Strawberry-Chocolate Ice CreamThe heat of summer always inspires me to get out the ice cream maker. (I use an affordable Cuisinart model that's great. Check out our ice cream maker review if you're considering buying one.)
Even though I love ice cream, I still want to keep it reasonable and healthy, so at EatingWell we created lower-fat (but still rich-tasting) basic vanilla and chocolate ice cream recipes this year.
Our version has all the richness you'll need but about 90 fewer calories than store-bought premium ice cream and a whopping 15 grams less total fat and 10 grams less saturated fat per serving.
How we made it healthy:
- Used nonfat sweetened condensed milk and low-fat milk in place of heavy cream and whole milk
- Eliminated 2 egg yolks
- Added gelatin to keep it rich and creamy without adding extra fat
Here's our simple master recipe for low-fat vanilla ice cream. (We have a chocolate version too.)
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 tablespoon water
3 cups low-fat milk, divided
3 large egg yolks
1 14-ounce can nonfat sweetened condensed milk
1 vanilla bean
1. Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small bowl; let stand, stirring once or twice, while you make the base for the ice cream.
2. Pour 1 1/2 cups milk into a large saucepan. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds into the milk and add the pod.
3. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until steaming. Whisk egg yolks and condensed milk in a medium bowl. Gradually pour in the hot milk, whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the back of the spoon is lightly coated, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not bring to a boil or the custard will curdle.
4. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean large bowl. Add the softened gelatin and whisk until melted. Whisk in the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
5. Whisk the ice cream mixture and pour into the canister of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions. If necessary, place the ice cream in the freezer to firm up before serving.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week. | Equipment: Ice cream maker
Makes 8 servings, 1/2 cup each (1 quart)
Stir it Up!
I like to jazz up homemade ice cream with "stir-ins" like crumbled cookies, toasted nuts or chopped fruit. In Vermont the strawberries are gigantic and juicy, raspberries are just ripe and sour cherries are ready-perfect in this homemade dessert. We developed some easy recipes for stir-ins like Blueberry-Cinnamon Swirl Ice Cream and Cherry and White Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream. (Be sure to check out our stir-in tips before you get started.)
Even if you don't have an ice cream maker, use these stir-in ideas as toppings with your favorite store-bought vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Measurements are for 1 quart of ice cream:
Cherry & White Chocolate Chunk
1/2 cup fresh or frozen chopped cherries
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks
Toasted Coconut & Almond
1/2 cup toasted coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds (see Tip)
3/4 cup fresh or frozen chopped strawberries
1/4 cup cocoa nibs or mini chocolate chips
Chocolate Cookie & Walnut Crunch
3/4 cup chopped chocolate sandwich (or wafer) cookies
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (see Tip)
Tip: Toasting chopped nuts: Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. Cool toasted nuts completely before adding them to the ice cream maker.
By Jessie Price
EatingWell food editor Jessie Price's professional background in food started when she worked in restaurant kitchens in the summers during college. She started out testing recipes for EatingWell and then joined the staff here full-time in 2004 when she moved to Vermont from San Francisco.
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