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  • Writer's pictureDr Katarine ND RAc

Coconut-Vanilla Ice Cream (Dairy-Free)

Dairy Free Vanilla Ice Cream
Vegan Coconut Ice Cream

Just because you can’t have dairy doesn’t mean you have to miss out on ice cream; that wonderful, creamy and cool treat that’s perfect alone and with so many of our favourite summer desserts.

If you do want to make delicious homemade dairy-free Ice Cream, then using Coconut milk is your best choice for a delicious vegan dessert. It’s thick and creamy, and also has a beautiful tropical nutty taste that’s hard not to love! If you prefer, oat and nut milks will work also, but will produce a less creamy texture as they tend to be thinner.

This is a simple recipe, easy to make again and again all summer long! I’ve included both “Ice Cream Maker” and “Hand Preparation” methods.


  • 2 Cups Coconut Milk (Ice Cold)

    • For a really smooth rich texture to your Ice Cream, opt for a full fat form of Coconut Milk. This will be more reminiscent of the Ice Cream most people are used to.

    • If you opt for a reduced fat coconut milk, this will just mean your ice cream will be more like Iced Milk (thinner and a little less creamy).

  • 1 Cup Organic Sugar

    • I prefer dark brown as it adds a nice rich flavour, but white works just as well.

  • 1-2 Tsp pure Vanilla extract

  • ¼ Tsp Xanthan Gum (optional)

    • Xanthan gum will help your ice cream stay creamy rather than developing an icier texture, which is common with non-dairy frozen desserts. If you choose not to use it, just soften and stir prior to freezing, creating more of a “soft serve” texture to your ice cream.

  • Additions (optional – see *Note)

    • ½ Cup raw Cocoa Nibs

    • ¼ Cup Shredded Coconut (unsweetened)

    • Anything else you like to add to your ice cream (nuts, cocoa powder, fruit, peppermint!)


  • Preparation:

    • Pour the Coconut Milk, Sugar and Vanilla (and Xanthan if using) into your blender. Cover tightly and blend on high until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth and frothy.

  • Making the Ice cream:

    • Ice cream maker method

      • Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturers instructions.

    • Hand freezing method

      • If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can just freeze the mixture right in the bowl.

      • Every 30 minutes or so, remove from the freezer and stir vigorously (you can use a stiff whisk or hand held mixer).

      • Repeat for about 3 hours.

  • Finishing up:

    • At the end of freezing, transfer your Ice Cream to a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze. When you’re ready to scoop, remove from the freezer and allow to sit and soften slightly for about 5 minutes first, then serve and enjoy!

    • This will keep for about 1 week (well… it might last that long…).

  • Note* about the Additions:

    • Cocoa Nibs are a delicious additions if you’re a Chocoholic and you’re enjoying your Ice Cream on it’s own and like a chocolaty-crunch. Just stir in the Nibs after blending prior to starting the freezing process.

    • Shredded Coconut is also lovely either blended in prior to starting the freezing process or sprinkled on top just before serving!

    • These are just a couple of variations – play around with different ideas, see what you like!

    • Note: If you find something wonderful or already have a favourite, send me a note – I’d love to try it!


Dr Katarine Holewa, ND

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