When temperatures rise, who wants to drive all the way to the grocery store to pick up a pint of ice cream or wait in line for what feels like hours just to get a scoop? Fortunately, making ice cream at home is easy, affordable, and downright delicious. For those without an ice cream maker, here are three easy strategies to enjoy summer’s signature treat without spending big bucks - or even leaving the house!
For Kitchen Beginners
To kick-start your summer dessert, all you’ll need is two cups of heavy cream, one can of sweetened condensed milk, and any desired toppings or flavorings. First, whip the heavy cream using a whisk or a kitchen mixer to stiff peak consistency. In a separate bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk and any toppings or flavorings (we’re looking at you, vanilla extract and mini chocolate chips!). Gently fold in the whipped cream using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Pop the entire mixture into a re-sealable container and let it hang out in the freezer until chilled. When the ice cream has reached a soft, gelato-like consistency, it’s time to start scooping!
For Those Who Don't Mind a Mess
This method is a little messy, but oh so rewarding. Mix up your favorite ice cream maker recipe (find one on a site like Epicurious or Allrecipes) and put about two cups of the mixture into a quart-size ziplock bag. Next, fill a gallon sized ziplock bag halfway with ice and ½ cup of kosher salt. Seal the gallon bag and swish the ice and salt around until they’re well mixed. Re-open the bag, and put the sealed quart bag with the ice cream ingredients inside - make sure you nestle it in so it’s surrounded by the ice-salt mixture on all sides. Re-seal the large ziplock bag, and start mixing! Shake the large bag for ten minutes. After ten minutes, carefully open the inner bag (be sure to open the outer bag carefully, so no salt gets into your ice cream mix - ick!) and check on the ice cream within. If it’s not a soft ice cream consistency - think a gallon of ice cream that’s been left on the countertop for 10 minutes - re-seal the small bag, add a little more ice and salt to the larger bag, and keep shaking for a few more minutes. When your ice cream has reached the desired consistency, carefully remove the smaller bag and spoon your homemade ice cream into a bowl and enjoy!
For Healthy Folks
Why mess around with cream and sugar when you can eat ice cream AND stay on your clean-eating diet? We promise, this healthy, banana-packed ice cream recipe is so good, you won’t miss the real stuff! Since they’re frozen and combined with other delicious flavors, the bananas have a very subtle, sweet taste. If there’s a banana hater in your family, they likely won’t be able to tell that this delicious dessert is made from the yellow-skinned fruit unless you tell them! Start with 2-4 frozen bananas (pro tip: when buying a bunch of bananas, don’t worry when the last few get too mushy before you have time to eat them. Instead of tossing them in the garbage can, peel them, put them into a ziplock bag, and stash ‘em in the freezer). Roughly chop the bananas into small segments and put them into the bowl of a food processor or blender. If you’re using a blender, add a splash of milk, almond milk, or water to make the blending process a little easier. Blend the frozen bananas until they form a smooth, even consistency. If you want to add flavors, now’s the time to do it. A splash of vanilla extract, a scoop of peanut butter, a sprinkling of cocoa powder, a handful of chocolate chips, and a swirl of Nutella are all perfect toppings. Pick one or, for a more decadent treat, combine as many as you want! Once your flavors have been added, give the blender or food processor another whirl until everything’s mixed together. Scoop the mixture into a resealable container, and leave in the freezer for several hours - or as long as your willpower holds out!
Homemade ice cream is one of the best parts of summer, with or without an ice cream maker. Using these recipes, you can make a cold treat anytime you want using kitchen staples! That’s a good thing, right?