The Best Ever Paleo Vanilla Ice “Cream”

May 16, 2012 in Categories: by

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This recipe is not about making the easiest paleo vanilla ice cream, but rather about making the best paleo vanilla ice cream.  The secret to this amazing tasting ice cream is combining two different homemade milk alternatives: almond and coconut.  The combination means that neither flavor overpowers the vanilla and you end up with just wonderful tasting vanilla ice “cream”.  By making your own almond and coconut milk, you get a fresh, creamy, clean taste that you just can’t replicate with coconut milk from a can or store-bought almond milk full of homogenizing ingredients (like guar gum, which is a gut irritant!).  It takes a little planning ahead, but it really isn’t much work.  Yields about 1 quart of ice cream.

Note on ice cream makers:  This is a great investment for paleo families because it opens up so many delicious possibilities.  The Ice Cream Maker that Santa brought me is fairly simple, with a bowl that lives in the coldest part of my freezer ready for whenever I feel like whipping up some sorbet for dessert.  It makes very creamy ice cream in about 10 minutes, sometimes less, and it is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets.  You could make this ice cream by putting the custard in a metal bowl in the freezer and whisking every 20 minutes or so for the 3-4 hours that it would take to harden.  I did this once before getting an Ice Cream Maker.  It works, but it isn’t as good as using a machine (one of the reasons why it was on my Christmas list last year).

The Best Ever Paleo Vanilla Ice Cream


1.    Soak almonds in at least 2 cups water overnight.  Rinse almonds thoroughly (until water rinses clear).  Add 2 cups fresh water to almonds.
2.    Place soaked almonds and water in blender and blend on high for 3-4 minutes (I divide mine into two batches and do this in my Magic Bullet).
3.    Strain almond pulp through a folded square of Cheesecloth, Nut-Milk Bag or Extra Fine Mesh Strainer.  Discard pulp.
4.    Add 2 cups hot freshly boiled water to the coconut in a blender.  Blend on high for 4-5 minutes (Again, I divide mine into two batches and do this in my Magic Bullet).
5.    Strain coconut pulp through a folded square of Cheesecloth, Nut-Milk Bag or Extra Fine Mesh Strainer.  (You will probably want to wait for it to cool a little to help you squeeze the coconut milk out).  Discard pulp.
6.    Place almond milk and coconut milk into a medium saucepot.  Slice the vanilla bean in half with a sharp knife and add to the pot.
7.    Heat on medium-low heat, stirring very frequently, until hot and steaming but just short of a simmer (do not let the milk simmer!).
8.    Separate eggs (discard whites or save for another purpose) and place yolks in a heat-safe container (a pyrex measuring cup works well).
9.    Temper the egg yolks by adding a ladle full of hot milk to the yolks while stirring the yolks.  Now add the tempered yolks to the saucepot, again stirring constantly.
10.  Heat the mixture on medium-low, stirring constantly and never letting it simmer, until the custard thickens (should coat the back of a wooden spoon and be about as thick as heavy cream), about 6-8 minutes.  (If the custard boils, the egg will curdle.  If this happens, it’s still salvageable:  remove from heat immediately and pulse through a blender until smooth.)
11.  Remove from heat and pour into a bowl or measuring cup to cool.
12.  Let cool to room temperature.  Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the vanilla seeds off the bean with a spoon or the back of a sharp knife.  Add the vanilla seeds back to the custard and discard the pod.  Stir in the honey.
13.  Chill the custard in the fridge until cold.
14.  Place the chilled custard in your Ice Cream Maker and follow the directions.  Enjoy!  Store any leftovers in the soft zone of your freezer.


My poor husband is back down to 110 pounds since I went primal. He’s been eating the evil ice cream versions with HFCS just to keep weight on. Wonder what’ll happen when he gets some great ice cream!I am so looking forward to this.

Do you know how much of the almond milk and coconut milk is being used so if I just wanted to buy almond milk and coconut milk I could instead of making it?

I’m so sad to see you toss the pulp!! You should make crackers with them in the oven or dehydrator – a quick internet search for raw almond pulp crackers should set you in the right direction. Super yum AND paleo AND stretches those dollars! Also, if you like your treats, make raw cookies 🙂

Happy Cooking!


I should edit this! I use the coconut pulp to make coconut flour now. 🙂 Next time I will try the almond pulp crackers to (I have been meaning to try this with my dehydrator but actually haven’t made this ice cream in a while!)

just working on getting the ice cream together now – – cant wait !

just a word of caution re the making – most blenders can’t take boiling, or even very hot, water. I just rang the distributors of my blender to check.

So whisking it with a hand -held. Heres hoping it works

If i make it in advance how well does it store in the freezer before serving? Thinking 1-2 weeks? Or is it best to do on the day?

Made the ice cream this weekend and it came out incredible! Just curious though- how come you add coconut and almond milk? Could you use one or the other? I know the coconut milk is a bit thicker, but almond has nice flavor. Did I answer my own question 🙂 ? Also, if I don’t want to make so much next time, I assume the ratio is 2 egg yolks to one cup of milk. What do you think?

You could absolutely make it with one milk or the other. I like the combination because then neither the almond flavour not the coconut flavour dominates and so the vanilla flavour comes out. I think that egg to milk ratio sounds about right. 🙂

I finally made this tonight, and it was delicious, thanks Sarah!
I didn’t have a vanilla pod and instead used about 4 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Probably could have used 2, but I have a big vanilla lover in the house 🙂
Several hours later, my tongue is still a little tingly, I think from the almond milk. I will try it with cashew milk next time and report back!

Thanks for this recipe. I made the custard last night and am freezing today. I am adding sweet cherry pieces and putting in the Paleo Parents Not Sugar Cookies for ice cream sandwiches for my son’s birthday today. So nice to be able to make paleo treats for birthdays so they do not feel like they are missing out.

Rather than discard the two pulps, I run a second and third measure (as in recipe) to get a weaker yet tasty almond-coconut drink that I add and blend a banana, some Xylitol, sea salt and almond and/or virgin coconut oil. Then I save the final leftover pulp to add to my meals-dried in salads or in soups and gravies. It helps feed the good bacteria in the stomach/ intestines to produce butyric acid, which is good food for the heart. There are still some good vitamins and minerals in the pulp so if heating, I add when the heating of food is at its end. As I do not eat grains, legumes, most root foods or high carb caloric foods, this gives me a good quality fibre.

I also spend the time to rub off the soaked almond skins. They may still have left over toxins the nuts use to protect their seeds.

Hi Sarah

We made the apple crumble (awesome, made it again two days later).

Also made the ice-cream which seemed OK initially, but froze into an iceberg that seemed to require a bandsaw to cut slices (joke). Tried leaving it it the fridge for an hour, which softened it into slightly softer icy bits.

It seems to lack the smoothness of normal home-made icecream, and seems a bit more gelato like than i would have expected.

We followed the recipe exactly.

Any ideas?

I was just wondering which one of my favorite food bloggers I was going to ask for an Ice Cream recipe that is not made with a can of coconut milk. I have Crohns/colitis and I can not eat high fat whether it be healthy fat or not. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to try this.

If I leave out the honey and replace it with stevia, will that change the recipe in any way. I am not eating any sugar right now.

[…] The Best Ever Paleo Vanilla Ice “Cream” » The Paleo Mom – This recipe is not about making the easiest paleo vanilla ice cream, … can you omit the eggs from this recipe?? thanks so much!! Reply. Christina Feindel … I was just wondering which one of my favorite food bloggers I was going to ask for an Ice Cream recipe that is not made with a can of … […]

Can you just freeze custard without using an ice cream machine. ..and how much of each milk do you use if using bought “milk”

This is the best paleo ice cream I’ve ever tried. I love that the taste isn’t “coconutty” like all the other coconut milk ice creams I’ve made. Thank you!

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