From Regular to Vegan to Healthy...Homemade Ice Cream How You Want It
It's nice to have a treat once in awhile. It's also nice to have the satisfaction of creating that treat yourself, how you like it. Homemade ice cream is one of those fun projects for kids and adults alike. But maybe you have concerns around making homemade ice cream...
Why You Might Think Homemade Ice Cream Is Not For You
It seems like a lot of work.
The ice cream from the store or ice cream parlor is better.
You don't have an ice cream maker.
You have lactose intolerance.
You eat a vegan diet.
I am going to cast those fears aside. Take note: this blog is written by a registered dietitian and yet it seems to be trying to convince you to make ice cream. Confused?
Some might call me a bad dietitian for "allowing" or "encouraging" sweets, but delicious food is the zest of life. Good food makes people happy. Have you ever seen a sad person eating ice cream? Not me!
However, I also found ways to address issues with ice cream, whether it's the lack of nutrition, the lack of equipment, the lack of time, or the lack of knowledge. I can offer 3 types of homemade ice cream that you can enjoy making and eating.
Chocolate to Chocolate
To keep it apples to apples, I'm offering recipes for three types of chocolate ice cream. You can experiment with other flavors, or request other flavors from me via the comments section of this blog, email, or social media. But this will start you off with some basic knowledge of how homemade ice cream can meet your needs and foodie desires.
#1 Regular Chocolate Ice Cream- For those with an Ice Cream Maker
For those who can tolerate lactose, have no nutrition concerns, and have an ice cream maker, this homemade chocolate ice cream recipe is for you.
It's a creamy ice cream that uses whole cow's milk and heavy cream. I sweetened it with a mix of brown sugar and agave syrup, but you can use brown and white sugar, or any other combination of sweeteners. I would caution that using only liquid sweetener may make it more difficult to freeze the ice cream.
My husband likes this ice cream the best. He's a traditionalist. It's a classic recipe and easy to make.
The timing is important to be aware of. You need to freeze your ice cream maker churner and the ice cream base mixture the night before. However, preparing the ice cream base only takes about 10-20 minutes, and the churning is about 20 minutes. I chose to harden the ice cream up for a few hours overnight before eating, so it took a total of about 36 hours to enjoy the finished product.
#2 Dairy-Free Chocolate Ice Cream- With or Without an Ice Cream Maker
For those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, I encourage you to try this homemade chocolate dairy-free ice cream. It has a dark, rich cocoa flavor that made it hands-down my favorite of the three recipes.
While it has a hint of coconut flavor, it is not nearly as noticeable as it is in some of the commercial brands. If you do find it to be too much, you can always cut the coconut milk quantity in half and replace it with more non-dairy milk (almond, oat, soy, etc).
The texture of this ice cream resembles gelato more than ice cream, and it doesn't melt as quickly as the regular homemade ice cream above. The fat content is cut-down considerably in this ice cream, but the sweetness is still there.
If you do not have an ice cream maker, I realized that this is basically a dairy-free pudding recipe before it goes into the machine. So if you lack the equipment, I encourage you to chill the ice cream base mixture and enjoy it as a pudding.
For the traditionalists like my husband out there who cringe at the word "vegan," I think you'll be converted by this homemade vegan chocolate ice cream. Let me know what you think!
#3 Chocolate Banana Nice Cream- For those who seek healthy, dairy-free, vegan, no-ice-cream-maker-needed ice cream
This final recipe is for chocolate banana "nice" cream. It involves blending frozen chunks of banana with cocoa powder in a high-powered blender. No fat, no added sugar, no ice cream maker. It is a quick, delicious frozen treat that provides potassium, fiber, and antioxidants.
It is so quick to make, you may consider adding in some mix-ins like peanut butter or berries. You can top it off with hot fudge, nuts, coconut, sprinkles, or graham cracker crumbs.
Banana or avocado work best for the "nice" cream base because of their creaminess, but you can add in additional fruits for a new flavor.
Enjoy "nice" cream as a dessert, snack, or even lunch!
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