One of my husband’s favorite desserts is coffee ice cream. And for two back-to-back rounds of Whole30, he went without desserts completely. Afterwards, he decided to stick with Paleo permanently — which means there’s room for the occasional, nature-sweetened dessert. So I wondered, could I make a sugar-free ice cream recipe that was also dairy-free, — and stacked up to his favorite brand?
Yes, I can!
I tried one version that included egg yolks, with the whole simmering-and-tempering thing, (and if you want to add some protein, healthy fats, and vitamins to your ice cream, you could certainly go that route). He liked it just fine. But my second time around, I decided to see if I could simplify the process — no cooking required! — and still keep the yum factor.
The verdict: He liked the second version better. Even said, “This beats Marble Slab!” WIN!
This is the brand of coconut milk I like to use. (Link to my Amazon store, but you can get this locally.) And no, you don’t taste coconut in the finished recipe.
Dairy-free sugar-free coffee ice cream recipe
1 c. steaming hot water
2 T. ground coffee; mild or mellow flavor (decaf, if you like)
16 pitted deglet noor dates
1 can coconut milk (read below on how to prepare it*)
1 t. vanilla
Optional: additional sweetener of your choice (I like maple syrup)
Steep the coffee in the hot water for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, check the dates and trim off any stems still attached. Cut each date in half, the short way. Remove any pits you find. Place the chopped dates in a bowl or measuring cup large enough to hold two cups.
Once the coffee is steeped, pour it through a fine sieve over the dates. Leave the fine grounds behind; don’t even try to pour them through.
Let this sit at room temp for one or two hours.
Add the coffee and dates to a blender or food processor and blend till smooth; then add the coconut milk and vanilla and blend again. There will still be some “freckles” of dates in the mixture, but there shouldn’t be any large bits.
Taste, and add more vanilla or other sweetening if necessary. If your sweet tooth is adjusted to a sugar-free life, it should be plenty sweet as is. Other people may want it sweeter. Feel free to make it your way!
Refrigerate till completely cold – at least a couple hours – then freeze according to your ice cream freezer instructions. If you don’t have an ice cream freezer, you can pour it into a shallow dish or pan and place it in the freezer of your fridge, scraping and stirring it every 20 – 30 minutes till you get the desired texture.
The hubs likes it straight-up; I like a few pecans sprinkled on top. I love the contrasting texture, and the slight buttery flavor they add.
I’m pretty confident this recipe would fool most people: you’d never guess it was sugar free ice cream!
*If you’ve never used canned coconut milk, here’s how to make it as lump-free as possible: Have the can at room temp, not chilled, when you open it. Shake the can well, and open from the bottom. Pour the contents out, then use a spatula to scrape the last bit of coconut cream from the unopened end of the can. There will still be a few lumps, but the blender should get the rest of them.
Will this work without an ice cream maker? I don’t see you mention it in the directions, but there is a picture of one.
It works best with an ice cream maker, but you could also pour it into a shallow dish, and scrape and stir it every 20-30 minutes until it’s the desired texture. It won’t be quite as creamy, but it will still taste good!
Thanks for asking this question! I modified the instructions to be more clear.