Summer is the perfect time to indulge in sweet, frozen treats, but for those who are allergic or intolerant to dairy (and most of us are!), traditional ice cream is a scoop of torture.
In recent years, the number of dairy-free options in the freezer aisle has exploded and we’re grateful for that. But it’s oh-so-fun to make ice cream ourselves instead – our options are only limited by our imaginations, and as an added benefit, we can skip the preservatives often found in vegan ice creams (like the inflammatory carrageenan).
There are many ways to make delicious dairy-free ice cream at home, but our basic formula is this:
- 3 cups dairy-free milk (coconut, almond, cashew, sesame, etc.)
- 1/3-1/2 cup natural sweetener (maple syrup, coconut sugar, honey, etc.)
- Flavouring to taste (vanilla, cinnamon, cacao powder, maca, mint extract, etc.)
- Add-ins of choice (fruit, cacao nibs, nuts or seeds, chocolate chunks, etc.)
You don’t necessarily need an ice cream maker to make homemade dairy-free ice cream: they whip air into your frozen desserts, producing a fluffier result, but you could easily put your ice cream mixture directly into the freezer instead. Go on, give it a try!
If you’re looking for a little inspiration to get you started, here are the 20 best dairy-free ice cream recipes we’ve discovered around the web. Let the drooling commence!
Okay, there are about a million delectable dairy-free ice creams on Dana’s site, but we love this basic recipe that doesn’t require an ice cream maker.
Keepin’ It Kind
It’s got fudge in the name TWICE. So we’re sold.
*Culinary Nutrition Expert: Pickles & Honey
Coconut milk, cacao powder, coconut sugar, sea salt and…olive oil? Yep you read right. And it’s a lovely, fruity addition.
Use your bounty of summer strawberries to make this candida-friendly dairy-free ice cream.
Making Thyme for Health
This classic flavour is enhanced by the use of coconut milk and creamy cashews.
Pinch of Yum
A dairy-free ice cream made with frozen bananas and a superfood chocolate blend that includes greens and mushrooms. Now this is how we like to eat our medicine!
The Modern Buttery
A delicious combo of sweet honey, fresh figs and chocolate, plus some extra tips for how to make creamy dairy-free ice cream.
Eat Healthy Eat Happy
Juicy peaches is a summer delight, but having them in frozen form makes peaches taste even better!
Avocados are so thick, creamy and luxurious, which makes them the perfect base for a dairy-free ice cream.
*Culinary Nutrition Expert: That Clean Life
All you need are frozen bananas for this vegan ice cream recipe – but there are also instructions for how to make chocolate, mint, strawberry and green tea flavours by only adding one extra ingredient.
A luxurious dairy-free coffee-flavoured ice cream that uses a delicious, detoxifying herbal coffee substitute. Yum!
*Culinary Nutrition Expert: Sheena Scott
These easy, no-bake cookies surround a simple dairy-free nut-butter swirl ice cream. A heavenly treat for a hot summer day!
It might seem strange, but balsamic, strawberries and basil meld perfectly in this dairy-free frozen treat.
Sweet Potatoes and Social Change
A Paleo-friendly ice cream that also happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. Score!
A healthy, homemade version of a processed frozen treat. All the deliciousness, without the pesky chemicals and preservatives.
Get an extra boost of antioxidants from this dairy-free ice cream that blends matcha powder into the base (it’s no-churn as well!).
The Plant-Strong Vegan
Dairy-free caramel ice cream coated in crunchy chocolate? YES PLEASE.
*Culinary Nutrition Expert: Sondi Bruner
Dairy-free vanilla ice cream studded with gooey raw fudge brownie chunks. Pure heaven.
The Spunky Coconut
How do you make great ice cream even better? By adding chopped chocolate-covered almonds, of course.
Are you in a chocolate coma yet? Perhaps you can squeeze one more dairy-free ice cream recipe on your ‘to-make’ list – and these simple bars are worth it.