Summer is for Ice Cream

We have been enjoying 10 days straight of glorious sunshine here in the Northwest. It’s a little taste of summer. We are soaking it up before it disappears back to rain. With summer on our minds…we have been thinking about homemade ice cream! Summer is such a fun time of year to whip up some homemade ice cream to serve to your family and friends. It is a fun thing to create in the kitchen with kids and come up with all sorts of yummy concoctions. Here are a few helpful tips and recommendations for making the best ice cream:

- Add more sweetener than you think – it kind of disappears in the freezing processing. You want to make it slightly too sweet when preparing and it will be perfect when frozen.

- The more cream the better- Try to go for at least 1/2 heavy cream and 1/2 whole milk. The more cream you use, the more creamier the results will be. I have also substituted coconut milk many times as well for easy dairy free ice creams. Coconut milk has a really nice creamy texture to it.

- Keep it simple. You don’t need to add egg yolks or cook your ice cream as many recipes call for. Skip the eggs as they really aren’t necessary in the recipe. Some say they make it creamer, but I haven’t really noticed much difference. I just throw all the ingredients in my blender, whirl it around till smooth, and then throw it in to my ice cream maker. Works every time and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.

- Transfer to another covered container and keep in your freezer for no more than 2 hours before serving. This will maintain the soft creamy texture. If you leave in the freezer too long, it will become very solid and more icy. If you have leftovers, just make sure to give it 20-30 minutes to thaw. But it will always be the best texture if served shortly after preparing.

- Use a quality ice cream maker - An electric ice cream maker is such a fun summer investment for your family. It gives you opportunity to make yummy ice cream with quality ingredients in just a few minutes. We have been using the Cuisinart Ice cream maker for several years now and we absolutely love it! It takes just 30 minutes to make a fresh batch of ice cream.

- Make sure your ice cream maker bowl is completely frozen for at least 24 hours before using! I have learned the hard way that it just doesn’t work without this time period for the bowl to become re-frozen.

- To prevent freezer burn, make sure to wrap your ice cream maker bowl in a few plastic grocery bags and store in the freezer between uses in this manner.

Here are some of our favorite recipes:

Banana Ice Cream
Coffee Ice Cream
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Strawberry Ice Cream 
Egg Nog Ice Cream
Coconut Ice Cream 

And our newest concoction (pictured above)…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Ice Cream

Adapted from Just Making Ice Cream 

Ice Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or substitute all milk for coconut milk for a dairy free alternative- yum!)
3/4 – 1 cup sucanat, sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc (use less if using honey or maple syrup)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder

Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup sucanat, rapadura, sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 egg

For cookie dough: Combine sweetener, peanut butter, and egg and combine until blended. Roll into very small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer until frozen.

For ice cream: Throw all the ingredients in your blender and pulse until smooth. Transfer to your ice cream maker, and let it go! Once the ice cream maker has completed its cycle, fold in the cookie dough balls, even if they aren’t totally frozen yet. Transfer to a covered container to store in the freezer for 1-2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

For a whole array of ice cream recipes make with real ingredients, check out Just Making Ice Cream. While I personally don’t feel it necessary to add eggs or cook the ingredients as I mentioned before (I tend to be very simplistic), this ebook has lots of fun inspiring ideas for you and can easily be adapted for your preferences and choice of ingredients.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

16 Responses to Summer is for Ice Cream

  1. Rebecca June 12, 2012 at 9:47 am #

    We love making homemade ice cream! I can’t wait to try your chocolate PB recipe. :) I do have to disagree about not adding the eggs, though. I add 3 raw egg yolks and a tablespoon of arrowroot powder and it makes the texture/richness so much better! Mine never freezes too hard or icy, but stays scoopable for days. I also try to use 3/4 cream. Yum!

  2. Kristen May 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

    I’m going to have to try this recipe–it sounds awesome! I’ve been making homemade ice cream for a few months now and I honestly prefer it with egg yolks. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference in the initial servings; but when second servings are eaten from the freezer it definitely makes for a creamier and easier to scoop texture.

  3. Susan May 21, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Just a question about the cocoa powder. Do you use baking cocoa or a cocoa drink mix (like Nestles)? Thanks!

  4. Bethany May 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    We love homemade raw ice cream, and really it is a pretty healthy snack if you use a natural sweetner like maple syrup. I do add several pastured egg yolks for the added nutrition.

  5. Melissa May 19, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    Just curious, have ou worked it out to be more economical to make ice cream?

    • Lindsay May 19, 2012 at 6:01 am #

      I haven’t really evaluated the cost comparison, as I am more concerned with all the additives, preservatives, and junky ingredients that are added to store bought ice cream. At home I can use natural ingredients and end up with a product that is far more nutritious for our family. Off the top of my head, I would imagine it works out to be about the same price, when using organic natural ingredients, but would likely be cheaper to make your own if you were just using standard ingredients.

  6. lynn May 18, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Mmm, this ice cream looks delicious. I love your site, by the way :) So many nifty homemaking things here.

  7. Megan Harris May 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

    Oh this is one I must try! Making homemade ice cream has spoiled my family. I can’t buy store bought anymore. Nor would I really want to when homemade can actually be healthy and even taste better :) !

  8. Katie May 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm #

    I love that ice cream! I made it last summer right after I bought Mare’s book. :)

  9. Mikaela May 18, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    I’m so excited to try the chocolate peanut butter cookie dough recipe–that sounds like its right up my family’s alley! And I’m with you in savoring this beautiful “heat wave” we’ve been experiencing…glorious!

  10. Pam@behealthybehappywellness May 18, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Yum! I bought a cuisinart ice cream maker on sale a few years back for $25 and it has paid for itself time and time again. I love knowing exactly what is in my ice cream. Strawberry is our current favorite now that strawberries are fresh from the garden. Peaches will be next I think!

  11. Rachel May 17, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    For those using a less-nice ice cream maker… I finally discovered how to make ice cream fast! Even half a gallon freezes in 30 minutes or less if you add enough salt to the ice. I add around a cup and pour it in in stages with the ice. Then I put a little water over it to help the salt filter around everything. Works great! When I don’t use as much salt, the ice cream doesn’t get as hard as fast.

  12. Stephanie May 17, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    OOPS…sorry…just re-read your post and saw which one you use:) Thanks!

  13. Stephanie May 17, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    We have been researching ice cream makers but I am just not sure which one might be a good option for our family of 6. Any ideas? Thanks!

  14. Rachel May 17, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    Do you have a favorite plain vanilla recipe???

    • Lindsay May 18, 2012 at 6:53 am #

      That is pretty simple. I just use 4 cups of cream and milk, 3/4 cup sweetener or so, and 2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract. I taste test until it is sufficiently flavored and sweetened.