This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream! This delicious dessert is usually not encouraged on the keto diet because it is high in carbs. Thankfully, there are some decent store-bought alternatives and even some recipes you can try!
So, what is keto ice cream made of? If you’re wondering how low-carb ice cream is made when the regular one is full of dairy and sugar, we’re here to show you the best keto ice cream ingredients and a few recipes you can try on your own!
Common Keto Ice Cream Ingredients
Keto ice cream is usually made with whipped cream and a low-carb sweetener and salt, then folded into sugar-free condensed milk, coconut milk, or dairy fat.
Here are the common ingredients in keto ice cream recipes. Take note that these items do not always have to be mixed together.
Since ketosis requires a huge decrease in sugar consumption, you might think it is challenging to sweeten your ice cream. But low-carb sweeteners can help you enjoy your sweet treat. Here are some of the most common keto sweeteners:
- Erythritol. This keto sweetener is a sugar alcohol that stimulates the sweet taste receptors in your tongue to mimic the taste of sugar. It has 4 grams of carbs per teaspoon, so it isn’t totally carb-free. Erythritol can also help lower blood sugar levels in your body. Unlike other sweeteners, it doesn’t cause digestive issues associated with sugar alcohols
- Monk fruit. Monk fruit is a natural sweetener extracted from monk fruit which is a plant native to China. This keto sweetener contains natural sugars and compounds called mogrosides, which are antioxidants that account for much of the sweetness of the fruit. It has no calories or carbs, making it a great option for keto. However, some products are sometimes mixed with sugar, molasses, or other sweeteners that can alter the total calorie and carb content. So, make sure you check your labels.
- Stevia. Stevia is a nonnutritive sweetener, meaning it has little to no calories and carbs. It is available in both liquid and powdered form and is usually much sweeter than regular sugar. Because of this, recipes require less stevia to achieve the same flavor. Studies show that stevia can help lower blood sugar levels.
- Sucralose. This low-carb sweetener passes through your body undigested without providing calories and carbs because it is not metabolized. One common sucralose-based sweetener on the market is Splenda which is well-known for lacking the bitter taste found in many other artificial sweeteners. The downside to this is it’s not a substitute for sugar in recipes that need baking.
Sugar-Free Condensed Milk
This is a rare ingredient in keto ice creams because condensed milk is typically sweetened. Although there are non-dairy condensed milk and products with less sugar, a serving of condensed milk with less sugar is still too high in carbs for keto, which is about 10.4 grams.
If you have all the time, energy, and resources, you can make your own sugar-free condensed milk when you find a keto ice cream recipe that requires unsweetened condensed milk.
Coconut milk is usually whipped and used on its own as an ice cream base or sometimes mixed with whipped heavy cream.
Keto-friendly milks need to be low in carbs, and coconut milk is one good option. It is also used in making keto fat bombs and energy balls. However, some brands contain up to 5 grams of net carbs per 1-cup (240-mL) serving. As this is one-fifth of the daily carb allotment for keto, it should be used sparingly.
Coconut milk increases levels of healthy cholesterol in the body, protecting the heart and eliminating the bad cholesterol from the blood. It also helps boost your immune system since it contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Eggs, aside from being a good source of protein and fat on keto, are usually required in keto ice creams to make your dessert softer and creamier. Fat freezes differently and is less hard than water.
Egg yolks make it easier to bind the fat and water together to make a creamy emulsion. They also tend to melt in a longer amount of time and can aid in prolonging the shelf life of your sweet treat in the freezer.
Grass-Fed Heavy Whipping Cream
Not all dairies are created equal, and most of them are not keto-approved. But grass-fed heavy cream is a great keto ingredient and is the most common ingredient in low-carb ice creams. In fact, its health benefits are greater than the benefits of the standard heavy cream.
It can improve your brain function because grass-fed cows give the richest source of choline and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory compounds that help boost brain function and cardiovascular health.
Grass-fed heavy cream is also richer in vitamins and minerals than conventional dairy because cows are eating a natural diet of green grass, changing the quality of the milk produced.
Low-Carb Ice Cream Recipes
If you’re planning to make some homemade ice cream, then we have gathered some of the easiest and yummiest recipes you can try!
Plain Keto Ice Cream
For this recipe, you will need the following:
- 1 cup of sugar-free condensed milk
- 1 ½ cup grass-fed heavy cream
- 2 tbsp sweetener
- 1 ½ tbsp vodka (optional, to reduce iciness)
- ⅛ tsp salt
This rich and barely sweet ice cream only contains 2.4 grams of carb per serving! You can make it with or without an ice cream maker.
Vanilla Keto Ice Cream
This creamy dessert yields 4-5 servings and is a great recipe for beginners and experts alike. To make this, simply prepare the following:
- 2 cups of coconut milk
- ⅓ cup erythritol or sweetener of choice
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Chocolate Keto Ice Cream
If you’re craving some chocolate, then this keto chocolate ice cream recipe is highly recommended, with just 3.2g of carb per serving. Just make sure you have the following:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- ¾ cup powdered erythritol
- 2.5 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 3 tsp vodka (optional)
Ketofy Your Ice Cream!
Dairy and sugar are not the best options on keto, so you might think that ice cream is prohibited on the diet. However, alternative ingredients that are low-carb and high-fat can help you indulge in this creamy dessert without the guilt.
Now you know what keto ice cream is made of. You can use these keto ice cream ingredients guide when picking a sweetener, milk, heavy cream, and other items for your sweet ice cream treat!