Sugar & Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream

by lydia on June 16, 2011

What is summer without ice cream? I think if there was one food I could certainly not live without in some form or fashion, it would probably be ice cream. (…okay and maybe bacon, oh and butter too!) Needless to say, I have a great passion for ice cream. I have developed several ice cream recipes over the past couple of years that I am quite happy with. However, there is one slight problem, I’m currently not tolerating dairy very well.

Since taking on the 30 Day Paleo Challenge, I’ve wondered if there was a way to make an ice cream that is sugar and dairy-free. Well, you know what they say, ‘where there’s a will, there’s a way’. So I devised a very rich chocolatey ice cream that satisfied my desire for ice cream.


Made with dates as the sweetener, and rich coconut milk as the base this ice cream is very satiating. A little goes a long way. Since dates are rather high in sugar and carbohydrates this ice cream is best eaten in small servings. I think you’ll find you can only handle a little dish at any one given sitting anyhow. I’d say the recipe below makes about 3-4 servings, which is 2 dates or less per serving. If you are following the Paleo challenge that would be your fruit for the day for sure. Despite dates higher sugar content, they have quite an amazing nutrient profile.

Do not fear the date, just don’t go hog wild. Dates contain phytonutrients, antioxidants, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, b vitamins and vitamin K. They are little powerhouses of nutrition for sure. So not only is this ice cream allergy free, it’s super nutritious to boot!

Sugar & Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 1 can Native Forest Organic Full Fat coconut milk (or two cups coconut milk)
  • 3 tablespoons organic Fair Trade cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ cup or 6 pitted dates, chopped
  • Hot water
  • 2-4 pastured egg yolks (optional or add in 2 Tbsp. cold soluble gelatin)
  1. In the base of your blender, place the dates and a splash of hot water.
  2. Blend together, adding more hot water to make a paste.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and blend until well combined.
  4. Pour into the base of your ice cream maker and follow the instructions of your manufacturer's booklet.

This is a very rich and nourishing ice cream that can be served as a special treat while on healing diets like GAPS and the paleo challenge. Need an ice cream maker recommendation? This is the one I use and love – Cusinart  Pure Indulgence-2 Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt & Ice Cream Maker– it makes 2 quarts of ice cream at a time and takes 20 minutes max.


This post contributed to Primal Cave and Traditional Tuesdays.





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Jennifer R July 28, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I have added some gelatin (grassfed kind) to my ice cream — you should try it — so creamy and delicious!

lydia July 28, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Yes, I do add the cold soluble gelatin to my ice cream these days! It’s a great way to get some added nutrients!

Holly July 31, 2013 at 12:36 am

I’m new to gelatin, but I just bought some (red can and green can). Which one do you use for ice cream and how much would you put in this recipe? I think I will get brave and try it. Also, how sweet is this? If it’s as sweet as regular ice cream, I might lean toward cutting the dates a bit. Do you think that would be a bad idea? Thanks!

lydia July 31, 2013 at 7:13 am

Use the green can (cold soluble) I might add about 2 Tbsp. to the recipe. This recipe is not as sweet as any store bought ice cream that is for sure. If you wanted you could add half the date paste to see how it tastes and add more if needed. With the cocoa powder it may be a bit bitter if you don’t add the whole amount though.

Holly July 31, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Thanks! I’m excited to try it AND get to use my gelatin. (I’m assuming you won’t be able to taste it.)

lydia July 31, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Nope, you won’t even know it’s in there! Enjoy!

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