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Last Updated on August 24, 2022

Ice cream may seem off-limits to keto dieters, as most of these frozen desserts are made with sweeteners that increase carbs. In other words, the ketogenic diet discourages the consumption of ice cream since it’s high in carbs. However, there’s a solution to this, i.e. keto ice cream. This gluten-free frozen dessert contains ingredients that won’t cause you to leave ketosis, yet it looks and tastes like regular ice cream. 

Ice cream may seem off-limits to keto dieters, as most of these frozen desserts are made with sweeteners that increase carbs. In other words, the ketogenic diet discourages the consumption of ice cream since it's high in carbs. However, there’s a solution to this, i.e. keto ice cream. This gluten-free frozen dessert contains ingredients that won't cause you to leave ketosis, yet it looks and tastes like regular ice cream. 

In addition to being low-carb and delicious, keto ice creams come in a range of tempting flavors. In terms of comfort food, keto ice cream is unmatched.  With its sweet, rich, and creamy taste, it’s one of those soothing treats that can be satisfying to the soul. You can enjoy this alongside other keto-friendly desserts.

In this article, we will explain the keto basics when choosing ice cream, the differences between regular and keto-friendly ice creams, and as a final bonus, we’ll share some top keto ice cream recipes. All of these recipes taste great and will not spike your blood sugar. Several of these recipes are quick and easy and do not require an ice cream maker. So, let’s get it started!

What You Must Know About The Keto 

Is keto a no-go with ice cream? In essence, it’s all down to following the ketogenic diet’s basic rules. A keto diet plan is a low-carb diet where most of the calories come from fat. The macronutrient ratio of a keto diet usually looks something like this: 

● 55- 60 % fat

● 30-35 % protein

● 5 -10 % carbohydrates 

This means that if you are consuming 2,000 calories per day, you need to limit your daily carbohydrate intake to no more than 20 to 50 grams if you want your diet to remain keto-friendly.

Your body gets energy from fat instead of carbohydrates when you consume this macro ratio and this eventually leads your body to ketosis, a metabolic state. Moreover, the keto diet aims to maintain ketosis as long as possible. Several studies have shown that ketosis can facilitate weight loss and enhance fat burning in the body. [1]

About Total vs. Net Carbs

Many keto products mention net carbs on their nutrition labels. It is important to understand that total carbs and net carbs are different. Here’s how these two things differ: 

When used on a nutrition label, total carbohydrates refer to the total amount of carbohydrates in the food. Net carbohydrate has a slightly different meaning. This term refers only to carbohydrates that are absorbed by the body. 

In particular, fiber and sugar alcohols contain carbohydrates (low-carb sweeteners like powdered erythritol and xylitol are sugar alcohols). Your body does not absorb the carbohydrates that are present in fiber and sugar alcohols. As a result, the carbohydrates from these ingredients are not counted in the calculation of net carbohydrates. 

Therefore, for whole foods, you can calculate net carbs by subtracting the fiber from the total carbs. For processed foods, you can find out how many net carbs are present by subtracting the fiber and sugar alcohols from the total carbs.[2] 

Keto Ice Cream: What Is It? 

After discussing the keto basics, let’s examine keto ice cream in more detail. It’s best to compare this delicious frozen dessert with regular ice cream if you want to understand it better.

Regular Ice Cream: Ingredients and Carb Count

Let’s take an example of the ingredients in a package of vanilla ice cream. Each product will be made with a different set of ingredients, but the following four ingredients are generally used in every regular ice cream: 

  1. Vanilla 

Adding this ingredient to vanilla ice cream makes it unique. Vanilla extract is used in some products, while vanilla beans are used in others. Both vanilla extract and vanilla bean are keto-friendly. 

  1. Milk 

Regardless of whether it is low-fat or high-fat ice cream, the creamiest ice cream usually contains the fattiest milk available. As far as staying in ketosis is concerned, high-fat content is beneficial. 

However, full-fat dairy milk also contains high levels of lactose. Milk, sugar and lactose can increase your carb count and halt your ketosis. This is why dairy milk shouldn’t be consumed when following a keto diet. 

  1. Heavy cream 

Heavy whipping cream contributes to the thick, rich consistency of ice cream. Half and half can be used, but the most decadent choices usually include full-fat cream. Unlike milk, heavy whipping cream is keto-friendly. 

  1. Sugar 

Vanilla ice cream often contains white sugar. A light color of ice cream is preserved by plain white sugar, which adds the sweetness you need for this frosty treat. Unfortunately, sugar doesn’t fit into a keto diet. There are 13 grams of carbohydrates in one tablespoon of sugar. The only thing you need to kick yourself out of ketosis is a few tablespoons of granulated sugar. 

Here is a typical package of regular ice cream’s macro ratio. There are the following ingredients in a typical scoop of vanilla ice cream: 

● 45 % carbohydrates

● 48 % fat

● 7 % protein 

In addition, regular ice cream contains a whopping 16 grams of carbohydrates per half-cup serving. It’s almost enough to push you beyond your daily carb limit if you follow low-carb keto. It’s obvious why regular ice cream isn’t a keto-friendly food.

Keto Ice Cream: Ingredients and Carb Count

Now that we’ve got the basics sorted, let’s examine keto ice cream in more detail. 

The majority of the carbs in regular ice cream come from sugar while keto ice cream’s carb count is much lower than regular ice cream. To accomplish this, a low-carb sweetener is substituted for sugar. 

So, what exactly is a low-carb sweetener? 

The following are some examples:  

● Erythritol

● Xylitol

● Swerve

● Stevia

● Monk fruit 

In contrast to regular ice cream, keto ice cream contains fewer than half the amount of carbohydrates per serving. [3] Among our recipes, we offer a homemade keto ice cream that contains just 7 grams of carbs in two servings. 

Moreover, keto ice cream is often made with animal products such as egg yolk, heavy cream, and butter. Yet, vegan alternatives are also available. Therefore, keto-friendly dairy-free ice cream contains ingredients such as: 

● Almond milk

● Coconut cream

● Coconut milk

● Chocolate chips

● Avocado

● ​Cocoa powder

Top Keto Ice Cream Recipes: 

The fortunate thing about keto ice cream is that you don’t always have to buy it from the store. These low-carb ice cream recipes take very little time to prepare at home and create a dessert that’s bursting with soft serve. It can be done in just 5 minutes and it is sugar-free. So, let’s dive into some delicious frosty top keto ice cream recipes one by one.

Strawberry Keto Ice Cream

This keto ice cream recipe makes ice cream without whipping. Also, in terms of equipment, all you need is a freezer, an ice cube tray, and a blender or food processor. Plus, this ice cream recipe is completely plant-based, for those who may be looking to reduce their animal product intake. 

Ingredients: 

● 13.5 oz canned unsweetened full-fat coconut milk

● 1/3 cup of freeze-dried strawberries

● 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

● 8 drops of liquid stevia

● ¼ cup unsweetened plant-based milk

● 2 tablespoons coconut oil (optional) 

Directions: 

● Pour the coconut milk into an ice cube tray and let it freeze overnight.

● Crush the coconut milk ice cubes in a blender.

● Add all other ingredients and mix until smooth.

● That’s it! Scoop onto a plate and enjoy.

● Drizzle this luscious, low-carb ice cream with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil

● To change things up, you can also try swapping out the strawberries for freeze-dried blueberries or cherries. Learn about how to consume cherries on keto on planketogenic.pro’s cherry page.

‘Death by Chocolate’ Keto Ice Cream

This chocolate-rich keto ice cream is easy to make and just uses ingredients like dark cocoa powder, egg yolks, and heavy cream. 

Ingredients: 

● 1 ½ cups heavy cream

● ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk

● 3 large egg yolks

● 2 oz chopped unsweetened chocolate

● 1 ½ tbsp vodka optional, helps reduce ice

● ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

● ⅛ teaspoon of salt

● ⅓ cup dark cocoa powder

● ⅓ cup Swerve sweetener

● ⅓ cup Bocha Sweet can (sub Allulose or xylitol) 

Directions: 

● Place the bowl over the ice bath.

● In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, ½ cup almond milk, cocoa powder, and sweetener. Whisk together until well combined and stir until the mixture reaches 160F on an instant-read thermometer.

● Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly add 1 cup of the hot cream mixture, whisking constantly to set the yolks.

● Slowly add the tempered egg yolks back into the saucepan, whisking continuously.

● Cook and stir until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

● Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate.

● Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

● Pour the mixture into a bowl, set over an ice bath, and let cool for 10 minutes.

● Then wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

● Mix 1 1/4 cups almond milk, vodka, vanilla extract, and salt before beating.

● Pour the mixture into the ice cream canister and whip it up.

● Once whipped, transfer to an airtight container and freeze for a few more hours until firm.

 No Churn Keto Chocolate Ice Cream

This easy No-Churn Keto Chocolate Ice Cream is a great low-carb treat that only needs 5 ingredients and doesn’t require an ice cream maker! 

Ingredients: 

● 4 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

● 6 tablespoons of butter

● ¾ cup granulated sweetener (Swerve)

● ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

● 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

● *Additional: ½ cup stevia-sweetened shavings or unsweetened chocolate bar 

Directions: 

● Add 2 cups heavy whipping cream, granulated sweetener, and butter to a medium saucepan.

● Simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sweetener is completely dissolved.

● Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until reduced by about half, stirring occasionally.

● Pour into a heatproof storage container and let cool to room temperature.

● Once cooled, add the cocoa powder and vanilla and mix (this is where you can add chocolate shavings if you wish).

● Add the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream to the bowl and beat until stiff peaks form.

● Gently fold the cocoa mixture into the whipped cream.

● Freeze for 3-4 hours and let sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes to thaw slightly.

● Serve and enjoy!

Easy Keto Vanilla Ice Cream

Vanilla ice cream is classic for a reason! This recipe will keep the vanilla keto ice cream soft and scoopable in the freezer. It can be made with or without an ice cream maker, and the crucial ingredient is condensed milk without sugar. 

Ingredients: 

● 3 cups heavy whipping cream, divided

● 2 tablespoons of butter

● 1/3 cup Lakanto powdered sweetener

● 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

● 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

 Directions: 

● In a saucepan over medium heat, bring 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream, butter, and Lakanto powdered sweetener to a low boil.

● Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the xanthan gum a little at a time until smooth.

● Beat in the vanilla extract and the remaining heavy whipping cream.

● Pour the mixture into a loaf pan and refrigerate for 2 hours.

● Stir the mixture and transfer it to the freezer.

● Freeze until firm before serving.

● Now, serve and enjoy!

Wrapping Up

The ingredients and nutrients used in keto ice cream differ from those used in regular ice cream. Due to the higher fat ingredients, it often contains more calories and fat than regular ice cream. Since sugar substitutes are used instead of regular sugar, keto ice cream has lower carbohydrate content. 

Hence, if you’re following a keto diet, you might love to make keto ice cream for yourself by using one of our delicious keto ice cream recipes. These keto-friendly ice creams will allow you to satisfy your sweet tooth. No matter what you’re craving, keto ice creams have you covered. So, try out different flavors before you decide on what’s right for you!


References

● Mohorko, N., Černelič-Bizjak, M., Poklar-Vatovec, T., Grom, G., Kenig, S., Petelin, A., & Jenko-Pražnikar, Z. (2019). Weight loss, improved physical performance, cognitive function, eating behavior, and metabolic profile in a 12-week ketogenic diet in obese adults. Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), 62, 64–77.

● Marcason W. (2004) Question of the month: What do “net carb”, “low carb”, and “impact carb” really mean on food labels? J Am Diet Association;104(1):135.● Martin-McGill, K. J., Lambert, B., Whiteley, V. J., Wood, S., Neal, E. G., Simpson, Z. R., Schoeler, N. E., & Ketogenic Dietitians Research Network (KDRN) (2019). Understanding the core principles of a ‘modified ketogenic diet’: the UK and Ireland perspective. Journal of human nutrition and dietetics: the official journal of the British Dietetic Association, 32(3), 385–390.

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