One of the several kitchen gadgets I asked for this Christmas was an ice cream maker. When we first transitioned away from processed foods, we knew we had to stop buying the kind of ice cream we had been eating for years (Edy’s and Private Selection, mostly). I was excited when I found out that Turkey Hill makes an ‘all-natural’ version of its ice cream with only ‘real’ ingredients. We ate that brand throughout most of last year, BUT, there are two problems with that.1) It’s not organic. The more educated I’ve become over the last year, the more I’ve realized the importance of buying organic dairy products. 2) The lack of variety was disappointing. The all natural version only comes in vanilla bean, mint chocolate chip, chocolate, butter pecan and the occasional seasonal choice: like raspberry or salted caramel. This didn’t bother me so much, but my husband really missed all the ‘exciting’ varieties that other brands carried (like cherry cordial, chocolate chocolate chunk, peanut butter cup, etc.) I found myself trusting the Turkey Hill natural brand too much and after buying the raspberry variety recently, I was pretty annoyed when I got home and actually read the ingredient label. It contains ‘natural flavors.’ Argh. I don’t know about you, but when I cook at home, I’ve never found myself reaching for a container of ‘natural flavoring.’ If the flavoring is completely natural, why don’t they just list the ACTUAL ingredient? Needless to say, my plan is to stop buying this brand. And now that I’ve made my first batch of homemade organic vanilla ice cream, my hope is to stop buying ANY brand from the grocery store! After tasting this ice cream, that seems like a high possibility! It even earned a thumbs up from ALL FIVE members of this family…that’s pretty rare!
I love to look at the picture above because, at a quick glance, you would never think the ice cream was homemade! I know January 2nd (with over 6 inches of snow on the ground outside) isn’t really “ice cream season,” but, then again, we eat ice cream pretty much year round. 🙂 My mom bought me a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker for Christmas (in pink, in case you wondered) and I wanted to try out my new gift as soon as I could. When I went to the grocery store this last time, I picked up the one ingredient that I don’t usually keep on hand unless a recipe calls for it: heavy cream. I made sure to use all organic ingredients, too, which is near impossible to find a store bought version that is as ‘clean’ as this ice cream is (at least locally, anyway).
For the first time making ice cream, I wanted to stick with something very simple: plain old vanilla ice cream. I’m sure I’ll get a lot more adventurous in the future, but I wanted to begin with the basics. I decided to add mini chocolate chips at the end of the churning process, but that was more for my husband’s liking than mine. (Update: I now melt the chocolate chips and swirl them into the ice cream layers. The chocolate chips get too hard in the freezer!)
Organic Vanilla Ice Cream
(Recipe adapted from the Cuisinart Recipe Booklet)
- 1 cup organic whole milk
- 3/4 cup organic cane sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups organic heavy cream
- 1-2 tsp organic vanilla extract
- 1 T arrowroot starch (optional, but helps with the consistency and eliminates ‘icy’ ice cream)
Before starting, make sure the freezer bowl is frozen completely. (I plan to just store my freezer bowl in the freezer until we need it, but typically it takes between 16-24 hours to freeze completely.)
In a medium bowl, use a whisk to combine the milk, sugar, and salt. Once the sugar has dissolved, stir in the cream, vanilla, and arrowroot. Cover and refrigerate until next step.
Put the freezer bowl on the motor base. Add the paddle and lid. Turn on the ice cream maker and then slowly pour in the milk mixture. Let mix for about 15-20 minutes (or until thickened to desired consistency). I added in some chocolate chips in the last minute of mixing (but now I prefer to swirl in melted chocolate chips). The ice cream will have a soft serve-like consistency, so if you would prefer firmer ice cream (like we do), transfer it to an airtight container and store in the freezer for at least 2-4 hours until it hardens up. Enjoy! (It should store nicely in the freezer until you eat it all up!)
I’m looking forward to trying so many different options: fresh strawberry, chocolate, butter pecan, peanut butter, dairy-free options, fresh mint, etc, etc! It’ll be fun! If you’d like to buy your own ice cream maker, here is the link:
Do you have an ice cream maker? If so, what’s your favorite variety to make?
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Real Fit, Real Food Mom will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!