Ice Cream – a love story for the dairy free


Sometimes you just really want Ice-cream.

Me, I stay away from cow’s milk as it does not agree with me or my thyroid function. I have made peace on that although I did struggle for a while there. But when I felt the difference of living completely without cow’s milk dairy, I could never turn back.

The one thing I miss though…

Ice-cream. There is a huge environmental and emotional attachment to ice cream beyond it’s creamy, delicious goodness.

It reminds me of hot summers growing up in Queensland. It reminded me of swimming all day at the beach in my little frilly togs and then getting to pick my very own ice cream on the way home. It reminds me of Dad having a taste of all the kids’ cones in efforts to avoid the dramatic disappointment of it falling off. Of course even the smallest kiddie cone was at risk  of falling on the pavement, melting right off the cone. The disappointment we all felt when that happened.

I remember thinking that Rainbow Swirl was the most magical tasting thing ever. Sadly, someone burst my bubble as an adult, informing me that it was just vanilla ice cream with colour. But I swear it tasted different…

I remember Sunday treat nights being Neopolitan ice cream in a big Peters Tub – it worked out perfectly that us three children enjoyed one of the flavours particularly. I can remember it running down my chin and the sweet stickiness that was left behind for hours after.

It reminds me of being carefree, joyous, barefoot and full of life’s abundance.

At this point I had to add, sorbet just doesn’t cut it. I enjoy a lemon sorbet every now and then but am overwhelmingly left with a sickly sweet taste in my mouth and the feeling that I’m not really eating ice cream at all. Because it’s not and it never will be.

The creamy mouthfeel, texture and the lusciousness of the experience is what ice-cream is really about.

Where do I find such things living dairy-free?

May I introduce you to…


Easy Banana Coconut Dairy Free Soft Serve Ice Cream

Creamy, tick. Luscious, tick. Sweet but filling, tick. Healthy, tick. No added sugar, tick. Made in 1 minute flat, tick.

There are various recipes floating around, all based around the same simple concept –

  1. Freeze bananas, preferably with skins off – it’s really hard to get them off once frozen!
  2. Pick milk of choice – coconut (my fave!), almond, rice, hazelnut, soy, cow, goat
  3. Place bananas and some milk in blender, hand blender, mini food processor, giant food processor and BLEND til just combined
  4. Add speciality items of choice – spices, nuts, cacao, muesli, choc chips etc
  5. Devour with glee immediately as soft serve or freeze in cup or container for 2hrs for firmer ice cream.


Speciality Additions –

  • spices – cinnamon, ginger, cardamom which help with the obvious ‘coolness’ of ice cream in terms of digestion
  • nuts – crushed walnuts, pecans, almonds, macadamias, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
  • flavours – cacao powder, vanilla or choc protein powder, real vanilla bean powder or liquid,
  • choc chips, granola, berries fresh or frozen, shredded coconut

This has changed my world and made summer a happier ice-cream friendly place. While bananas are quite high in natural sugars and I choose to be mindful of eating sparingly, there is no need for added sugar in this recipe. Plus adding in a milk with higher protein such as coconut milk, means a more balanced choice and a creamy mouthfeel.

As with anything sweet tasting, best to really savour the experience in the moment and not let our sweet taste buds begin to lead us on every meal choice.

It’s an excellent way to use up old bananas or when I’m coming to the end of a tour (like at the moment) and there needs to be some creative fridge/freezer surprise games to be played.

Go enjoy yourself a quick, easy, refreshing and healthier summer ice cream snack.

It could even be a scoop of Rainbow Swirl if you just close your eyes and imagine!

I took inspiration from this fantastic blog The Simple Veganista which includes her photos for both the soft serve a the top and more traditional scoop it out ice-cream with the recipe. Thank you for your beautiful recipes and images!

Another favourite for any kind of brilliant inspiration, soft serve ice cream included is from the team at Move. Nourish. Believe.



  2 comments for “Ice Cream – a love story for the dairy free

  1. Catherine
    July 9, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Have you tried tofu ice cream? A friend in high schools parents ran the Tofu Shop and I always used to look forward to a visit when they had a new flavour, it was delicious. They used to have (and I assume still do) a different soft serve flavour each week from memory.

    • Dana
      July 15, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Tofu ice-cream it sounds interesting, I’m yet to try that one. I do love a coconut sorbet in summer though!

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