Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Make it Natural: Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream! One of our favorite things about summer is enjoying frozen treats and it's really hard to beat a scoop of homemade ice cream. Barbara, one of our Whole Story readers, has ice cream on her mind, too, and wrote us with a request for a casein- and gluten-free ice cream recipe.Coconut Ice Cream Her original recipe was for a thick and creamy custard-based ice cream that relied on instant pudding and pie filling mix, whole milk and heavy whipping cream. To meet Barbara's request, we used a combination of light and regular coconut milk along with egg yolks for thickening instead of dairy milk and cream. Check out the resulting recipe for Coconut Milk Ice Cream. If you want a lighter version (or vegan one), simply eliminate the egg yolks and proceed with the rest of the recipe. We've found that coconut milk makes a great substitute for dairy milk in many recipes. Here are some simple tips to keep in mind when making this substitution:
  • Substitute one cup of light coconut milk for one cup regular or 2% dairy milk and one cup regular coconut milk for one cup half-and-half or cream. Remember to shake the can well before opening.
  • For rich desserts such as crème brûlée or custard, regular coconut milk works best to give the consistency of rich dairy cream.
  • For lighter versions of cooked puddings and pie fillings, light coconut milk is a good substitute for dairy milk.
  • For rich frozen desserts such as ice cream, use regular coconut milk either alone or in combination with light coconut milk. If you use the light alone, you may get an end result that is more "icy" than creamy.
  • Substitute either regular or light coconut milk in just about any recipe calling for dairy milk including cakes, muffins, quick breads and cornbread, as well as soups, stews, and creamy dishes calling for cream, half-and-half or milk.
Do you have other recommendations for using coconut milk or other non-dairy milks in recipes? Please let us know in the comments below! Did you miss the link for the full recipe? Here is the Coconut Milk Ice Cream recipe. And here are some other frozen treat ideas that are free of casein and gluten: Coffee GranitaCoffee Granita Fresh Berry Granita Peach Mango Popsicles Strawberry Orange Popsicles Raw Banana "Ice Cream" Interested in more coconut milk recipes? Try these favorites: Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup with Shrimp Butternut Squash CasseroleButternut Squash and Macaroni Casserole Coconut Forbidden Rice Pudding Coconut Milk Braised Greens Coconut Marshmallow Spiced Sweet Potatoes Curried Coconut Chicken Salad Dark Chocolate and Coconut Milk Dessert Sauce Thai Coconut Chicken Curry WrapGreen Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Wraps Got a recipe that needs a natural makeover? Post it in the comments section below! If we select your recipe for a healthy makeover and publish the improved version on our website, we'll send you a $25 Whole Foods Market gift card. We're starting work on our holiday plans, so think ahead to some of your favorite seasonal recipes you'd like to see improved and let us know!

Leave a reply

To provide feedback or ask a question about our company, a store or a product, please visit our Customer Service page.

For more information about posting comments to our blog, please see our Comment Posting Guidelines.



pat says …

I'd like to see a recipe makeover for sweet potato casserole and macaroni and cheese. These are family favorites, but i'd like to cut the fat and sugar while maintaining the sweetness of the yams and the creaminess of mac and cheese. thanks, pat

Deborah says …

Would like to see a GOOD vegan mac n' cheese recipe. Thank you!

McKell Costa says …

Coconut Milk Salmon over rice 2-3 Med Potatoes Peeled and sliced 1/4 in thick 1-2 Tomatoes diced 1 lb Salmon (skinned and cut into 1 inch cubes.) 1 Can of Regular Coconut Milk Salt to taste 1 Cup Rice Prepare Rice as directed In Large Sauce pan put one layer of potatoes then a layer of salmon then sprinkle on tomatoes then add another layer of potatoes, salmon, and tomatoes. Continue until all Potatoes, salomon and Tomatoes are in pot. Pour coconut milk over top. Use a small amount of water to clean all coconut milk from can and pour over ingredients in pan. And salt to taste. Bring up to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are very soft and salmon is flaky (30 min to an hour.) Dish over rice and ENJOY!

Ann Dunn says …

I make my own yogurt with coconut milk. I am working out the kinks to get just the right consistency but there are recipes and tips on the internet.

may says …

thanks for this I was looking for something to do with the coconuts I have

Chris says …

We use coconut milk for beef stroganoff, Swedish meatballs and mac and cheese. For mac and cheese I blend the coconut milk with some onion and garlic powder, a little turmeric for "cheddar cheese" color, and some sort of starch for thickening. I have even blended it with cashews to thicken the sauce and sneak in some protein. If the addition of lemon juice to make a sauce less sweet and more tangy yields gloopy clumps, then throw the sauce in a blender, or a container for use with an immersion blender. It will de-gloop it and you will have a nice thick, rich, creamy sauce. I just bought a used ice cream maker so I am searching for coconut milk ice cream recipes.

angel says …

what non dairy subsitution can I use for heavy cream

Amy says …

Hi guys! I work at a day care and we wanted to make ice cream as a fun summer treat, however we have a lactose intolerant student in our group. I read above that you can substitute coconut milk for regular milk, does that also work with the regular home made ice cream. (Put it in a bag and shake it?) thanks!