Swiss Almond Dairy Free Ice Cream

dairy free ice cream

After a 10-year struggle with endometriosis, I finally gave up eating dairy in 2005. My naturopathic doctor explained to me that even organic dairy (without added hormones) came from the milk of an animal, and the natural hormones in the milk were encouraging my misplaced endometrial cells. I had already been diagnosed with celiac disease, and I really didn’t want to stop eating dairy too. But I was desperate, so I went ahead with it. And it worked!!! I’ve been endo-free for 9 years now, and got pregnant with Ginger immediately after trying :-)


Shortly after I stopped eating dairy, I got into raw food “uncook” books, partly because I was craving raw food, and partly because they made things like cheesecake without dairy. By using nuts and coconut I started making all sorts of “dairy” treats again. I took the concepts I admired from raw food books, and brought them into my less restrictive kitchen. Over the years I developed all kinds of dairy-free recipes like cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.

This Swiss Almond Dairy Free Ice Cream is so simple, but so satisfying. The contrast of sweet and salty, smooth and crunchy is what makes it so appealing. It’s just one of 75 dairy free ice cream recipes in my new cookbook—I can’t wait for you to see it! It comes out in bookstores June 24th, but you can pre-order now on amazon.

In the meantime, here is one of my favorites from the book. I hope you love it too :-)

Swiss Almond Dairy Free Ice Cream

chocolate covered almonds

1 cup whole raw almonds
1/2 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 12 minutes, until they are lightly browned, keeping a close eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.
  3. Put the toasted almonds in a mixing bowl along with the chocolate chips and salt.
  4. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes so that the heat from the almonds melts the chocolate.
  5. Stir to coat the almonds with the chocolate and salt, then spread them on the lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator.

dairy free ice cream

1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup (about 8) soft, pitted Medjool dates
1 & 1/2 cups almond, cashew, or hemp milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
optional thickener: 1/2 teaspoon guar gum OR 1 tablespoon gelatin that has been completely dissolved
into 1/4 cup boiling water

  1. Put the coconut milk and dates in a blender and purée until smooth.
  2. Add the almond, cashew, or hemp milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and thickener (if using). Purée until smooth.
  3. Freeze for about an hour or refrigerate until cold.
  4. Pour into the ice cream machine and churn per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Chop the coated nuts and set them aside.
  6. Transfer the ice cream to a shallow 6-cup rectangular glass dish, then fold in the chopped coated nuts.
  7. Eat right away or freeze until hard for pretty scoops.
  8. When frozen solid, allow the ice cream to thaw at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.


♥, Kelly




  1. Niki says

    Hi Kelly, sounds great :) How does this work if you don’t have an ice cream churner? I would like to make this while travelling and won’t have access to one, thanks :)

    • says

      I’ll admit I have accidentally left it in the freezer to chill before churning, and forgotten about it, and it wasn’t bad. But I can’t be sure that everyone will like it this way, or that it will turn out the same with every recipe :-)

    • Karina says

      I have frozen ice cream with success using a quart-sized Ziplock bag, a gallon-sized Ziplock bag, and some rock salt. You just have to smoosh it/ toss it around for a while. It’s fun!

  2. Alangrieal says

    Is there any alternative to the coconut milk? I am lactose intolerant and have been looking for an ice cream to make, however I also loathe bananas and coconut. So many ‘dairy free’ ice creams contain one of these two things.

  3. Laurel says

    It looks scrumptious. Your recipes always do. I purchased your other ice cream book last year and wondered if they were mutually exclusive? FYI check out your title, I’m sure you meant “dairy.” :-)

    • says

      The new edition has about 20 new recipes, and 75+ full-page color photos. Which title do you mean? I can’t find one with a spelling mistake. Thanks!

      • Kristi says

        Check the one right above the chocolate covered almonds recipe section. It says diary instead of dairy.

      • Vanessa says

        It says “diary” instead of “dairy” in the title. :)

        (I just discovered your page from pinterest and I’m loving it!)

      • Michelle says

        I saw it twice. Diary instead of dairy…an easy mistake to make and one that spell check won’t help, unfortunately.

      • Laurel says

        Um… this one. Swiss Almond Diary Free Ice Cream
        chocolate covered almonds It’s all in bold, above the directions for the chocolate covered almonds. I used to do a lot of proof reading and it’s amazing how stuff just gets by you no matter how many times you look at it and sometimes no matter how many people look at it. lol

  4. Jody says

    You probably address this in the book, but when you say a can of coconut milk is that the entire can contents or just the cream and not the water?

    • says

      Yes! I explain that in my ice cream book actually :-) It just wont be as thick with fewer dates, and it will freeze harder if you don’t eat it right away. But it will still taste great!

  5. CJ says

    This was so great! Made it this evening. It wasn’t pure white due to the dates, more of a light brownish color, but still very good. Looking forward to the book. This is a great dairy/sugar free substitute for my all time favorite Vanilla Swiss Almond from those Hagen Daas folks! I may just make the almonds and eat those by themselves some day.

  6. says

    I’m in ice cream mode right now, so you’re book is coming at the perfect time! But I have a question. I looked through a friend’s copy of a book called “perfect scoop” which is NOT non-dairy. It has amazing flavors like fresh fig ice cream, olive oil ice cream, etc. I’m debating… Do I buy it AND yours and just try to figure out how to convert the dairy recipes from “perfect scoop” to nondairy, or will yours have similar exotic flavors? If that’s the case, I’ll just buy yours!!!
    It would be awesome to get a “teaser” list of the recipes you’re including in your new ice cream book. It would make my mouth water and would help me make an informed decision about whether or not I should buy both books or just yours. :) thx!

    • says

      I do have some exotic flavors (like Blueberry Lavender, Saffron and Rose Water, and White Chocolate Goji Berry). That’s a good idea! I should make a blog post that lists all the flavors.

  7. Theresa says

    Hi Kelly,
    I was wondering if (canned) coconut cream would work in making your Ice Cream Recipe? I couldn’t find any coconut milk without guar gum!
    FYI, I pre-ordered your Ice Cream Cook Book :) Anxious to try your recipes.

  8. Cynthia A. Albert, BSN, RN says

    Most celiacs are also sensitive to dairy; you’re not alone. I discovered that I am actually allergic to casein and I am celiac as well. Thank You for sharing your recipe!

  9. Allison Filderman says

    I didn’t realize you had endometriosis. Other than stopping dairy, what else has worked for you? Thanks so much for all that you do.

  10. Kari Soto says

    I have a question about the nut milks. Can we just use more coconut milk? My son is allergic to tree nuts and legumes, as well as dairy, soy, and gluten… Obviously, we would just be making a plain version of this, but I’d love to try it. I’m just curious if the nut milk is necessary or if it is sub-able. Thanks :)

  11. sharon says

    I’d like to ask about the dates, I hate them, raisins, etc. on their own, are they necessary or not ‘date like’ in the recipe(s) that I see? thanks!!!

    • says

      I’m not sure that you’ll really notice the flavor after you make the recipe. The dates are there to add sweetness and texture.

  12. Tonya says

    I wanted to try this before I bought the book, so I did. It’s AMAZING!!!! Even my 13 year old son (who lives with his father and eats processed refined food all the time) thinks it’s amazing. I followed the recipe exactly and didn’t change a thing about it. I am so excited for the book to come out. My daughter is 8 and was diagnosed with autism when she was 2. We’ve healed so much with diet, but she’s missed out on so many treats. I’m so thankful for your recipes, now she can have the same foods as her friends only a million times better for her. I can’t thank you enough for all you do. <3

  13. Jeanne says

    I made this a couple of weeks ago, without an ice cream maker, and I was in heaven! Dairy isn’t my issue (I don’t think), but sugar is. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now I need to buy your book and stock up on ingredients!

  14. Kristine says

    On your recipe for Swiss Almond ice cream, it calls for quar gum, can I use xantham gum instead?
    Thanks! Can’t wait to make it!!!

  15. Diana says

    Will your book be available in kindle format? I want to buy it, but my shelf space is extremely limited.

  16. Kat says

    Is there a substitution I can use for the dates? It has taken me a long time to realize the dates were causing me health problems. Also I really want to purchase your new book as I am allergic to gluten, dairy and soy. However how many of the recipes in it have dates in them? Thank you.

  17. says

    I just checked out your book on amazon – it looks great! Looking forward to it :)

    Curious if you have a favorite way to store the ice cream in the freezer – do you pyrex dishes or do you prefer a different material?

  18. Jennifer says

    Have you experimented with xantham gum as a thickener and if so, is that a suitable replacement for the thickeners you suggest?


  19. says

    This was amazingly delicious. Cool, creamy, and just the thing for a hot July day. I just have to stop myself from having it for breakfast (it’s a frozen smoothie right?!)…

  20. amy says

    I made this with pecans instead of almonds and it was so addicting. We couldn’t stop eating the candy while we waited for the ice cream. I love that this uses dates . I am glad to find a recipe without bananas too, my husband is lactose intolerant and allergic to bananas and he loves ice cream. He said this was the best non dairy ice cream he has ever tried, im sure he had them all too. I also added a little cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg just for fun.

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