You may be thinking, why would I ever make my own ice cream, when they sell it all neatly packaged up at the store, in perfectly sized containers with drool-worthy flavor names and claims of low-fat and high protein and extra calcium?! So if that’s you, fine. And you may be right. It is easier to just buy it, I admit it. BUT, if you happen to be an appliance addict like me, or you have a husband with an ice cream sweet tooth, or you just like the idea of being able to make your own creamy frozen treats with control over the ingredients, then I feel you. Read on, my friend, read on.
My husband is definitely the more consistent of the two of us when it comes to workouts, and runs to the gym almost every weekday morning at 6am. Even though I am also always awake at this time, it is a toss up whether I am working out or just working. But along with his superior commitment to fitness comes his tiny little addiction to ice cream. His favorite is definitely Graeters, which is a convenient 4 blocks from our house, and luckily for the kids, it’s not unusual on a warm summer night that he would be suggesting a quick walk or bike ride for a scoop (or two). And every now and then, he makes an impromptu drive through Diary Queen and brings home cones for the kids. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he’s the fun one 🙂
So I thought he would be really pumped about us getting an ice cream maker but in reality he thought I was crazy for getting another new appliance. I weighed his opinion and quickly decided we needed to go forward with making this happen. I’d had my eye on this one for awhile, and finally pulled the trigger after our neighbor brought some homemade ice cream over for dessert one night. I had a Crate and Barrel credit just burning a hole in my pocket and pressed purchase the very next day. Naturally.
So it arrived and I had to try it immediately if not sooner, but the problem is that you have to let the inside bowl freeze for 24 hours. Ahhhhh the waiting!! I may or may not have attempted a batch after just a few hours of freezing. Still good, but I now see why they make these kind of suggestions, because the consistency was more slushy than the next, true batch. Hmmm.
So after my 24 hour wait, I was ready with some ingredients and was so excited to see them whipped up into creamy, chocolate-y perfection. The kids said it was “better than Dairy Queen” which is pretty much the highest praise they can give.
And it’s only 4 ingredients! So easy and quick (IF you have the ice cream barrel, and IF it’s frozen for 24 hours. Details, details.) You just throw them in the blender, chill it for about 2 hours, and then run it through the ice cream maker.
I will say: If you have an ice cream maker, you should definitely give this a try! And if not, I’m not suggesting everyone run out and buy one. I admit that I love to experiment around in the kitchen, and the idea of inventing new flavors, and trying to make them healthier than the store-bought, is really fun for me, but I know not for everyone. Also, depending on your ingredients, homemade ice cream can be a little more high maintenance than store bought because leftovers stored in the freezer can get really hard and need some thawing before serving again, which can be uneven.
If you have an ice cream maker, you have to try this creamy chocolate version! Only 4 ingredients and although there is some waiting time, the hands-on time is quick and easy.
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk
- 4 Tbsp cacao or cocoa
- 3 Tbsp agave nectar (or sweetener of choice)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust if needed (more cocoa or sweetener if desired).
Refrigerate mixture for 2 hours.
Add the mixture to your ice cream maker and follow the instructions for your machine.