Healthy Peanut Butter Ice Cream (vegan, paleo option)

This healthy peanut butter ice cream does not taste at all healthy but is rich, dense and creamy. It’s no-cook, no-churn and doesn’t freeze rock hard! Can be made with sunflower seed butter for a paleo and nut-free version and it’s also vegan.

I don’t have a lot of ice cream recipes on the blog because generally, I think healthy ice cream is sad. It’s usually not creamy enough or real ice cream-like enough for me.

The exception would be my chocolate vegan gelato which is SUPER rich and amazingly delicious. A small scoop goes a long way!

The same goes for this healthy peanut butter ice cream (and this amazing ube ice cream). You only need a small amount!

By the way, I’m not actually sure about the yield. I’ve made it a few times and have forgotten to measure it each time. I’m going to guess it’s about 3 cups.

I came up with this recipe as something to give my son. I’m always trying to find ways to get more healthy fat + calories into him and dates have their own health benefits so I thought this healthy ice cream would be perfect.

But no. This boy prefers tomatoes, cucumber and a plethora of other low-calorie and low-fat food. He turned away with disgust before even trying a bite of this. Crazy! But that’s okay. There was more for me then!

Just like the chocolate ice cream recipe I mentioned above, this one is no-churn. We have a second freezer and there’s still no room for something like a clunky ice cream bowl. I’m guessing most people don’t have an ice cream maker so even better that it’s no-churn!

Healthy ice cream, and I think most homemade ice cream, freezes rock hard. I was so incredibly excited when I went to the freezer the next morning after making this ice cream to find that it was still soft enough to scoop.

It’s not super soft, like frozen yogurt or something, but soft enough to scoop (at least from my freezer!). The key to that is the dates (low-carb readers – I don’t think there’s a sub for them in this recipe! Sorry.)

Peanut butter (here’s how to make peanut butter) is what I used for the photos but I also make it with sunflower seed butter and it tastes really similar to peanut butter! If you use that, then you have yourself some paleo “peanut butter” ice cream. :)

I haven’t tried it with almond butter or any other nut butters but I think they might be too bland. Except hazelnut butter (but oh my, how expensive that would make this ice cream!).

The recipe calls for a full cup of nut butter so the peanut butter flavor is nice and intense. Definitely not subtle!

If you try this out, I’d love to hear what you think! I’m SUPER excited about it. :D And if you want to make PB&J ice cream, why not top this ice cream off with this great Strawberry Sauce? Or this Strawberry Compote!

Questions about this healthy peanut butter ice cream?

  • Can I use something other than coconut milk? I think other milks (whatever kind) should work. Coconut milk is quite a bit thicker than other types of milk, so the result will just be lighter and probably a bit icy (it’s not at all icy with coconut milk).

  • Can you taste the coconut? No, this healthy peanut butter ice cream tastes like regular (though a very rich and dense!) peanut butter ice cream!

  • What can I use instead of dates? I haven’t tried it but perhaps prunes would work. I’m not sure how different they taste but I think with all the peanut butter, it’d cover up any unusual taste.

    The bulk and texture of the dates is key to this recipe so granulated or liquid sweetener wouldn’t work.

  • Can I use something other than peanut butter or sunflower seed butter? Anything should technically work but I think almond butter or cashew butter might result in some bland ice cream. Hazelnut butter would probably be tasty! Coconut butter would not work.

  • Do I need a high-speed or blender food processor? I used a high-speed blender and it made this ice cream 100% smooth with no flecks of dates. I think a food processor would probably work and I’ve included some special notes at the bottom of the recipe for how to make this peanut butter ice cream recipe with one.

  • Can I omit the vanilla? If you omit it, your ice cream will freeze hard. The alcohol prevents that. If you want to sub it for another type of alcohol, that should be fine. But I really recommend using vanilla, even if you don’t care about it freezing hard. A whole tablespoon of vanilla adds a ton of flavor!

This healthy peanut butter ice cream does not taste at all healthy but is rich, dense and creamy. It's no-cook, no-churn and doesn't freeze rock hard! Can be made with sunflower seed butter for a paleo and nut-free version and it's also vegan.

Healthy Peanut Butter Ice Cream (vegan, paleo option)

Rated 5.0 by 13 readers
Healthy Peanut Butter Ice Cream (vegan, paleo option)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: about 6-8 servings


  • 1 14-ounce can full-fat canned coconut milk, room temperature1
  • 1 1/4 cups (176 grams) pitted dates (should be quite soft and not dried up and hard)2
  • 1 cup (256 grams) natural peanut butter or sunflower seed butter (no added fat or sugar)
  • salt (my nut butter was unsalted and I added 1 teaspoon, you might want to start off with 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Add the coconut milk and dates to a high-speed blender and blend until totally smooth. Then add the remaining ingredients and continue processing until totally combined and smooth. It took me about 3 minutes total. Take breaks, if necessary, so that your blender doesn't overheat.
  2. Pour into a container and freeze for about 6-8 hours (it'll depend on the container and freezer) or until firm. It doesn't freeze rock hard but you may need to let it thaw a few minutes to scoop nicely (it'll depend on your freezer and container).


  1. If your nut butter is cold, you might want to heat the milk up so that the dates don't become hard from the coldness. It'll also make blending in a food processor easier. I'm not 100% that you'll get the dates totally blended in, though.
  2. If your dates aren't super soft or you're using a food processor, pour boiling water over the dates to soak them for about 15 minutes to help blending.

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53 comments on “Healthy Peanut Butter Ice Cream (vegan, paleo option)” — Add one!

3 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Emanuele says
    May 31, 2020 @ 2:29 am

    Hi, greetings from Italy!
    Just a stupid question about how to use coconut milk.
    Did you put the whole can of milk or did you select the whipped cream on top only? Sorry, first time I’m using it :(
    Thanks in advance ❤️

    • Erin replies to Emanuele
      May 31, 2020 @ 6:44 am

      Hello from Munich! :) It’s not a stupid question. You use the whole can. The stuff at the top is called coconut cream so if a recipe uses that, it calls for coconut cream. I’d love to hear how the ice cream comes out!

      • Emanuele replies to Erin
        May 31, 2020 @ 2:47 pm

        Thanks for you reply!!! just made it, waiting for it to freeze but it looks and tastes delicious!!! absolutely delicious, so so creamy!!! i only made a mistake: since i don’t have vanilla extract i used vanilla beans powder, but i think i used way too much lol, 1gram. I’ll try it with just a small pinch. Thank you again for this perfect recipe!

  • Miranda says
    April 16, 2020 @ 6:36 am

    Could you also use natural creamy almond butter? I prefer that and am not supposed to have peanuts. Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Miranda
      April 25, 2020 @ 6:51 am

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your question! Hopefully you found your answer in the post (Can I use something other than peanut butter or sunflower seed butter?) :) Sorry again for my slow reply. Things have been crazy!

  • Holly
    March 6, 2020 @ 4:20 pm

    Hi Erin, this is one of our favorite recipes for dairy free ice cream that we’ve found anywhere online and it tastes BETTER than an ice cream parlor version of the junky kind. It’s incredible that it doesn’t take an ice cream maker and it’s so delicious and creamy! I was just wondering if you noticed a big difference when it’s made with sunbutter instead of peanut butter. I find peanut butter has a really strong flavor and sunbutter is a little muted so I was just wondering before I make it again (this time w/with sunbutter) if there’s a huge difference in the final product with one versus the other in your opinion. My daughter wants to add chocolate chips too which will be tasty I’m sure. Thank you!!!

    • Erin replies to Holly
      March 13, 2020 @ 6:09 am

      Oh gosh. You had a question here! Sorry for just now seeing that part. If you ever have something urgent, please feel free to email me! I’m totally overwhelmed by everything right now and am weeks behind on comments. I used homemade sunflower seed butter from roasted sunflower seeds and I thought it was super flavorful. Maybe SunButter is more neutral? I always make the sunflower seed version for myself and love it, though I’m not supposed to eat peanuts so maybe I’m just used to it. Sorry that’s not much help! And wow, what an endorsement for this recipe. I don’t know how you come up with all these nice things to say but it sure makes me happy. :) Thank you and have a nice weekend!

      • Holly
        replies to Erin
        March 13, 2020 @ 3:38 pm

        None of my questions are really urgent and I’m sure whatever you’re dealing with is way more important so no problem! I did wonder though if you have a recipe for your homemade sunbutter…I searched the site and couldn’t find it. Thanks again Erin!

        • Erin replies to Holly
          March 14, 2020 @ 8:24 am

          I don’t but I’ve been meaning to put one up! I’ll add that to my to-do list. :)

  • Noreen Norton says
    November 18, 2019 @ 5:59 pm

    The recipe looks great. I don’t see a print option. Am I missing it?

    • Erin replies to Noreen Norton
      November 21, 2019 @ 7:24 pm

      Thanks! It’s in the recipe box. There are some rating hearts, a small square photo, and below that the print button. :)

  • Jules Shepard
    September 20, 2019 @ 12:04 am

    Honestly – this ice cream with chocolate sauce?!?! YUM!

  • Kaitlyn Friesen says
    August 9, 2019 @ 2:35 am

    WOW WOW WOW. so tasty. & i can feel so good about myself eating it. love how rich it is. definitely making it again.😋
    thanks a ton Erin.

    • Erin replies to Kaitlyn Friesen
      August 13, 2019 @ 8:51 pm

      Yay! I’m so glad that you’ll be making it again! Thanks for your feedback. :)

  • Crystal
    July 25, 2019 @ 6:31 pm

    So, so good. I made a vegan chocolate sauce which made it beyond incredible. I’d love some variations on this recipe. TexanErin does not disappoint! Thank you!!

    • Erin replies to Crystal
      August 8, 2019 @ 6:29 pm

      Aww, thanks! I’m so glad you think so! And chocolate sauce sounds amazing. Thanks as always for your feedback! :D (and sorry for my absurdly slow reply!)

  • Wendy says
    July 14, 2019 @ 3:06 pm

    This is soooo goooood!!! I made some for the 4th and it is one of the best peanut butter ice cream recipes I’ve ever made. I do have a suggestion for the process though. That you blend up the milk and dates before you add the peanut butter. It will not take so long or be quite so much work for the blender/processor. Thanks again!!!!

    • Erin replies to Wendy
      July 15, 2019 @ 1:07 pm

      Oh my goodness. I have no idea why I hadn’t thought of that! Thank you for pointing it out. I’ve changed the recipe! I’m really happy that you liked the ice cream. :) Thanks again for your feedback! (I really feel so silly for not doing it that way to begin with!)

      • Wendy replies to Erin
        July 23, 2019 @ 12:45 am

        You are welcome. Also, I found out the hard way, that if you put the ice cream in the fridge instead of the freezer, you get this really yummy spread that you just want to bathe in!!! On toast, or on a spoon it is still so freaking tasty!!!

        • Erin replies to Wendy
          July 29, 2019 @ 6:58 pm

          That sounds dreamy! Thanks for the tip!

  • Elizabeth Herrmann
    July 11, 2019 @ 10:54 pm

    This recipe is a WINNER!!!! Your tips are spot-on! I did use a high speed blender which took care of chopping up all dates. Once I got to adding the PB, the contents in the blender were definitely so thick it didn’t take long to determine it was time to pour it into the container to freeze. I did use a ceramic bread pan which worked beautifully (which could go from freezer to microwave for 15 seconds to get it softer on Day 2.) My husband loved it so much he finished it. He’s asked for me to make it again. I will say it is HEAVY on the peanut butter flavor so if you love PB, go for this recipe – you’ll really love it and will be amazed how much better this ice cream is compared to store-bought. Really great recipe – thank you so much!!!!

    • Erin replies to Elizabeth Herrmann
      July 13, 2019 @ 7:52 pm

      Oh, yay! Your comment made my week. I really LOVE this recipe and was sad that nobody had made it yet (or at least hadn’t left feedback!). I’m thrilled that you liked it so much and that your husband wants you to make it again. And awesome that you found the tips useful. :) Thanks a ton for your comment!

      • Elizabeth Herrmann replies to Erin
        July 15, 2019 @ 2:31 am

        You are SO WELCOME, Erin!!!! Keep coming up with more wonderful recipes like this “PB ice cream”. It REALLY IS better than store-bought because it’s pure and TASTES AMAZING!!!!
        Thank you again so much!!!! : )

  • Kari - Get Inspired Everyday!
    July 9, 2019 @ 3:16 am

    Oh my word this looks incredibly creamy, and I love that it’s made with dates!

  • chihyu
    July 8, 2019 @ 1:35 am

    OMG! That looks amazing! I can smell the yummy flavor from here!

  • Anne Lawton
    July 6, 2019 @ 6:41 pm

    I love homemade ice cream especially when peanut butter is involved!

  • Karen says
    July 6, 2019 @ 5:33 pm

    Can you make this without dates?

    • Erin replies to Karen
      July 10, 2019 @ 8:37 pm

      Nope! Please see the questions section. :)

    July 3, 2019 @ 9:45 pm

    I’m definitely down for some of this! So creamy and I adore peanut butter!!

  • Mirel says
    July 3, 2019 @ 6:44 pm

    Can you use silan (date honey) instead of dates? If so, how much would you use?

    • Erin replies to Mirel
      July 3, 2019 @ 8:28 pm

      I don’t think so. Please see the questions section. :)

  • Natalie
    July 3, 2019 @ 7:14 am

    I love peanut butter desserts! This ice cream looks so delicious and I love how easy it is to make – can’t wait to try this recipe soon!

    • Erin replies to Natalie
      July 3, 2019 @ 9:10 pm

      I’d love to hear what you think about it!

    July 2, 2019 @ 8:47 pm

    What are the nutritional values?

    • Erin replies to PAMELA ROMINES
      July 3, 2019 @ 8:32 pm

      I don’t have that info but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile.

      • Pam Romines replies to Erin
        July 3, 2019 @ 9:38 pm

        Thank you! Here are the Nutrition Facts:
        Servings: 8
        Amount per serving
        Calories 375
        % Daily Value*
        Total Fat 25.3g 32%
        Saturated Fat 11.4g 57%
        Cholesterol 0mg 0%
        Sodium 18mg 1%
        Total Carbohydrate 28.6g 10%
        Dietary Fiber 4.2g 15%
        Total Sugars 20.6g
        Protein 11.4g
        Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
        Calcium 11mg 1%
        Iron 4mg 24%
        Potassium 185mg 4%
        *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

        • Erin replies to Pam Romines
          July 10, 2019 @ 8:33 pm

          Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Tessa Simpson
    July 2, 2019 @ 6:36 pm

    So easy! I love using just a blender to whip this up!

  • Megan Stevens
    July 2, 2019 @ 3:22 pm

    Wow, such a cool whole food recipe, super special. And ha, about your son, that’s pretty great though! I think he knows what his body likes! ;)

    • Erin replies to Megan Stevens
      July 3, 2019 @ 9:07 pm

      I guess he does! But I think there’s nothing at all in this recipe for his body to dislike. ;) All healthy ingredients!

  • Carrie says
    July 2, 2019 @ 6:02 am

    It’s natural peanut butter, rather than roasted peanut butter, right? Or does it matter?

    • Erin replies to Carrie
      July 3, 2019 @ 8:51 pm

      I’m sorry for just now seeing your question! Natural peanut butter just means no added fat or sugar. So salted + roasted peanut butter is the right stuff. I’d love to hear how the ice cream comes out. :)

  • Nancy Kinkead says
    July 2, 2019 @ 4:50 am

    I’ll let u know I’m
    Going to be making this looks to yummy to pass up
    On this one this .

  • Jean
    July 2, 2019 @ 2:24 am

    Yum, this looks so creamy and amazing! I love that it’s sweetened with dates. Can’t wait to give it a try.

    • Erin replies to Jean
      July 3, 2019 @ 9:07 pm

      I hope soon! ;)


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