I have a small confession to make… There was once a time in my life where I ate a large bowl of ice cream at least once a day, and often twice a day (many times for breakfast and always drenched in chocolate syrup). I’m not proud of this (okay, maybe I am a little proud); I just really love ice cream! I was a teenager at the time, to be fair. I’ve evolved slightly since then. But I still love ice cream, and not being able to eat dairy (and especially being paleo) can really put a damper on that. So I give you this delicious, creamy paleo vegan ice cream full of delicious summer fruit to enjoy!
Ever since I first cut dairy out of my diet two years ago, I began searching for the perfect dairy-free ice cream. I started with store-bought, and quickly found that most of them are not great, in my personal opinion. You see, ice cream is meant to be creamy and soft; but most of the store-bought dairy-free ice creams I tried were icy and hard. I did find one brand that makes a couple of cashew milk based flavors – it was delicious and creamy. It was also incredibly expensive and full of sugar and preservatives.
Then I was introduced to homemade dairy-free ice cream made with coconut cream. It was life-changing. Between the full-fat coconut cream and the use of an ice cream machine, you can get perfectly creamy and delicious ice cream in SO MANY FLAVORS. And the thing is, it’s actually good! I have fed my various dairy-free ice creams to many dairy-loving friends and they always love it (and not just ‘this is good for dairy free‘ love it, but like, actually genuinely enjoy eating it).
This particular recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, nut free, refined sugar free and oh so delicious! So whether you follow a Paleo or otherwise restricted diet, or you’re just looking for a summer treat that’s a little kinder to your body and doesn’t make your children bounce off the walls, this is it.
Now, because I know someone will ask this question if I don’t answer it upfront, you might be wondering, Can I make this without an ice cream machine? The answer is yes, of course you can, but it absolutely won’t be as good. And that is true for any dairy-free ice cream recipe. I’ve tried MANY at this point that claim they’re creamy and delicious without an ice cream maker, and I have simply never found that to be true. They almost always turn out a little too solid and icy. If you don’t have an ice cream maker and don’t know anyone who might let you borrow theirs, you can definitely just blend this and put it in a container to freeze. The flavor will still be great, but it will not be very creamy, which is just sad. So I implore you, if you plan to make ice cream at home, invest in an ice cream machine (or find a generous friend who will let you borrow theirs in exchange for a bowl of ice cream)! You really won’t regret it.
3 ripe nectarines
About 20 medium strawberries
2 cans full fat coconut cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch of sea salt
- Peel the nectarines. Cut the flesh of the nectarine away from the pit in large chunks.
- Cut the leaves and stems away from the strawberries. Slice in halves or quarters.
- Throw the nectarine and strawberry chunks into a high-powered blender. Blend on high until fully blended.
- Add in the remaining ingredients and blend on high until fully combined.
- Put the blender with the ice cream mixture into the fridge for at least one hour. (You can also blend the mixture the night before and refrigerate overnight.)
- Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze following instructions for your machine.
- Transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer. Serves best if you pull the container out about ten minutes before serving.
Dairy-Free Ice Cream Round-up
There are a lot of dairy-free ice cream recipes out there, and it can be challenging to wade through them all. Being that I hold ice cream very near and dear to my heart, I have tried a lot of the recipes out there, and there are definitely some real winners, and some that are not so delicious. So here is a round-up of all my favorites. These are my tried-and-true, dairy-lovin’ friend approved, go to recipes. Hopefully this list will be enough to get you a ways into the summer!
*A note to anyone looking out for allergen information and unfamiliar with the Paleo diet – if something is marked as Paleo, that means it’s free of dairy, all grains (so gluten and corn as well), refined sugar, and peanuts.
Coconut Carmel Ice Cream from Big Girls Small Kitchen (dairy- and gluten-free)
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream from Paleo Gluten Free Eats (Paleo)
Vanilla Almond Butter Ice Cream from JoyFoodSunshine (Paleo, Vegan if you swap out the honey for maple syrup)
Raspberry Coconut Milk Ice Cream from Baking Magique (dairy- and gluten-free; I swapped the cornstarch out for arrowroot starch without any issues to make it entirely grain-free)
Blueberry Ice Cream from Petite Allergy Treats (Paleo, Vegan; Even though this has instructions for now ice cream machine, if you have one, use it! You will not regret it!)
I personally recommend trying a new flavor each week! Let me know if you need more recommendations once you get through the six recipes here in this post! Happy ice cream making (and more importantly, happy ice cream eating), my friends!