Book Review: Paleo Ice Cream

Paleo Ice Cream – 75 Recipes for Rich and Creamy Homemade Scoops and Treats by Ben Hirshberg

I have to admit that I was intrigued by the title – is there such a thing as Paleo ice cream. In almost everything I’ve read most Paleo followers believe in a high protein and vegetable diet, so there is no milk, sugar or cream, which give ice cream, it’s creaminess. I decided to give this a try because I wanted to see if there really was a way to re-create this delicious treat with such a restrictive way of eating. Turns out that Hirshberg falls into a camp that looks at Paleo as “a template from which to work”. For him, “eating paleo is instead about consuming the whole, nutrient-dense foods that we evolved to eat”.  That was music to my eyes and ears because I wanted to be able to make ice cream from ingredients that I knew and recognized, rather than having to find an alternative health food store to get ingredients to make any of these ice cream dishes.

The book serves up three types of ice cream recipes: traditional, banana and cashew. And from those three types of ice cream bases, Hirshberg dishes up flavours like

  • Double Chocolate Candy Bar Ice Cream
  • Apple Pie Ice Cream
  • Almond Chip Sorbet
  • Ginger Lemon Frozen Custard
  • Faux Nutella Frozen Custard


The traditional recipes use either almond milk or Coconut milk as their base, while the banana and cashew recipes always use a base of ripe bananas or cashew butter. At the beginning of the book, you get instructions on where and how you can substitute ingredients in the traditional recipes and you’re encouraged to play with the combinations of ingredients to get the flavours that you like.  As I started reading through the recipes, I started looking at the ingredients that were listed in a couple recipes

  • Almond Milk – Check
  • Coconut Milk – Check
  • Honey – Check
  • Lemon Juice – Check
  • Xantham gum – Wha??? Okay it’s listed as optional. Is that even Paleo?
  • Butter – Wha??
  • Egg Yolks - ??


I found myself a bit confused because I know that most Paleo followers do not consume dairy, because Paleolithic man didn’t have cows from which they would collect milk. This made the title misleading because although there were 75 recipes in this book, there were lots of recipes that contained non-Paleo ingredients. I’d say this book advocates a Primal attitude towards desserts  which was great for me, but probaly disappointing for someone who is a Paleo purist.

I made the Salted Caramel Ice Cream recipe. With a coconut milk base, it was definitely a different taste than a normal Salted Caramel, but just as delicious. Hirshberg's enthusaism for the topic makes it an easy, fun read which is enough to make you forget that there are a lot of non-Paleo recipes in the book. 


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher and I was asked to write a review as compensation. The opinions/review of the book are entirely my own (Rhonda of Olive & Ruby).

Copyright © 2014, Olive & Ruby. All rights reserved.

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