Is there a low calorie dairy free ice cream?

There are many reasons why someone may be looking for a low calorie dairy free ice cream. Some people have lactose intolerance or milk allergies that prevent them from consuming regular dairy ice creams. Others may be vegan or vegetarian and want to avoid animal products. Many people are also concerned about limiting calories and sugar for health reasons. The good news is that there are low calorie dairy free ice cream options available!

What is dairy free ice cream?

Dairy free ice creams are made without milk or cream. Instead, they use plant-based ingredients like coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, or oat milk as the base. Some dairy free ice creams also use avocado, banana, nuts, or other fruits as a creamy base. Most dairy free ice creams are also vegan, meaning they avoid any animal products like eggs or honey. But always check the label to be sure the ice cream you choose is 100% dairy and animal product free if needed for dietary restrictions.

Benefits of dairy free ice cream

Here are some of the benefits of choosing dairy free ice cream:

  • Allows people with lactose intolerance or milk allergies to enjoy ice cream
  • Provides a dessert option for vegans and vegetarians
  • Eliminates concerns about hormones or antibiotics found in dairy
  • Usually has less saturated fat than regular ice cream
  • Can be made from nutrient-dense bases like avocado or coconut
  • Great option for anyone wanting to reduce dairy consumption

Nutrition comparison of dairy vs dairy free ice cream

Dairy free ice creams vary in nutrients and calories, but here is a general comparison of the nutrition in one half cup serving:

Dairy Ice Cream

  • 140-180 calories
  • 7-12g fat
  • 2-4g protein
  • 12-24g carbs
  • 12-18g sugar

Dairy Free Ice Cream

  • 100-140 calories
  • 5-10g fat
  • 1-3g protein
  • 12-20g carbs
  • 10-14g sugar

As you can see, dairy free ice creams tend to be lower in calories, fat, and sugar compared to regular ice cream. But ingredients vary, so check labels for the most accurate nutrition facts.

Popular dairy free ice cream brands

Here are some top brands making dairy free and low calorie ice creams:

  • So Delicious – All coconut milk-based and many flavors under 300 calories
  • Halo Top – Made with stevia, as low as 60 calories per serving
  • Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy – Almond milk ice creams in fun flavors
  • NadaMoo – Crafted with coconut milk and monkfruit
  • Talenti – Gelato made with non-dairy milks
  • Frozen Fruits Bars – Fruit juice & smoothie bars are dairy free
  • Breyers – Launched an oat milk dairy free line recently
  • Nick’s – Made with organic coconut milk

These brands offer a wide array of low calorie dairy free dessert options you can find in grocery stores or order online.

Tips for choosing the best dairy free ice cream

When browsing all the dairy free choices available, keep these tips in mind:

  • Check calories and sugar content if watching your intake
  • Look for added fiber, protein, healthy fats for satiety
  • See if flavors sound appealing to your tastes
  • Stick to plain flavors if sensitive to add-ins
  • Look for organic, non-GMO, ethically sourced options
  • Consider texture – some brands are creamier or have mix-ins
  • See if you recognize and like the dairy free base ingredients used
  • Compare prices between brands and flavors

Sampling a few different pints is a delicious way to discover your favorites!

Simple tips for making your own dairy free ice cream

While it’s easy to find ready-made options, you can also make easy dairy free ice cream at home with just a few ingredients:

  • Blend frozen bananas for a creamy base
  • Puree avocado or coconut meat with plant milk and sweeteners
  • Use canned coconut milk mixed with frozen fruit like mango
  • Blend silken tofu with cocoa powder and pureed dates
  • Mix nut butter with oat milk and blend with frozen peach chunks

Pour your chosen base into an ice cream maker or freezer safe dish. Add any mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, or fruit. Freeze for at least 4 hours until solid enough to scoop and enjoy! Making your own gives you control over ingredients.

Simple dairy free ice cream recipe

Here is an easy 3-ingredient coconut milk ice cream recipe to try:


  • 1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Refrigerate can of coconut milk overnight or for at least 8 hours so the milk solidifies
  2. Scoop the solidified coconut cream into a bowl, reserving the liquid for another use
  3. Using a hand mixer, whip the coconut cream for 2-3 minutes until creamy and smooth
  4. Add in honey and vanilla extract, mix again briefly to combine
  5. Pour mixture into a loaf pan or ice cream maker
  6. Freeze for 6-8 hours until solid
  7. Scoop and enjoy!

This easy dairy free ice cream comes together with just 3 simple ingredients. Play around with different add-ins too like fruit or chocolate to customize flavors.

Stevia-sweetened low calorie option

To lower the calories of homemade ice cream, use stevia instead of honey or maple syrup. Stevia is a zero calorie natural sweetener that comes from a plant. Here is a stevia version of the coconut milk ice cream:


  • 1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1-2 tsp stevia liquid concentrate or powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Follow the same instructions but use stevia instead of honey. This cuts the calories significantly while still providing sweetness. Add a little extra stevia if desiring more sweetness after freezing.

Avocado-based dairy free ice cream

Avocados provide a creamy, smooth texture when blended. Here is a recipe using avocado:


  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1 cup coconut milk or almond milk
  • 3 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. In a food processor or blender, puree avocado, coconut milk, honey, vanilla and salt until very smooth
  2. Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer instructions
  3. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze 4+ hours before serving

This dairy free avocado ice cream will be rich and creamy thanks to the healthy fats in the avocado. Enjoy plain or add in chocolate chips, strawberries, or other favorite mix-ins.

Banana “nice” cream option

For a very light and healthy dairy free ice cream, you can’t go wrong with banana ice cream, aka “nice” cream. Simply blend up frozen bananas until smooth and creamy. Here’s how:


  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled, chopped and frozen
  • 1-2 tbsp milk of choice – coconut, almond, oat, etc
  • Toppings: chocolate chips, peanut butter, fruit, etc


  1. Add frozen banana chunks to high speed blender
  2. Blend until smooth, adding milk gradually if needed
  3. Scoop soft serve into a bowl and mix in any toppings
  4. For firmer ice cream, freeze 1-2 hours until set
  5. Enjoy immediately or store frozen up to 2 weeks

Banana ice cream is naturally sweet and provides potassium and fiber. Top it with your favorite add-ins or enjoy the banana flavor on its own.

Troubleshooting dairy free ice cream

While making dairy free ice cream is relatively easy, here are some troubleshooting tips for best results:

Ice crystals form

  • Let base completely cool before freezing to avoid crystals
  • Stir thoroughly while freezing to maintain smooth texture
  • Make sure freezer is cold enough, at least 0°F

Ice cream isn’t sweet enough

  • Adjust sweetener quantity to taste preference
  • Try adding extra vanilla or lemon juice to enhance sweetness
  • Let flavors meld overnight in fridge before enjoying

Texture is too icy

  • Check recipes for proper fat and protein content
  • Don’t over-churn in ice cream maker
  • Try adding a pinch of salt to enhance overall flavor

Flavor seems off or dull

  • Use ripe fruit and nuts for best flavor
  • Try a splash of alcohol like rum to bring out flavors
  • Mix in extracts, spices, or citrus zest
  • Sweeten to taste preference

Getting the perfect scoopable consistency just takes a little trial and error. Part of the fun is tweaking recipes until you create your dairy free dream flavors!

Ready-to-eat low calorie dairy free options

For the ultimate convenience, several brands offer low calorie cups, popsicles, fruit bars, and other ready-to-eat dairy free desserts. Here are some delicious options to try with all the sweetness you crave:


  • Outshine fruit popsicles – Around 60 calories
  • Jolly Llama non-dairy pops – Fruit juice & coconut milk based
  • Fruit bars from brands like Yasso and Natural Delights – 100 calories or less

Fudge bars

  • So Delicious fudge bars – 100 calories
  • Coconut Bliss mini ice cream sandwiches – 80 calories
  • Enlightened ice cream bars – 60 to 100 calories

Ice cream sandwiches

  • So Delicious dairy free ice cream between cookies or brownies – 100 to 220 calories
  • Breyers or Magnum non-dairy ice cream sandwiches
  • Yasso frozen greek yogurt sandwiches – 100 calories

Ice cream cups/cones

  • Halo Top dairy free cups – 60 to 360 calories
  • Arctic Zero non-dairy pint cups – 35 to 55 calories
  • So Delicious dairy free mini cones – 70 calories
  • Breyers oat milk cups – 140 calories

Check your grocer’s freezer section for all the latest low calorie portable dairy free sweets. They make guilt-free on-the-go treats!

Best fruits and nuts for homemade dairy free ice cream

Using naturally sweet fresh fruits and nuts is an easy way to create delicious dairy free ice cream at home. Here are some of the best options:


  • Bananas – Very creamy texture when frozen
  • Berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry) – Sweet and colorful
  • Mango – Sweet and tropical
  • Peach – Soft texture and bright flavor
  • Pineapple – Tangy tropical fruit
  • Cherry – Tart and bold red color
  • Pomegranate – Vibrant red juice and sweet-tart flavor


  • Almonds – Mild and nutty flavor
  • Cashews – Smooth and slightly sweet
  • Coconut – Tropical and creamy
  • Hazelnuts – Rich nutty taste
  • Pistachios – Subtle flavor and fun green color
  • Pecans – Bold, sweet and nutty
  • Walnuts – Woodsy and aromatic flavor

Have fun mixing and matching different fruits and nuts to create your own delicious dairy free ice cream flavors at home. Add extracts, spices, cocoas, etc to customize even further.


In summary, there are plenty of store-bought and homemade options for enjoying low calorie dairy free ice cream. Look for brands that use plant-based milks like coconut, almond, or oat milk along with natural sweeteners to keep calories and sugar in check. Make your own unique flavors at home with just a few simple ingredients like avocado, banana, and nut butters. Focus on fruits and nuts to add nutrients and texture. With all the delicious choices available, anyone can scream for dairy free ice cream!

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