How to Make Homemade Fat-Free, Sugar-free Premium Ice Cream (directions, recipe, with photos, easy and free)
This month's notes: May 2016: Strawberries have a very brief season; and the start in early April in the South, don't miss them: See your state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops. And see our guide to local fruit and vegetable festivals, such as strawberry festivals and blueberry festivals. Organic farms are identified in green! Also make your own ice cream - see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals. Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy canning and freezing directions
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How to Make Homemade Fat-free, Sugar-free Gourmet Ice Cream,
Using a Gel-container Ice Cream maker!
What's better than fresh picked fruit? Perhaps fresh premium ice cream? But you want to be healthy and cut down fat and calories? No problem! Let's take your fresh-picked fruit and make our own homemade fat-free, sugar-free ice cream! It is actually quite easy, and electric ice cream makers are inexpensive! You can make plain vanilla ice cream, strawberry ice cream, peach ice cream, raspberry, blackberry, blueberry, or many other flavors, even chocolate! This will taste better than any gourmet luxury ice cream you've ever bought in any store! And it is healthier and much less expensive! If you have an ice cream maker that requires ice and salt instead of the freezer bowl, see these instructions instead!
If you are looking for an instruction manual for your ice cream maker, we have them, too! See this page.
Directions for Making Homemade Fat-free*, Sugar-free Premium Ice Cream
* Fat free - if you use egg beaters or other egg white substitutes; otherwise there is some fat in the egg yolks.
Yield: typically 1/2 gallon, but it can vary substantially from one ice cream maker to the next, essentially depending upon how much air is beaten into it. Usually 40% air, by volume, is normal.
- 2 cups nonfat milk
- 1 cup Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda) - OR if your fruit is VERY sweet, you be able to get away with no added sweetener.
- 1/4 cup fat-free powdered milk
- Egg Beaters - 1 14 oz carton (the short one, not the tall one) of Egg Beaters (or the whites from 8 eggs)
- 1 cup fat-free half-and-half (which DOES contain "corn syrup", which is a form of sugar, so you may want to use 1 more cup of nonfat milk instead - it works almost as well)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups of prepared fruit (strawberries, peaches, raspberries, mangoes, or whatever you have! See step 7 for details.
- 1 ice cream maker
- 1 large pot
- 1 wooden or plastic spatula
Step 1 - Pre-Freeze your ice cream maker's gel container
you even think about making ice cream, you better get the gel container in
the deep freeze and start it freezing up. Models vary, but
generally, the recommend
the length of time needed to freeze the unit is between 6 hours and 22 hours. It depends on how cold your freezer is. If you have the room, just leave your freezer bowl in the freezer at all times. That way, you can take it out any time for immediate use.
To determine whether the bowl is completely frozen, just shake it. If you don't hear liquid moving, it's frozen! Before freezing the bowl, wash and dry the bowl, then place the freezer bowl in the back of your freezer where it is coldest. (Note: Your freezer should be set to 0°F for most foods, including ice cream!)
Best Ice cream maker? My opinion: I've tried many different types of ice cream makers over the past 25 years, and the Cuisinart ICE-30BC "Pure Indulgence" is the easiest, simplest, and neatest (as in not messy) ice cream / gelato / sorbet / frozen yogurt maker I've used. just pop the gel bowl in the freezer and, depending upon how cold your freezer is, within 6 to 12 hours, it's ready to make ice cream, without ice, salt or mess. It also has an opening in the top to add flavorings... or to sample as it freezes.. .YUM! Highly recommended! Blake
On the other hand, the Rival model is cheaper, but I haven't tried it. The Nostalgia model is cheapest but requires ice and salt. And if, for some demented reason, you actually want to hand crank for 25 minutes, the Donvier model offers that, um, "pleasure".
Step 2 - Heat the milk, Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda) and powdered milk
In a large pot ( 4 quarts or larger) with a heavy bottom (for even heat distribution), mix the fat-free milk, Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda) and powdered nonfat dry milk. Bring the mix to a low simmer over medium heat and stir to dissolve the Stevia (or if you prefer, Splenda), then turn the heat down and just keep it warm.
Step 3 - Get the egg whites or egg substitutes ready
As noted in the ingredients, egg yolks are not fat free and do have 215 mg cholesterol per each egg yolk, so for this recipe we use an egg substitute, like Egg Beaters or Better'N Eggs.
Step 4 - Whip the egg whites until thickened
Put the egg whites in a medium bowl and whisk until they are thickened (it only takes about 2 minutes. I use a hand mixer on low speed.
Note: the yellow color in the egg beaters comes from carrageenan, a natural food additive made from seaweed, which also helps to thicken. Of course, you can use plain egg whites instead.
Step 5 - Slowly add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg whites
While constantly whisking, slowly add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk until it is blended (a few seconds).
Step 6 - Pour the egg mix into the pot of hot milk
Then pour the egg mixture back into the pot of hot milk and increase heat to medium. Stir the mixture constantly with a wooden or plastic spoon, until the mixture is thickened (like gravy) and registers between 170°F and 180°F (check with an instant-read thermometer, like the ones with a probe).
Step 7 - Add the light cream and vanilla and refrigerate
Stir in fat-free half-and-half and vanilla. Cover and pop into the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before continuing on to step 8. Overnight or even 24 to 48 hours is fine.
Step 8 - Prepare the fruit
Well, what kind of fat-free, sugar-free ice cream do you want? This is the time to decide! You can add almost any fruit you have! If you want vanilla, you already have it, just pop the mix into the maker. If you want chocolate ice cream, just add your favorite chocolate syrup, such as Hershey's or Nestle to the mixer in step 10 as it thickens! I still add the vanilla when I make chocolate - I think it makes a good combination, but you can leave it out, if you like.
For a fruit flavor, well, some fruit work better than others. You get best flavor if you puree the fruit first in your food processor or blender. So obviously, fruits like strawberries, raspberries, mangoes, figs and peaches are idea for this, while apples, coconuts and pomegranates might not be such a good choice.
To prepare the fruit just prepare it as you would for eating, then blend it in your food processor or blender for a few minutes. Here are some tips:
- Peaches and nectarines: remove skins, pits and bruised areas
- Strawberries: remove the cap (the green parts)
- Raspberries: just wash them
- Blackberries: I like seedless, so I wash them and then run them through a Foley Food Mill to remove the seeds!
- Figs: Remove stems and bruises
- Mangoes: Peel, and cut the flesh off the stone.
Step 9 - Mix the milk/cream mix with the fruit
About 45 minutes before you want to serve the ice cream, stir the milk/cream mixture together with the pureed fruit. Stir it up well. Remove the freezer bowl and pour the milk/cream/fruit mixture from step 8 into the freezer bowl. Put the bowl in the cream maker.
Step 10 - Fire up the ice cream maker!
Turn the ice cream maker on and let the maker work until it is thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Now is the time to add the chocolate syrup (about 1/2 cup of chocolate syrup - I use the Hersey's sugar free syrup), if you are making chocolate ice cream.
You can tell when the ice cream is done, by simply checking the consistency through the opening on the top of the ice cream maker. You will also hear the motor straining, as the ice cream freezes. On some units, the directions with the maker tell you to let it work until the motor stalls and stops.
When it is done, the ice cream should have a soft, creamy texture. If you want firmer, harder ice cream, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place it in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Step 11 - Enjoy!
Hey, once it reaches the consistency you like, it's time to eat! That's it! You made great homemade fat-free, sugar-free ice cream!
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