Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart (6 to 8 servings)

One thing that everyone misses once switching to a refined-sugar-free diet is ice cream. This simple recipe pairs perfectly with your favorite desserts. If you prefer dairy-based ice cream, use 2 cups of 2 percent milk and 2 cups of heavy cream. Heat the milk in the saucepan instead of the coconut milk.


  • 2 cans (13.66 ounces each) full-fat coconut milk, such as Thai Kitchen
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 Bourbon Madagascar vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar-free vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon alcohol-free liquid vanilla stevia


  1. Open one can of coconut milk. Pour about 1/4 cup into a small bowl. Put the remaining coconut milk in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir the arrowroot powder into the coconut milk in the small bowl. Set aside. Cut the vanilla bean in half with a very sharp paring knife and add both halves to the saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin on top of the coconut milk in the pan and let it soften for five minutes.
  2. Heat the coconut milk over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan and steam rises from the milk. Stir in the arrowroot mixture. Continue stirring for several minutes, being careful not to let the milk boil.
  3. Remove from the heat, then remove both halves of the vanilla bean. Carefully scrape any remaining seeds from the pod, return the seeds to the coconut milk mixture, and discard the pods. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Add the second can of coconut milk to a blender. Add the agave and 1/8 teaspoon of liquid vanilla stevia. Do not measure the stevia over the blender in case of a spill as its sweetness is very intense. Carefully add the hot coconut milk to the blender, scraping all of the remaining vanilla beans from the pan.
  5. Blend on low just until combined. Taste and add the remaining 1/8 teaspoon liquid stevia if desired. Note that ice cream is slightly less sweet once frozen. Transfer to a container, such as a quart mason jar, seal or cover well, and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Stir-freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store covered in a freezer-safe container. Let ice cream soften at room temperature for approximately 10 minutes before serving.
Standing time: 10 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis:
Calories: 190, Carbohydrates: 12 g, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 14 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 35 mg, Fiber: 0 g

Recipe by Amy Green, founder of SimplySugarandGlutenFree.com. It first appeared in our May/June 2012 issue.