Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream - vegan, sugar free, low carb

Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream - vegan, sugar-free, dairy-free, low carb, and THM:S

{Naomi Huzovicova is back today with a fabulous recipe for homemade ice cream - Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream!  Lemon Poppyseed Muffins are sooo good and now you can have this great treat in a dairy-free and sugar-free ice cream.  Wow.  Enough said - on with the recipe!}

Ice cream, I think, belongs in its own food category: my favourite food category. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated entirely to frozen treats (and yes, I get that song stuck in my head every time I see the title).

About a two-minute walk from my home is a little ice cream stand. On the plus side, they make the ice cream themselves and it's pretty decent.

On the minus side, they mostly use artificial flavours.

What should a bright blue Smurf ice cream taste like?

I'm afraid to find out.

One ice cream that doesn't use artificial flavours, however, is their poppy seed ice cream, which I get when I succumb to temptation.

Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream?  Really?

Poppy seed ice cream, you ask?

Poppy seed ice cream isn't so weird when you consider that poppy seeds are used frequently in Central Europe, from cakes and strudels to special Christmas buns and pasta. It is often used as a ground paste.

While newly formed poppy seeds are the source of opium, ripened and dry seeds are perfectly safe and drug-free, although they purportedly have a relaxing effect. Additionally, they are a very high source of calcium and manganese - just 1 tablespoon has 13% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of calcium! They also have a decent amount of magnesium (the mineral in the spotlight that everyone is low on), phosphorus, zinc, and copper.

I may have served this lemon poppy seed ice cream for breakfast, it's that good for you.

I wanted to make an egg-free ice cream, but most recipes call for cornstarch instead, which I also wanted to avoid.

So I used chia seeds to thicken it up and improve the texture, which added blood-sugar stabilizing and omega-3 benefits. It does darken the ice cream, but I don't find that important.

To make this lemon poppy seed ice cream, I used homemade coconut milk (like this one, though I strained it). If you use bought coconut milk that has a lot of coconut cream, you won't need the extra coconut oil. You can use any other milk, dairy or otherwise, but unless you add cream keep the coconut oil as it makes a huge difference in taste.

The amount of honey called for makes a refreshing ice cream but not overly sweet. Taste test, of course, before freezing and add sweetener to your taste.

You can also substitute any sweetener of choice.

Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream

This lemon poppy seed ice cream is easily adaptable for those on special diets.  See notes for details.

Recipe Notes

  • Coconut Milk: Here is my recipe for homemade coconut milk. You could use another milk instead of coconut milk.  My recipe for easy almond milk would work great.
  • Low-Carb Sweetener: If needed, you can substitute a low-carb sweetener for the honey. 1/4 teaspoon stevia (See How to Use Stevia) or 1/4 cup xylitol are both options.
  • Poppy Seeds: It's preferable for the poppy seeds to be soaked for 2+ hours and then dehydrated.
  • Thickener: You would probably be OK not using a thickener as long as you use MCT oil. However, if you do not use MCT, I would for sure recommend using a thickener such as gelatin or arrowroot, since it really improves the texture of the ice cream.
  • THM: This recipe qualifies as an "S" for those on the Trim Healthy Mama plan, just make sure that you use gelatin if using a thickener.
  • Oil Alternatives for Creaminess: MCT oil works great for creaminess in this recipe, but other oils may be used as well. I would recommend using only a light flavored oil like coconut oil or avocado oil or extra light olive oil because you don't want the finished product to taste like olive oil or something like that!


bowl of lemon poppyseed ice cream

Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream - vegan, sugar free, low carb

Like Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins? Then you'll love this Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream - vegan with low-carb options.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Keto, Low-Carb, Paleo, Vegan


  • 3 cups coconut milk (700 grams)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (50 grams)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice (77 grams; freshly squeezed)
  • 1/2 cup honey (140 grams) (or alternative--use about 3/4 cup low-carb sweetener if desired)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (50 grams) (melted; or ghee)
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds (35 grams)
  • 1-3 tablespoons MCT oil (optional - for creaminess. See alternatives in Recipe Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin (or arrowroot; optional - as thickener)


  • If you like a smooth textured ice cream, add the poppy seeds at the beginning. If you prefer little whole crunchy poppy seeds, add them at the very end.
  • If you don't have a high speed blender, first grind the chia seeds (and you can also grind the poppy seeds as well) before mixing with the milk. If you do have a high speed blender, pour the coconut milk and chia seeds (and gelatin, if using) in the blender and let sit while assembling the other ingredients.
  • Add all the ingredients to the blender, blend on high until all the seeds have been pulverized, about a minute. Chill and follow the instructions for your ice cream maker.
  • If you don't have an ice cream maker, freeze the mixture in a container (something rectangular). When frozen, dump out the ice cream and cut into chunks. Put the chunks in a high speed blender (I don't know if a food processor would work) and blend, tamping down to keep the thick mixture moving. Pour back into the container and freeze again.
  • Alternatively, freeze mixture in container and whisk (then stir) every half hour until frozen.

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.

For other healthy whole food treats, you might want to try:

Spruce Tip Ice Cream
or Fermented Spiced Apple Chutney

Do you have a favorite treat made with poppy seeds?

Naomi Huzovicova - Writer at Whole New Mom

Naomi is originally from Canada but is now a wife and mom in Slovakia. She tries to live each day as a follower of Christ in the chaos of caring for children. Using real food and creating an environmentally friendly surrounding for her family is a priority. She dreams of a little farm while living in an apartment, enjoys handmade creations, and still doesn't like brussels sprouts. Naomi shares her food creations and photos of Slovakia at Almost Bananas. She looks forward to connecting with you on PinterestGoogle+, and Facebook.

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    1. Great question! I was just looking into that this past week--and I just updated the post for you :). Hope that helps!

  1. could i substitute anything for the poppy seeds? I was thinking chia seeds until I saw those in the ingredient list also.