Paleo/Keto
A side view of a scoop of homemade ice cream topped with chocolate ganache and almond slivers next to the topping ingredients, a dirty scooper, and a cookbook.

Looking for a great dairy-free ice cream recipe? Whip up this creamy, dreamy vanilla ice cream and decadent chocolate ganache now!

A side view of a scoop of homemade ice cream topped with chocolate ganache and flaked almonds next to topping ingredients, a dirty scoop and a cookbook.

Chocolate ganache is the perfect topping for ice cream!

Vanilla packs a punch and is anything but boring. Second Illustrated by CookVanilla is a “flavor enhancer” that not only increases our perception of sweetness, but also our ability to taste other ingredients that accompany it, such as nuts, fruit, coffee, and chocolate.

But as much as I share Lil-O's love for vanilla, I would never let someone who can't even tie their own shoes keep me from my beloved dark chocolate.

The compromise? Ganache, darling. GANACHE.

An overhead shot of homemade chocolate ganache in a glass container.An overhead shot of homemade chocolate ganache in a glass container.

As Kelly points out, ganache (also known as chocolate sauce) can also be made dairy-free; just replace full-fat coconut milk with cream. Pour a little ganache over a scoop (or three) of Kelly's rich, dairy-free vanilla ice cream, add a sprinkle of toasted slivered almonds, and you're ready for one of the best frozen treats you've had since going paleo.

A hand takes a spoonful of a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate ganache and flaked almonds.A hand takes a spoonful of a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate ganache and flaked almonds.

Ingredients for ice cream

  • Medjoul dates: The sweetener in this paleo ice cream is simply Medjool dates!
  • Whole coconut milk: The base of this dairy-free ice cream is a combination of unsweetened coconut milk and the nut milk of your choice.
  • Almond milk, cashew milk, or hemp milk (I use my homemade vanilla almond milk)
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unflavored gelatin or guar gum (optional): I use Great Lakes brand gelatin Per Kelly's recommendation (don't use collagen peptides by mistake): Slowly stir 1 tablespoon gelatin in ¼ cup boiling water until completely dissolved. Gelatin contributes to the texture of the ice cream, but you can leave it out if you're making vegan vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients for the ganache

(Also, as an extra topping, I grabbed some toasted slivered almonds from my pantry.)

How to store ice cream and ganache

Homemade ice cream can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three weeks. The ganache can be stored in the refrigerator, closed in a container, for up to a week. If the ganache is too firm, you can microwave it in 15-second intervals or until it reaches the right consistency.

More paleo frozen desserts


Looking for more recipe ideas? Go to my recipe index. You'll also find exclusive recipes in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017) and Nom Nom Paleo: Let's Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2022).


EASY TO PRINT RECIPE CARD

Dairy-free vanilla ice cream

Dairy-free vanilla ice cream

  • Place the dates and coconut milk in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

  • Add the almond milk, vanilla and flowered gelatin (if using). Blend until smooth.

  • Place it in the freezer for at least an hour or in the refrigerator until it is cold.

  • Pour into the ice cream machine and mix according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Ganache Chocolate

  • In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk over medium heat until it begins to boil.

  • Place the chocolate in a bowl, pour the hot coconut milk over it and let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Whisk while the heat of the coconut milk melts the chocolate. Continue whisking until the milk and chocolate are well combined. (You can store the ganache covered at room temperature for up to a week.)

Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 29G | Protein: 8G | Fat: 42G | Fiber: 5G | Sugar: 18G

Nutrition information is calculated automatically, so should only be used as an approximation.

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