We didn’t eat ice cream for nearly two years… not out of choice, but because suddenly there were soy-derived additives in all the commercial ice creams. We don’t eat a lot of ice cream in our family, but this was a disappointing development. Birthdays especially just didn’t seem the same.

Then we saw an ice cream machine on sale during the hottest part of last summer. We were skeptical at first that it would make ice cream as easily as the description said, but by that time we were really wanting ice cream! Actually, the process is amazingly easy, and it is so quick… we can make a batch of natural, delicious, soy-free ice cream from start to finish in under thirty minutes. We’ve made peach, coffee, strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate ice cream, as well as blueberry, strawberry, and peach frozen yogurt. Our favorite ice creams so far have been the strawberry and the coffee.

Here’s how it works. At least a day before we want to make ice cream, the freezer bucket… the frosty metal bucket you see in the first picture… needs to be frozen hard. This freezer bucket is basically a small container sealed inside a larger container with some sort of freezable liquid trapped in between. This liquid freezes hard, and the bucket takes the place of the crushed ice and salt used by the old-fashioned ice cream machines. We like to be able to make ice cream at a moment’s notice, so we leave the freezer bucket in the freezer all the time and it’s always frozen and ready to go.

The basic ice cream recipe we use comes from the instruction book, but any recipe for ice cream can be used.

Ingredients
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of milk
3/4 cups of sugar (I always use less)
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Stir all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Vanilla ice cream has no additional ingredients, but if we’re making strawberry or peach ice cream, we puree a small amount of the fruit and stir that into the mixing bowl as well. If we’re making coffee ice cream, we stir in a scant tablespoon of instant coffee granules, and if we’re making chocolate ice cream, we stir in some wonderful soy-free baking cocoa.

Now remove the freezer bucket from the freezer, set it in position on top of the ice cream maker. Put the stirring paddle in position and turn the ice cream maker on. The freezer bucket will start rotating… pour all the ice cream mixture into the freezer bucket and snap on the plastic dome. You’ll know the dome is in the right position because it will click… the freezer bucket will continue to rotate but the stirring paddle will be locked in position, stirring the ice cream as the bucket turns around.

It takes about fifteen to twenty-five minutes of stirring time before the ice cream is “done.” The top of the ice cream maker is open so you can monitor the progress (or steal a taste)… you’ll know it is ready because the motor sound will change and will start to sound labored, like it’s turning the bucket with an effort. The ice cream will also become quite thick (as you can see in the photograph). Immediately spoon the ice cream into a freezer-safe container and put the container in the freezer for a couple of hours for it to harden further. Take this opportunity to clean out the freezer bucket, dry it completely, and put it back in the freezer so it will be ready for the next time.

My entire family agrees that this homemade ice cream is the smoothest, creamiest, best-tasting ice cream we have ever eaten… and best of all, a batch of delicious ice cream is now only about a half hour away!


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Comments

Chandelle

I just want to mention that after years of struggling to find or make a non-dairy ice cream that isn’t too heavily processed, too high in sugar or based on soy, I finally hit on using coconut milk. It has the fat essential for a really creamy ice cream and some brands are available without lecithin or another soy-based additive. Now when I want ice cream, I just pour out a can of organic coconut milk, add another cup of homemade nut milk (usually almond milk), some vanilla and whatever fruit or chocolate or other flavors I want in it, and sweeten it delicately with honey, maple syrup, agave or stevia. I control everything that goes into it. Then I pop it into the freezer, and since I don’t have an ice cream maker, I just stir it a few times while it’s freezing. The next day I let it soften for about an hour, put it into the blender or processor, and process it until it’s really smooth. Then it’s all ready to go! Just an idea for anyone looking for a different kind of ice cream. :) I’m definitely jealous that you have an ice cream maker. I keep thinking about getting one but I’m trying to reduce the gadgetry in my kitchen. So far this is working!

Audrey

That ice cream looks so delicious. We don’t eat much sugar either but I would always use sugar in ice cream like you do and not one of the substitutes. They just don’t taste the same. I like honey but not in ice cream.

Emily

I haven’t stumbled on one of these yet so I make mine the cheater way–I put mine in a sealable container (jar or Gladware) and set the timer while cleaning to go off every 5 minutes. I then shake the container and back into the freezer it goes. Not as smooth, but certainly good for getting a “fix” and very easy. (Plus, I am horribly lazy about cleaning! This gets some done.)

cricket

This one seems easy enough. I just bought an ice cream maker for my kitchen aid and im hopeing this works out great for myself and family.

Beth

I add 3/4 cup canned pumpkin to the mixture before putting in the ice cream freezer! Awesome!

Maureen

Going to try this for sure. However, as the sugar isn’t pre-melted, or the cocoa pre-cooked, doesn’t the ice cream taste a tad ‘gritty’ or ‘floury’? I guess I’ll find out when I have a go. Thanks for sharing :)

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Maureen, the ice cream we’ve made using this recipe is always super smooth. Perhaps your sugar might be more gritty than ours? I always make sure that the sugar and cocoa are well mixed into the liquid before I put it into the freezer canister, but no, the ice cream has definitely never been gritty or floury.