Making Lactose Free Ice Cream

There is no reason for lactose intolerance to mean that ice cream is never to be enjoyed again. There are several lactose free options that can be used to make this delicious dessert. Some commercially produced examples may be found on the shelves of your supermarket or health food store.

Another option is to consider making your own tasty dessert based on one the lactose free substitute milk options. Soy, rice and almond milks can be used to produce tasty desserts. Lactose free milk, which is dairy milk with added lactase that eliminates most lactose by breaking it down into the simpler sugars glucose and galactose, which lactose intolerant people can digest more easily. These lactose free milks come in many varieties such as reduced-fat, whole, calcium enriched and flavoured.

Ice Cream and Lactose

In each ½ cup serving of regular ice cream there is approximately 6 g of lactose. People with lactose intolerance may suffer from symptoms after taking that amount of lactose. Some will be affected by even less than that. In addition to the normal level of lactose from the milk used to make ice cream, many brands found in stores have added milk solids in the ingredients which adds even more lactose.

Lactase Free Milk

Some companies produce lactose free desserts by adding the lactase enzyme in the recipe. Even when this process is used there may be traces of lactose present that can cause discomfort for some people. This type is available in several flavours and is typically rich and creamy, as the milk used has the same properties as cow’s milk. It has the same level of calories, fat, protein and carbohydrates as regular milk.

Milk Substitutes and Ice Cream

Among the options for non-dairy milks to use for making your favourite dessert are soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk and almond milk. Because cow’s milk tends to be thicker that than these substitutes, you may need to experiment with the recipe to make what you produce meet you preferred texture. Coconut milk can be thicker that the other substitutes so it might be better to try that. However, by trying to gain the texture you desire you may find the result has a different taste because the milk is made from coconut.

Sweetness is also another factor that will be affected by using different milk substitutes. Dairy milk is fairly sweet, so you may have to add some sweetener or adjust your taste to accept the less sweet alternatives.

Cream and Ice Cream

A typical ice cream has between 25% to 60% milk, with the remainder being cream, fruit and other ingredients. If using a lactose free milk or substitute, the lactose level will be reduced or non-existent. The cream that is part of the recipe will be a source of lactose, which may be problematic for some people. The options for substituting the cream include non-dairy whipped topping to add volume, flavour and texture.

Ice Cream Recipes

It is possible to find recipes for making lactose free homemade ice cream. Another option is to adapt a recipe for a typical homemade desserts by substituting the milk products with products that have no lactose. When using store bought ingredients for your homemade recipes remember to check the labels to make sure that they are truly lactose or dairy free.

Neville Dinning is a lactose free expert. For more information on ice cream lactose free, visit