is unlike any other.
Top it off with some whipped cream and even chocolate syrup for bonus points, and you've got a killer dessert right there!
I mean, not to be morbid or over exaggerate, but seriously–are you aware of the harmful ingredients and high sugar content found in conventional root beer brands like A&W, Barq's and IBC?
In a standard 20 ounce bottle of A&W, for example, there's a whopping 75 grams of sugar! And that doesn't include the ice cream and other toppings.
What else is inside a typical root beer bottle?
- High fructose corn syrup: This is an industrial food product and far from natural. When used in moderation it is a major cause of heart disease, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay and more. (source)
- Caramel color: This artificial brown coloring is a chemical process, not made from caramelized sugar, but rather by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulfites under high pressure and high temperatures. These chemical reactions, have been shown to cause lung, liver, and thyroid cancer and leukemia in government-conducted animal studies. (source)
- Sodium benzoate: A chemical used as a preservative that's been linked to hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. (source)
- Artificial flavors: The FDA's definition of an artificial flavor is any substance that does not meet the definition of a natural flavor, so essentially it's something manufactured from chemicals (not real food) to create fake flavorings. There are over 3,000 artificial flavors out there, and I for one don't want to be putting chemicals and possible carcinogens into my body.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, sugary drinks increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. For example, they quote a study that followed 40,000 men for two decades and found that those who averaged one can of a sugary beverage per day had a 20% higher risk of having a heart attack or dying from a heart attack than men who rarely consumed sugary drinks. (source)
Plus, soda cans are usually coated with the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to everything from heart disease to obesity to reproductive problems.
None of this even accounts for soda's effect on your teeth and mouth–its corrosive ingredients cause acidity, wearing away your enamel and leading to cavities and gum disease. (source)
Alright, onto the good news, because I promise there is some! Despite all this, it IS totally possible to have a deliciously decadent, real food-based root beer float! Here's how.
A Healthier, Vegan Root Beer Float Recipe
So, soda isn't something I've ever promoted here on R+R, but let me tell ya–this is NOT your ordinary soda. For this recipe, I rely on Live Soda's Rootbeer Kombucha.
Live Soda's products are amazingly clean and–dare I say–taste way BETTER than regular soda! Seriously. Real food always trumps fake in taste, IMO.
I recently stumbled across this brand when I was shopping at Sprouts, one of my favorite grocery stores.
Check out the ingredients of this Root Beer Kombucha: Organic Raw Kombucha (Organic Tea, Organic Sugar, and Organic Kombucha Culture fermented in purified water), Natural Flavors, Organic Stevia Extract
If you're unfamiliar with kombucha, it's a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years. Not only does it have the same health benefits as tea–bursting with antioxidants–it's also rich in probiotics and can kill harmful bacteria.
LIVE Kombucha contains billions of probiotics per bottle (because every batch is unique, the amount varies from bottle to bottle), making it super healing for our gut and immune health. For more about the benefits of probiotics, check out this ultimate guide.
In this case, the sugar is actually required in order for the liquid to ferment and produce the probiotics, but the end result is actually low in sugar. In fact, Live Soda's Root Beer Kombucha has only 8 grams of sugar (compare that to A&W's appalling 75 grams?)!
Plus, some studies have shown that Kombucha may even help to stabilize blood sugar levels and aid in the management of diabetes, which is pretty remarkable. (source)
For the ice cream and whipped cream, I opted for So Delicious' Classic Vanilla flavor (the No Sugar Added Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk one), and their CocoWhip, which is similar to Cool Whip but way cleaner. All of So Delicious' products are dairy-free, vegan, non-GMO Project Verified and use organic ingredients whenever possible.
To be honest, I was a little skeptical at first to try the no sugar added vanilla ice cream, but was shocked at just how amazing it is! It's sweetened with natural sweeteners like monk fruit, chicory root and erythritol, meaning that it only has ONE gram of sugar per serving. ONE!
Buh bye, sugar hangovers, and hello ice cream that I can eat allll day long. (Not that I'd ever do that… of course.)
Told ya this will be the healthiest root beer float you'll ever come across! So Delicious products are also sold at Sprouts, as are all the healthier ingredients, like homemade chocolate syrup and fresh cherries, for this recipe.
If you want to save money on groceries, be sure to download Sprouts' new app where you can add promo codes and digital coupons to your account and then simply scan at checkout to save. Their coupons are super generous and are for healthy foods you’d actually want to buy, not just a bunch of junk. Also look for their weekly and monthly specials for even more savings!
If you’re looking for the closest location, go to the store locator to find a Sprouts near you.
How to Make a Vegan Root Beer Float
If you can buy products at the store and melt some chocolate in the microwave, then congratulations–you're pre-approved to make this delicious recipe! Seriously, even your kids can make this on their own.
It's such a simple idea for at-home movie nights, or a rainy afternoon, or simply when you want something sweet and nostalgic feeling without having to bake anything.
If making this for a group, I recommend you set up your own DIY ice cream bar by buying different flavors of Live Soda and So Delicious ice cream, that way everyone can customize their own fun, fizzy and flavorful concoctions.
If you try this Healthy Root Beer Float Recipe, be sure to share a photo and tag me @rootandrevel on social media–I’d LOVE to see how it turned out for you!
Creamy Vegan Root Beer Float Recipe
- 1 large scoop So Delicious Dairy Free Ice Cream (I recommend the classic vanilla flavor, the No Sugar Added Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk) *see notes for alternatives
- 1 bottle Live Soda Rootbeer Kombucha
- 2 tablespoon So Delicious CocoWhip optional
- 1 tablespoon crushed salted peanuts optional
- 1 organic cherry optional
Chocolate Syrup (optional)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 tablespoon chocolate chips
- In a tall glass, add scoop of ice cream. Pour root beer over top. You can serve as is, or if you want to make it a bit fancier, add some of the optional toppings.
- For the chocolate syrup, combine coconut oil and chocolate chips in a small glass bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted and a syrup-like consistency is achieved (this usually takes about 2 minutes).
- Top with CocoWhip, crushed peanuts, chocolate syrup and garnish with a cherry.
Note: Nutrition information does not account for any of the optional ingredients.