You know that one treat in your family that everyone just loves? For our family, it's ice cream. It used to be that we felt odd if we didn't have a bucket of ice cream in the freezer.
However, as we learned more about eating healthy foods, we began to notice that our favorite ice creams were full of additives and preservatives.
We wanted to find an alternative treat that our family could enjoy together just as much without all the ugly extras.
That's when we decided to start making our own.
Making your own ice cream means you can use any and all real food ingredients that you want. You can experiment with recipes and come up with some awesome combos that your family loves.
And most of all, you don't have to feel guilty about eating it because you will know exactly what's in it.
Choosing an Ice Cream Maker
If you're going to make your own ice cream, you'll want to invest in a good ice cream maker. What kind of ice cream maker you choose will depend on your needs.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Do you like soft serve or hard serve better?
- How many people will be eating?
- Will you be storing your ice cream?
- Do you prefer to use a salt and ice machine or one with a freezer bowl?
These questions will determine what kind of ice cream maker you need.
Soft or Hard Ice Cream
Almost all ice cream makers create soft serve first. But, some are better at truly good soft serve than others. My family prefers hard serve ice cream, so this wasn't as big of a deal to us.
Large or Small Ice Cream Maker
How many people you will be making ice cream for and whether or not you would like to be able to store your ice cream will determine how big of an ice cream maker to buy.
We chose a 4-quart ice cream maker so that we could freeze a large amount of ice cream to eat throughout the week. If you only need a little bit of ice cream at a time, you may consider something like this 1 1/2 quart ice cream maker.
Salt & Ice or Freezer Core
The last thing to consider is what mechanism you prefer your ice cream maker to have. Some machines have a bowl with a freezer core which means the bowl needs to be stored in the freezer for about 12-24 hours before you make ice cream.
We decided to skip this extra step and purchase an ice cream maker that requires ice cream salt and ice. It means keeping ice cream salt and ice on hand at all times, but it's much easier to manage in my opinion.
Another downside of machines with a freezer core is that the core can crack.
Creamy Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream
This chocolate ice cream recipe was a total hit for my family. It was the best chocolate ice cream we've had in awhile, mostly because of it's unique taste. It tastes almost like a chocolate malt.
A few things my real foodie friends may want to know about this recipe: First of all, this recipe uses organic white sugar. If you are trying to avoid sugar, this is not the recipe for you.
If you want to substitute, I have used organic whole cane sugar (rapadura). Just make sure that it is mixed well. Using a blender to mix ingredients will help.
Secondly, this recipe contains raw egg. This assumes that you use the freshest eggs possible and take all precautions to prevent contamination. If you are not comfortable consuming raw eggs, you can omit the eggs. Your ice cream will not be as creamy, but it will still be rather tasty.
This recipe makes 4 quarts. Reduce the size of the recipe as needed to fit your ice cream maker.
5 cups whole milk
4 1/2 cups (1.125 L) heavy cream or half & half
6 eggs, beaten
3 cups organic sugar (buy here)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix all ingredients well (try mixing eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, and part of milk in a blender. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients.)
Pour ingredients into ice cream maker and operate according to manufacturer instructions.
Serve immediately for soft serve. Place in an airtight container in the freezer for 6-12 hours for hard serve ice cream. May be stored in the freezer for up to one week.
Remember, making your own ice cream lets you choose the purest ingredients possible. I prefer using raw milk, hormone free dairy, fresh (properly stored) eggs, and pure vanilla extract.