It’s summer – and time for ice cream! Today’s recipe begins with creamy coconut milk, sweetened only with dates, and for an unusual flavor we add turmeric and four other spices. The flavor combination has an unexpected twist of warmth from the turmeric and spices, combined with the chill of the ice cream. It will set your tastes buds dancing!

Ice cream is such a lovely treat on a hot day.  But store-bought ice creams – and most homemade ice creams – can rarely be considered health foods! They tend to be loaded with sugar and dairy. This recipe has neither sugar nor dairy, and is an ice cream that I even recommend as a treat for cancer patients. It is flavored with several spices but, predominantly, turmeric. Turmeric is considered to be the spice superstar for its many health benefits.  

The spices included in this recipe are detailed in the table below, along with their health benefits:

The health benefits of the spices in turmeric ice cream from

*The (brackets) indicate the following: In vivo indicates evidence from in vitro and animal studies; Human indicates evidence from in vitro, animal, and human studies. The strongest evidence for health benefits generally comes from well-conducted human studies.

While these health benefits can be significant, it is also important to remember that food is more than just its components and its potential health benefits. It has many more social and cultural ties, evoking memories, calming, socialization, etc., etc. I want you to enjoy this ice cream – without guilt as it is healthier than others – but also enjoying it because eating ice cream is a great thing to do! It makes us feel good, is a part of summer, and it has many more benefits than solely the ingredients within it. So give it a try! 

Healthy vegan date-sweetened ice cream - Turmeric flavor from

Some of the spices in this recipe came from tea bags.  I used both an organic ginger tea and an organic turmeric tea. You can use whatever brands you like or have, but FYI, my ginger tea was by Traditional Medicinals, and my turmeric tea was Fields of Gold by Numi – which contains chamomile and lemon myrtle in addition to the turmeric.

One of the best parts of this recipe is that I give you an option for a date swirl to go in it. The basic turmeric ice cream is sweetened only with a couple of dates. For many, that is sweet enough and if you are working hard to balance your blood sugars, the ice cream on its own maybe what suits you best. However, if you want a little more sweetness and a contrast of textures, you can add some date swirl. I really enjoyed the two textures together. The idea is that you add it as you serve so it can be individualized to your taste. Maybe try none to start with and add some if you want, swirling the ice cream and date mixture together. I’ve included nutritional analysis for the ice cream and date swirl separately.

Chill out, and give it a try.

Yields 4 servings

Turmeric and date swirl ice cream | Foodie Friday

The warmth from spices combines with the chill of ice cream to make your taste buds dance. All that, plus health benefits from the ingredients!

15 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

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    Date swirl
  • 4 Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Turmeric ice cream
  • 2 ginger tea bags
  • 2 turmeric tea bags
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamon
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
  • 1/2 tablespoon of arrowroot powder
  • 2 Medjool dates


    Date swirl
  1. Place the ingredients either in a small blender or container suitable for a hand blender. There is not a lot of quantity here - so the container needs to be small. The ingredients will just get lost in a regular blender and not blend!
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Refrigerate until required.
  4. Ice cream
  5. Empty the coconut milk into a saucepan and add the ginger and turmeric tea bags along with the cinnamon stick
  6. Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove the tea bags and cinnamon stick and allow the coconut milk to cool to room temperature.
  8. When cool, place the spiced coconut milk into a blender and add the cardamon, black pepper, powdered turmeric, arrowroot powder and 2 dates.
  9. Blend until smooth. Taste and if necessary, adjust the flavor adding more turmeric or cinnamon or a pinch of salt for balance.
  10. Refrigerate and let chill thoroughly.
  11. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions.
  12. Serve immediately adding a little date swirl as you serve it so you can add as much as suits your sweet tooth. Or transfer to a suitable container and cover and freeze, and refrigerate the date swirl. Set out for 10 minutes before serving to soften and add the date swirl as you serve.


This recipe can be used as a base for other flavors too. Just use the coconut milk, add your spices and a couple of dates.

It’s delicious freshly made or keep frozen and bring it out for about 10-15 minutes to soften.

This isn’t a huge quantity recipe – only 1 can of coconut milk. That means you can make this one, then try another flavor.

Watch out – turmeric stains fabric, utensils etc.

What’s good about this recipe

The recipe is vegan and sweetened only with dates.

The recipe allows you to add a date swirl as you serve it so you can control the amount of sweetness.

It contains five different spices, each with potential health benefits.

Although it’s made with coconut milk for those who avoid dairy, it doesn’t taste of coconut.

Turmeric ice cream nutritional analysis


Date Swirl nutritional analysis


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