Chill-out With This Paleo-Friendly Ice Cream

One of my fondest childhood memories of summer is taking turns with my brother in the backyard cranking the handle of our old-fashioned ice cream maker…

I can still hear the echoing crunch of rock salt and ice as the steel canister went round and round inside the wooden bucket.

We’d trade off more frequently as the milk and sugar inside – usually sprinkled with fresh-cut peaches – got harder and harder to turn. We never complained though – we knew every two-handed revolution we could muster brought us that much closer to scooping out the creamy goodness inside. 

Eventually, Dad would take over the churning duties, and after a few more minutes and some labored grunts, we knew the ice cream was finally ready. Soon enough, the lid was off, paddles out, and we were practically inhaling the best thing ever on a warm summer’s day.

To me, ice cream has never tasted quite as good since. Although I must admit, some of Ben & Jerry’s frozen treats are pretty darn amazing. But it’s the homemade freshness of DIY ice cream I probably miss more than anything else.

That’s why I came up with my own little Paleo-friendly version of one of my modern-day favorites – cherry and chocolate chip ice cream. Boy is this stuff good. No dairy, no soy, no refined sugar, and these days no handle to crank! Just pour into a countertop electric ice cream maker, flip a switch, and about 20 minutes later it’s done.

This is a fun recipe to get the kids involved with too. They’ll enjoy helping you mix up the few ingredients there are to this recipe, and sprinkling the chocolate chips into the purplish swirls. And of course, they’re going to absolutely love getting a dish of this sweet and crunchy concoction.

Hope you take the time this summer to enjoy a little homemade ice cream with your family, Paleo-style!

Paleo-Friendly, Non-Dairy Cherry “Ice Cream” Recipe

by Trina
This dairy, gluten and soy-free ice cream reminds me of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. I love it! The puree helps give it a nice overall cherry flavor, and the added chopped cherries and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips are a real treat.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • Ice cream maker
  • Blender or food processor


  • 1 can coconut milk 13.5 oz, full fat
  • 1 bag of fresh or frozen cherries 10 oz. If frozen, thaw before preparing.
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of raw honey
  • 1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips semi-sweet (dairy, nut and soy free – Enjoy Life brand preferred)


  • Set aside one fourth of the cherries, and dice or finely chop remaining three-fourths of cherries
  • Place the whole cherries you set aside in a blender or food processor, and puree
  • Add all the liquid ingredients (coconut milk, vanilla and raw honey) into the blender or food processor. Do not add chopped cherries or chocolate chips yet! Blend medium speed for about one minute.
  • Stir in remaining chopped cherries into the mixture. Do not blend, stir only.
  • Pour mixture into electric ice cream maker.
  • When mixture starts to thicken, pour in mini chocolate chips
  • Churn ice cream until desired consistency


When you store the ice cream in the freezer, you will notice it gets rock-hard. This is because there are no preservatives or additives to keep it soft. Remove it from the freezer 15 minutes before serving, or heat in the microwave a few seconds to soften – it will be just as yummy as the day you made it. Enjoy!
Keyword ice cream, dairy-free, treat, cherry

Join the Conversation

  1. Do you chill the coconut milk prior? I’ve seen that on other coconut milk ice cream recipes

    1. You can, it freezes faster that way, but it’s not necessary.

  2. What brand of coconut milk do you prefer?

    1. Hi Tina, I like Thai kitchen brand. :)

  3. Can I do ir without the ice cream maker? Looks delish!

    1. Sure, you can pour it into a parchment lined bread pan and mix every 15-20 min until desired. Store in a freezer proof container. :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I made this tonight, super quick. Im glad I tried it while it was churning, i found it to be way too sweet. perhaps it was the can coconut milk brand or the cherries or too much honey, so I added about another half a can of coconut milk. turned out perfect. super yummy. yea, ice cream. I also have a cute litre container I found to store it in. it looks just like an ice cream container. thank you for a yummy recipe.

    1. Awesome! Thanks so much for your kind words…glad you liked it. Excellent point for everyone about the sweetness…a good rule of thumb with paleo ice cream is to hold off on adding the honey until you get it churning and can give the mixture a taste — then add honey only if necessary! :)

  5. Did you use sweet or tart cherries?

    1. I used sweet but you could use tart if you like. You may want to check it for sweetness before you churn it. I love this recipe. It’s really good! Let me know how it goes.

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