Are You Ready For SANE Ice Cream?

This isn’t a real post.  This is a “let’s get ready for a real post” post.  It’s a calm-before-the-storm post.  An “on-your-marks-get-set…” post.  Yes.  One of those.

You may have heard the rumors.  You may even have heard the screams of delight all the way from the Marmalade HQ kitchen.  There’s been an awful lot of dancing, and whooping, and cheering, and clapping going down at the Brown house this weekend.  The “kids” all hid behind the couch at one point, when I got more than a little loud and rambunctious.  Just what is all the excitement about?  I’ll give you a hint.  It’s ice cream.  ICE CREAM??  No, wait.  SANE ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, because it will take me a little while to get you a recipe posted, and because I am always thinking ahead, and because I am a planner, and because I love you, I wanted to make sure you were ready when the real post – the one with an ice cream recipe in it – hits your screen.  Because {great} ice cream takes planning and preparation.  You’ll thank me when the time comes.  I mean, who wants to have a recipe for SANE Ice Cream and then NOT BE ABLE TO MAKE IT??  Not you.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your adventures in SANE Ice Cream making easier and more successful. In the equipment department, the only thing you MUST have is a churner, so don’t panic thinking that you’re going to have to mortgage the house to make SANE ice cream.  You’re not.  Everything else just makes it easier, quicker, and you’ll get a better result.  This is what I use, because I know you’ll ask me anyway.

EQUIPMENT

Ice Cream Churner

There’s lots to choose from, ranging from super-duper, super-spendy commercial models, to buckets with rock salt round them.  I am only going to tell you which ones I have because these puppies are brilliant (I have two churners and 4 freezer bowls), and between them they have churned hundreds and hundreds gallons of ice cream perfectly.  And I don’t mean any old ice cream.  I mean “that was the best ice cream I’ve eaten in my life” ice cream.  So don’t think for one second that you have to go all big and fancy here.  You don’t.  This one is all you need.  It’s a Cuisinart ICE-20 Automatic 1 1/2 Quart Ice Cream Maker(If you use these links to purchase stuff it will help to offset the SANE Ice Cream Recipe Development Budget, which is not insignificant.  Then I won’t have to send Dougal out on a paper route for the summer.  You don’t pay any more, they just send me a few pennies for getting you there, and it all adds up.  THANK YOU!)

High Powered Blender OR Blender OR Food processor (if you have one of the three you’ll be good)

A Vitamix or Blendtec will be your very best friend for ice cream. Smooth, smooth, smooth. These machines smash everything that goes in them into liquid – except raspberry seeds – and believe me, I have tried to pulverize those suckers on numerous occasions. You will still need a sieve, even with a Vitamix. Second jug for Vitamix / Blendtec – I find having a second blending container incredibly handy. Or maybe I just don’t like washing up when I am on a roll in the kitchen.

I have a KitchenAid blender in addition to my Vitamix, for those times when I don’t want to pulverize everything into oblivion. Some recipes don’t require the extra power. I use this Kitchen Aid blender when I don’t want or need to use the Vitamix. Grinding nuts is a great example – try this in a Vitamix and you’ll have awesome nut butter, but you won’t have any ground nuts.

I love this Cuisinart Food Processor because it comes with three bowls that sit inside one another so you can do three different things before you have to wash up. Love that. It also has a large capacity, which I find very useful when making large batches. I find some ice cream recipes easier to get out of a food processor than a Vitamix.

Melamine pouring bowls

The next most important thing after my churners are my melamine pouring batter bowls. The melamine means they do not transfer flavors and colors like plastic, but they are way lighter than glass. They have handles and spouts, and they are the perfect solution for ice cream because you use them to store the ice cream custard in while it’s in the ‘fridge, and then you can pour it straight from there into the ice cream churner when it’s chilled.  This saves time, and more importantly, a lot of wasted ice cream custard because you are not transferring from one container to another.  Plus, they make pouring your custard into your churner super-easy and super-clean; which means less clean up.  I know you want less clean up.  I have lots of these bowls.  They even stack neatly when not in use.  I make them stackable in the ‘fridge by putting a dinner plate on the top of them.  When you make as much ice cream as I do, making them stackable in the ‘fridge is essential.  If you hadn’t realized – I LOVE these bowls.

Rubber Spatulas

You can never have too many of these lying around when you’re in the middle of ice cream production.  You specifically need spatulas that will not damage the inside of your ice cream maker freezer bowls when you’re removing the ice cream.

Sieves

I am a perfectionist, so I use sieves a lot. A lot. Strawberry seeds in the sauce? Sieve. Hazelnut skins? Sieve. Cocoa powder? Sieve. Nut dust in the nuts you just chopped? Sieve. Ice cream custards? Sieve. I sieve everything in the name of texture perfection. And when it comes to ice cream, in my little world, texture perfection is mandatory.  I’ll forgive you for not having sieve-itis with most things, but not when it comes to ice cream.  You need a sieve (or two).  And you need those sieves to be really good fine mesh sieves.  These are not your regular flour-sifting sieves.  When I say fine, I mean *really* fine.  The kind of fine that will stop strawberry seeds in their tracks.  With regular ice cream I sieve every single custard.  You won’t need to do that with all of my SANE ice creams, but some of them you will.  I have 3 fine mesh sieves in different sizes.  Please buy at least one really good fine mesh sieve.  Thank you.

Pyrex storage

I am not a fan of plastic for storage. At all. I use these glass Pyrex lidded dishes for storing my ice cream in the freezer.  If plastic is capable of absorbing colors and flavors, then that means the plastic is not impermeable. The thought that the chemicals in plastic are therefore capable of transferring back into my ice cream is highly unpleasant to me. In the Brown house, it’s gotta be glass.  Specifically, I use the 7-cup round ones for ice cream.

 

Those are the main things.  Of course there is always other miscellaneous equipment – detailed here – such as microplanes, measuring spoons, scale, measuring cups, etc.

 

INGREDIENTS

I am only listing here things that might not be in your SANE arsenal of kitchen staples yet.

Full-fat Coconut Milk (canned)

Full-fat Coconut Milk that comes in a can is coconut meat made into a thick, creamy milk that solidifies in the ‘fridge. The brand I use is Thai Kitchen unsweetened (of course), and you can find it in most grocery stores in the US.  It is often located with the Asian and/or Indian foods.

Nut Milks (carton)

I use a combination of almond, coconut, and hemp milks in my recipes.  Always buy the plain unsweetened versions, or vanilla unsweetened if there is no plain.  These milks come in cartons and are thin like cows milk.

Guar Gum

Guar Gum is an emulsifier and thickener. It is readily available online. I use Bob’s Red Mill brand. In the US you can find it in most stores that carry Bob’s Red Mill products – PCC, Whole Foods, Safeway, IGA, etc. It is not cheap, but you use tiny amounts in recipes so it will last you a long, long time. Store in an air-tight jar.

Whey Protein Powder

Whey Protein is one of the best sources of protein, and it is extremely useful in increasing our protein intake. Beware – protein powders are a minefield. Most of them are not SANE and not particularly healthy. Luckily, Jonathan has done all the leg work for us here. We use Optimum Nutrition brand 100% Whey Gold Standard. It comes in a variety of flavors and sizes. I only use vanilla in my recipes. You can purchase this at Super Supplement stores, but it is usually cheaper online. I buy it in 10lb bags to further reduce the per pound cost.

Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sweetener to replace sugar. It is readily available online. I use Xyla brand. I buy it in bulk because I get through so much of it in recipe development that it is a lot cheaper per pound that way. Make sure that you get xylitol that is made from birch bark and not corn. In stores I have seen Xyla in PCC. NOTE: Like chocolate, xylitol is harmful to dogs, so please be sure to keep any xylitol-containing goodies away from them!

 

Those are the main things.  Everything else is perishable or something that I think you will already have on hand, like vanilla extract.

 

YOU

Patience

Great ice cream is a process.  The {really} good news is that SANE ice creams are a lot less of a process than regular ice creams.  Woohoo!  The not-so-good news is that it is still a process.  There’s lots of waiting involved.  Once you’ve made the custard you get to wait.  Then you churn the ice cream and you get to wait again.  Then before you can make another batch you need to re-freeze the freezer bowls and you get to wait again.  So you are going to need patience.  There will be waiting.  If you choose to forego the waiting, you will end up with a not-so-great ice cream, or a dollop of soft-serve.  Then you’ll be sad.  I’ll be sad too.  Because I want your SANE ice cream to be the best ice cream you’ve ever eaten in your life.  I promise you it’s totally worth it.

Planning

Plan for AT LEAST 24 hours to go by from when you get the blender out to when you’ll have a scoop of fabulous SANE ice cream in your bowl.  Two days is even better planning.  I typically plan a week in advance, especially if I am making large quantities or a lot of different flavors at once.  Yes, I know the box the ice cream maker came in says you can have frozen treats in 20 minutes, and you can.  But don’t expect a fantastic scoop of ice cream in a bowl in 20 minutes.  They’re fibbin’.  My recipes are not recipes for soft-serve.  I’ll probably get to some of those at some point, but first the real stuff.

 

I am SO RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED for you to have SANE ice cream I can barely stand it!!!  If you’ve been around for a while and know how fastidious I am, when I tell you I am beside myself with excitement over how these came out, you know that means they’ll be SO worth the wait.

Get ready, ice cream lovers.  It’s nearly time.

PS. Please don’t get mad with me if it takes a little while to post the first recipe.  I am doing the best I can here.  The upside is that two days ago we had no SANE ice cream in sight – anywhere on the horizon.  Now we do.

I’m still screaming!!

 

 

What does 'sane' mean? Click here...Want delicious uber-healthy recipes? Check out my Cookbooks!
  • Lorna Broad - Just want to thank you for your fantastic dedication to the ice cream cause… I am soooooo ready, let’s just say I have the ice cream freeser bowl already in the freezer cooling

    thanks again
    LornaReplyCancel

    • carrie - Lorna – TOTALLY my pleasure!! Selfishly, I find ice cream making very therapeutic ;-)ReplyCancel

  • Gary Moss - Carrie, Optimum Nutrition whey is only available flavored. Is this going to be acceptable for all the different recipes that call for whey? If so, which flavor do you recommend, vanilla?ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Gary – yes, vanilla. I am trying to keep the “new purchases” to a minimum for everyone. This is the same whey I use for smoothies and other recipes.ReplyCancel

  • Heidi - Costco is now carrying Optimum Nutrition Whey it does not say “Gold Standard” it says (Performance) do you know if this protein is considered Sane? I also looked at an ice cream maker at Costco today 2 qt for $50.00. I think after a little research I will purchase this machine when I go back to Costco. Can’t wait for SANE ice cream. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Sigi - Carrie, your enthusiasm is infectious! Bring on the recipe! BRING IT!!ReplyCancel

  • Gary Moss - I also just checked: The Vitamin Shoppe carries the five-pound containers in some stores (check yours if there is one near you) at the same prices as Amazon. http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/store/en/browse/sku_detail.jsp?id=OP-1018#.UZGW1ZUSmFUReplyCancel

    • carrie - Good to know, Gary! I buy the 10 lb bags, because with all the recipe development I get through it fast!ReplyCancel

  • Suzie Price - Hey Carrie, I ordered some of the things I didn’t have – based upon your list and your links. Yea. Eager to make ice cream! You are the best. Love your personality, thoughtfulness, care and genuine ways. Thank you Carrie. Bring on the ice cream!!ReplyCancel

    • carrie - Hurrah for ice cream, Suzie! THANK YOU for you kind words. I’m just me :-)ReplyCancel

  • Gary Moss - They don’t carry the 10-lb bags, in my store or online. fyiReplyCancel

  • Sharon - Hubbie says it’s time to buy a churner!!! YAY!!! ***HAPPY DANCE***ReplyCancel

  • Lorrie Heist - I’m making some of your wonderful ice cream as a treat for Thursday’s meeting to share with the Downsizers & HCFM ladies!! Yum! Can’t wait to try it.ReplyCancel

  • Dillon Dale - Dear Carrie,

    Is Stevia a possible substitute for Xylitol? I am allergic to the latter.

    Thanks for your cookbooks… can’t wait for the next one.

    DillonReplyCancel

    • carrie - HI Dillon – I cannot give you a guarantee on stevia because I haven’t trialed it. If you can eat Erythritol I would suggest using that instead of xylitol. I would recommend using Swerve (erythritol + stevia) as you cannot swap out erythritol for xylitol 1:1 (xylitol is sweeter than erythritol). Hope that helps!ReplyCancel

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