Tips for Making the Best Dairy-Free, Allergy-Friendly Ice Cream

in Substitutions

Creating allergy-friendly ice cream can seem tricky, but these tips provide the magic touch.

Liquid – Pea milk beverage is my top choice for making allergy-friendly ice cream, without coconut. The flavor melds nicely, and it emulsifies well for a creamier finish. Most other allergy-friendly milk beverages should work, but the end results might be less creamy. My second favorite option is lite coconut milk. (Most people with nut allergy are not allergic to coconut, but verify individual allergies with your allergist.)

ice cream
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Fat – Ice cream’s luxurious consistency comes from an emulsion with dairy fat. We can mimic this in allergy-friendly ice cream with another fat, such as oil. Use any neutral-tasting oil, or oil that fits the flavor of your ice cream. But coconut oil and cocoa butter should be used sparingly, and in combination with another oil or fat (like seed butter or avocado). They can cause allergy-friendly ice cream to set up too firmly when frozen.

Binder – Once an emulsification is created, you need to bind it. This helps prevent the formation of ice crystals when frozen. Xanthan gum is a great allergy-friendly binder, and corn-free options are available from certain brands (like Namaste Foods and Authentic Foods). But in a pinch, you can substitute guar gum.

Adults Only – Alcohol doesn’t freeze, so blending 1 tablespoon of your favorite spirit into ice cream before churning can make it softer for easier scooping.

No Ice Cream Maker?

Discover other methods for making allergy-friendly ice cream and frozen dessert at

Alisa Fleming is a contributing editor to Allergic Living and the author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein Free Living, and founder of

See Also:
Dairy-Free Strawberry Ice Cream
Strawberry Crunch Pops & 2-Tone Berry Pops