How To Make Simple Coconut Milk Ice Cream | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Jul. 26. 2013

Simple Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Jul. 26. 2013
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of NS and Creator of The Method

A simple, non-dairy ice cream that’s thick and creamy and full of coconut.

There’s a new type of ice cream in town that fits most dietary preferences, including non-dairy, gluten-free, vegan and paleo. This recipe is a simple coconut milk ice cream that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, easy to make, and delicious to top with your favorite ingredients from chocolate chips to shredded coconut.

The Healthy Fats in Coconut Milk

Are the fats from coconut oil, coconut milk, and coconut meat healthy? I know what you may be thinking, a whole can of coconut milk, isn’t that fattening? Yes, the fats from coconut can be healthy depending on the context of how much you use.

Coconut is full of a certain type of fat, called saturated fat and mostly made up of medium chain triglycerides which continue to get a lot of buzz in the health world from advocates who think it’s a magic food to people who think coconut oil is the cause of all heart disease — let’s slow down there and look at what we do know.

In a nutshell, the fat contained in coconut meat, oil, and milk is mostly MCT (medium chain triglycerides), which is digested completely differently than standard fats in our diet (a.k.a. long chain fatty acids) and are more easily used as energy and broken down by the body.

We enjoy coconuts as a source of whole food fat like other fats on Nutrition Stripped, from olive oil to avocados and we do it with the same mindset, balance. Balance isn’t a sexy topic, but it’s sustainable, easy to fit into your life, and when it comes to fat, it helps food taste delicious and absorb fat-soluble nutrients.

If you want to dive in deeper, read these articles here and of, course you can bet coconut is always in my pantry

Why Coconut Milk Works for Non-Dairy Ice Cream

Cow’s milk and dairy have a high-fat content, which is the main contribution to the velvety texture when mixed with all sorts of other ingredients. It may be difficult to create non-dairy ice creams and have a smooth and thick texture without using a lot of additions such as guar gum, xanthum gum, etc., to thicken it.

Full fat coconut milk is a great alternative for non-dairy ice cream as it creates that wonderful thick, creamy mouthfeel that traditional ice cream does. Also, I show you how to do this using banana in a previous post, no fat needed. Along the same lines, just as you can make your own ice cream sans dairy, you can, of course, make your own non-dairy milk which is amazing and super simple.

The Dish on Dessert in Moderation

Just because this ice cream is a healthier version with no processed ingredients, rich in medium chain triglycerides, easier to digest, and very allergy friendly (as many individuals have intolerances to dairy), still keep in mind that this recipe is a treat and you should treat it as that. Use some moderation because it’s calorically dense as well. Mindfully enjoy friends! I will be featuring several spin-offs and variations with simply coconut milk ice cream in future posts.

What Is A Foundational Five Nourish Meal?

The Foundational Five Nourish Meal is any meal that contains all 5 elements within the Foundational Five, non-starchy carbohydrates, starchy carbohydrates, healthy fat, protein, and the Flavor Factor.

By following this simple template it keeps food flexible, fun, and nourishing. Our Foundational Five Nourish Meals can be found as yogurts, oatmeal bowls or breakfast bowls, nourish bowls, salads, soups and stews, and stir-frys.

Any meal can be made into a Foundational Five Nourish Meal by just knowing the system I teach in our Method Membership and in my free guide about creating healthy eating habits with ease, that you can get right here!

Foundational Five

Learn how you can nourish your body at each meal by creating a Foundational Five Nourish Meal. This is McKel’s simple framework she’s used with thousands of clients in her decade as a Dietitian and now you can use it too!

The Foundational Five supports you in nourishing your physical body so you can learn what to eat, which is the first step in mindful eating. The remainder is knowing how to eat and to experience your food positively.

Eating in this way supports your physical body on a cellular level ensuring you’re consuming the nutrients you need to have a sharp focus, calm digestion, lasting energy, sound sleep, and vibrant long-term health.

Here are the following Foundational Five Elements in this recipe:

1 • Non-starchy Carbohydrate

  • Add rhubarb

2 • Starchy Carbohydrate

  • Dates
  • Banana

3 • Healthy Fat

  • Coconut milk

4 • Protein

  • Add peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter or crushed walnuts

5 • Flavor Factor

  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Sea salt


The Recipe

Serves 4



2, 15 ounce cans of organic full fat coconut milk

4 large dates, pitted (stevia sugar-free option)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

dash of cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

No ice cream maker recipe

1 banana, frozen

ice cubes to thick15-ounce

ounce cans of organic full fat coconut milk

4 large dates, pitted (stevia sugar free option)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

dash of cinnamon

pinch of sea salt



Step 1

Chill the full-fat coconut milk cans overnight.

Step 2

Combine all ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and blend until thick and creamy.

Using Blender

Step 1

Use frozen bananas and ice along with the remaining ingredients to have an instantly frozen treat.

Step 2

You may also put in the freezer for about 30 minutes to one hour to “harden” up if this texture is still too soft.

Using Ice Cream Maker

Step 1

If you have one, you can use it and get the best results. After blending, you simply add the mixture to your ice cream maker and let it do the work for you.

Step 2

Enjoy chilled with typical ice cream garnish and toppings.

Can’t wait to see you try it!

Did you know that you can submit your own photo of whatever recipe you make from NS? Scroll down to the bottom right and you’ll see a section for you to show off your creations from home!

Can’t wait to see how you make these and share your meal with me! Tag us on Instagram @nutritionstripped #nutritionstripped

Create Healthy and Mindful Eating Habits for Life.

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