In a nutshell, this Ultimate Vanilla Bean Ice Cream is my go-to FULLY SCOOPABLE vanilla ice cream recipe. It might just be the best ice cream you’ve ever made. Created from years of sugar free ice cream trial and error, this recipe is where science meets utter deliciousness. Sound corny? Just try it. THM S, low carb, sugar free
Unless you’re an ice cream guru, don’t change the ingredients around if you want to maintain a scoopable, creamy result. There’s kind of a science to it.
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup THM Gentle Sweet with xylitol if you want the ice cream to be scoopable out of the freezer (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (must be the good stuff)
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon glucomannan
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or another 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
Add all the ingredients except for the glucomannan and the vanilla bean powder to a blender. Add the glucomannan and then blend immediately to avoid lumps. Don’t blend long – just until everything is smooth and combined. Add the vanilla bean powder and pulse just to distribute the flecks.
(If using the powdered THM Gentle Sweet for your sweetener, you can skip the blender and just mix this up using a bowl and a whisk. Just make sure to add the glucomannan a little at a time while whisking to avoid lumps. Granulated sweeteners should be blended for best dissolving.)
Churn the ice cream base in a 1.5 quart ice cream churn according to manufacturer’s directions. Let it churn until it reaches a firm soft serve consistency. This recipe (as written) fluffs up to fill a 1.5 quart ice cream churn due to the high cream content (the cream expands as it churns).
Transfer the ice cream to a storage container (I like this Tupperware Rectangle Modular Mate) and freeze to firm up. Overnight is great.
This ice cream as written is scoopable right out of the freezer!
Sweetener: THM Gentle Sweet is my favorite sweetener to use for ice cream because it provides the best balanced sweetness and creamy, scoopable texture of any sweetener I have tried. It’s important to use a xylitol based sweetener (like Gentle Sweet) because xylitol keeps the ice cream scoopable after being in the freezer overnight. I also tested this recipe using 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of xylitol along with 1/8 teaspoon THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder. That works too but I do prefer the texture using all THM Gentle Sweet. (Blend the ice cream base in a blender before churning if using a granulated sweetener. Gentle Sweet is already in powdered form so a whisk works fine.) Xylitol is part of the key to the scoopability of this ice cream, so substituting other sweeteners could change that. Xylitol does cause digestive upset in some people and is poisonous to dogs so I understand that not everyone wants to use it, but you may sacrifice scoopability if you substitute other sweeteners.
Vegetable glycerin: I don’t recommend omitting the vegetable glycerin. It helps keep the ice cream from sticking to the ice cream maker and improves the creamy texture of the ice cream.
Glucomannan: Glucomannan is a natural thickening agent. In this recipe it acts as an emulsifier that makes the ice cream creamy and adds a bit more body. If you don’t have it you could try substituting xanthan gum in its place.
Vanilla bean powder: The vanilla bean powder adds vanilla bean flecks and great flavor. Use an additional ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract instead if you prefer.
To make this ice cream lower calorie: I tested this ice cream using 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1 cup half and half, and 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (instead of the 2 cups each of heavy cream and half and half listed above). It was a little more icy and not as creamy as the full fat version, but still delicious! And it was still scoopable after overnight freezing (albeit more icy due to the lower fat and using nut milk instead of all dairy). For a creamier texture you could try increasing the glucomannan if using the lower fat option or use a recipe with a cooked custard base (like this Basic Vanilla Scoopable Ice Cream). You could also try 2 cups heavy cream + 2 cups almond milk, or 1 cup cream + 2 cups half and half + 1 cup almond milk. Just keep in mind that the lower the fat and the higher the ratio of nut milk, the more icy your end result will be.
Allergy info: gluten free, egg free, nut free
This recipe is an update of the Special Occasion Ice Cream recipe that used to be on my website. You can still find that one on page 237 of Necessary Food. This one has better texture and scoopability. Updated March 2022.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 0 mins
- Category: Ice Cream
- Method: Churn
- Cuisine: THM S, low carb, sugar free
Keywords: thm, trim healthy mama, low carb vanilla bean ice cream, sugar free vanilla bean ice cream, thm vanilla ice cream, best thm ice cream recipe, scoopable ice cream