While there is nothing worse than being stuck on a hot muggy day with a bunch of kids that just want to complain about everything, there is a simple way to simmer them down. Making your own homemade ice cream is a great way to keep them occupied while saving some pennies in the process. While you do not need your own machine to make your ice frozen desserts, it sure does help. To get the most out of the experience with the least amount of work we suggest buying one of these affordable small appliances to use in the kitchen.
Looking through current ice cream maker reviews it is plain to see that the top rated machines are rather budget friendly. Another great thing about getting your own machine is that most of them are able to make things other than ice cream such as gelato, sorbet, and smoothies. You could literally have a different treat every day of the week for a year and not have the same thing twice.
If you are looking for a new home ice cream machine there are three basic types of automatic makers that you can buy. First there is the old fashioned kind that requires you to use ice and salt on the outside of the mixing bowl. As the bowl turns these two ingredients help slow down the freezing process so that the perfect ice crystals or formed to make tasty ice cream. These tend to be the least expensive models.
Second, there are models that forgo the ice and the salt and have you freeze the bowl for a few hours to get the bowl down to the proper temperature. These are the most popular since they are less messy to use and are very affordable.
Lastly, there is the kind that comes with its own compressor which is used to apply the cold temperature to the bowl directly. You do not have to freeze it before using. These offer the greatest convenience since you can make ice cream whenever you feel like it, but this added component also makes the machine drastically more expensive. Whichever kind that you choose, having the ability to make your own delicious treats in your own kitchen is well worth it.
The Recipes Never End
If you love to experiment with different flavors or you like to try different types of desserts, then getting one of these machines can be a lot of fun. There really is no limit on what you can create. Below are just a couple of quick recipes that you can try.
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups pureed strawberries
Blend all of these ingredients until smooth. Use a blender or a food processor for this. Chill the ingredients for about an hour. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker. Set the timer according to your ice cream makers directions but approximately thirty minutes.
If you have allergies to lactose or dairy products then try making this recipe instead. It is a light refreshing sorbet made with tropical fruits.
Pineapple, Mango and Peach Sorbet
2 1/2 cups peach pieces, diced
1 1/2 cups mango, diced
1/3 cup lime juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
Mix together two cups of the diced peaches, the mango also diced, the lime juice, and the sugar in a food processor or blender. Blend until its smooth. Pour into a bowl and stir in the remainder of the diced peaches and the crushed pineapple. Then pour this mixture into the ice cream maker. Set it for thirty minutes and check to see if its thickened. Spoon into plastic containers for the freezer to firm up.
If you are a sorbet addict like we are, then you might be interest in some other tasty sorbet recipes to try in your ice cream maker. There are a number of machines available that are able to make more than just ice cream, and sorbet is often something that a lot of the top models can handle.
Are There Any Drawbacks To Buying an Ice Cream Maker?
While no machine is going to be perfect for everyone, there are a few things to keep in mind before making getting one of these for your family. First, the consistency of the ice cream is going to be on the softer side. If you like yours to be a little bit firmer you will have to put it in the freezer for an hour are so to let it harden. While this is not ideal for those with intense cravings, the extra time will be worth it.
Also if you choose to go for a more affordable model, you will have to freeze the bowl before using. The best way to avoid getting stuck having to wait for the bowl to freeze whenever you get the urge to make something is to make some room for it in your freezer and just keep it in there full time. That way when you decided to make something tasty, the bowl will be ready for you to start mixing. If this is not an appealing option you can always get an ice cream maker that has its own compressor, however these machines come with a heftier price tag. Its the price you have to pay for the ultimate convenience.
Other than that, there is really no huge downside that should deter you from at least trying this out in your home. Kids absolutely love helping out, especially when they get to taste the final product. For a fun and indulgent family activity, there is perhaps nothing better than making ice cream on a hot summer day.