Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Paleo Ice Cream

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When the temperature starts climbing, one of the things that many Paleo converts miss is ice cream.  Fortunately it's not something you have to give up - whether or not you have given up dairy. (Image from chefmom.sheknows.com)

Today I am going to share a couple of recipes with you that are cool, delicious, and yet again another great way to use fruit in season.

By the way, if you don't have an ice cream maker you can still make ice cream.  Here is a video that shows you how to make ice cream in a Ziplock bag.  It's rather labour-intensive and I wouldn't want to be making gallons of the stuff this way, but if you really have a hankering for ice cream and no machine, it's a great way to satisfy the urge.

 If you have a large family, lots of kids, or just love ice cream, investing in an ice cream maker will probably be worth it to you.  When you have a few containers of home made ice cream in your freezer you won't be tempted to buy all that stuff that's full of chemicals. Unfortunately ice cream is one of the worst offenders when it comes to being full of sugar, bad oils, and everything un-natural.

The ice cream maker I have is this Cuisinart one.  I've had it for several years now and I'm very happy with it.  You have to remember to put the container in your freezer the day before you want to make ice cream, but I just keep mine in there permanently once the warmer months roll around.  That way it's always ready.

This Cuisinart ice cream maker is cheaper but works just as well. When we rented a vacation home for a few months this is the one that was in that kitchen, and I found it worked just as well as my more expensive one at home. 

Both of these ice cream makers have great reviews online as well, but there are also many others to choose from in various price ranges.  Click either of the links above to check them out.

So, on to the recipes ......

This first recipe is my basic French Vanilla ice cream.  French Vanilla ice cream is richer than regular vanilla ice cream because of the eggs, and to me the extra step involved is well worth it when I am making this staple.

French Vanilla Ice cream

Ingredients :

-  3 egg yolks
-  16 ounces of heavy cream or canned coconut milk
-  1/2 a cup of maple syrup, honey or coconut sugar
-  1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions :

-  Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil while whisking constantly.  You don't want any lumps
-  Remove from the heat and let cool, then strain into a medium mixing bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
-  Pour the cooked custard into an ice cream maker and run following directions.
-  Put the finished ice cream into a container and store in your freezer.

Once you have your basic ice cream, you can make lots of variations such as :

Pralines and Cream

While your ice cream is making, saute a cup of chopped pecans in a skillet with a teaspoon of butter.  When they are toasted, remove the nuts, then add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of your sweetener of choice to the pan and heat a few minutes more to make a caramel sauce. Add back the nuts and mix until well coated, then pour onto a plate and leave to cool. The sauce will thicken slightly. Once your ice cream is made, mix in the nuts and the sauce, put into a container, and store in your freezer.

Chocolate Mint

Add a few drops of mint extract and a few drops of green food colouring (optional) to the cooked custard base before freezing.  When your ice cream is made, mix in a cup of chopped dark chocolate, put into a container, and store in your freezer.

 Double Chocolate

Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa to the ingredients when you make your custard base.  Follow the directions above.  When your ice cream is made, mix in a cup of chopped dark chocolate, put into a container, and store in your freezer.

Maple Walnut

Use maple syrup as your sweetener and add a tablespoon of maple extract to your custard base.  Follow the directions for Pralines and Cream, but use chopped walnuts instead of pecans.

Chocolate Sundae

One of the best ways to serve your french vanilla ice cream is with chocolate sauce as I mentioned in my post on chocolate.  To make this rich chocolate sauce all you need to do is melt a couple of tablespoons of butter, add a couple of tablespoons of cocoa, about 1/4 cup of heavy cream, and a tablespoon or two of maple syrup or honey. Add more or less sweetener to taste, and if the sauce is too thick, add a little more heavy cream to thin it out.  You can keep this in a container in your fridge and just heat some up in the microwave whenever you want to indulge.

You can also just melt some dark chocolate in the microwave and pour this over your ice cream.  This will form a hard coating like the kind you get on Dairy Queen dipped cones, but much tastier.

This is, of course, incredibly rich, and not the sort of thing you want to eat more than a couple of times a year.  But when you really want to indulge, it's much, much better for you than anything you can buy.

If you're having problems finding some of these ingredients locally, you can get them on Amazon.


This second recipe is the one I usually use to make a fruit ice cream.  It's lighter so it allows the flavour of the fruit to shine, and it's also less work.

Basic Fruit Ice cream

3 cups of chopped fresh fruit
3 1/4 cups of heavy cream or 2 - 14 oz cans of coconut milk
1/2 cup of maple syrup, honey or coconut sugar (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Put all the ingredients into your blender or processor and process until pureed.  Taste to make sure the sweetness is right, then pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and freeze according to the instructions.

The variations on this are endless.  Strawberry ice cream is a favourite of mine, followed closely by peach.

Once I have peach ice cream in my freezer then I'm just a few steps away from having my favourite summer dessert - Peach Melba.  To make this slice a peach, top with peach ice cream, and then top that with a raspberry puree which you can make by processing a cup of raspberries in your blender.  I like to add a little Grand Marnier to my puree - optional but it makes a divinely decadent special occasion dessert.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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  1. thanks for some great ideas. they look delish!

  2. These recipes are awesome. I've tried four of them now (all coconut milk) and they are delicious!! Thanks for the interesting variations!

  3. Looking forward to trying these - thank you!

  4. Hi,
    Thank you for the recipes. They look great.
    I was wondering why do we need to bring all the ingredients to a low boil. Can I just mix everything and put it in a ice cream maker?
    I have raw cream from grass fed cows so I do not want to boil out all the goodness.
    Thank you.

    1. There are several reasons why you boil it. First, the egg yolks will thicken it so it's more custard-like. Also, a lot of people don't like to eat raw eggs. The last reason is to make sure your sweetener is dissolved properly throughout the mixture.

      With saying that, I can totally get why you would want to preserve the nutrients if you have access to good raw cream and milk. I have seen recipes where all the ingredients are added without cooking, so as long as you combine everything really well first I'm pretty sure it will work. And if you're using eggs from a source you can trust then the raw egg probably won't be an issue either.

      If you decide to try this Alina please post your results so we can all learn from your experience.


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