I’m a mean Mother, I refuse to buy ice cream when the weather is cold, and all winter long Jim begs and begs for ice cream. There is only one readily available brand of ice cream around here, that being Swedish Glace. It has a very limited range of flavours and isn’t the cheapest to buy, plus it’s not organic and is a processed food which I’m trying to get away from. I once tried the Booja Booja ice cream and it was a total waste of £5, watery with hardly any flavour at all, ick… Jim will eat non-vegan ice cream, something I want to get him away from, so I needed to find a way to make something he would like at a reasonable cost.
Once ice cream weather arrived this year (starting on Jim’s Birthday at the end of April) I decided to get us an ice cream maker so we can enjoy a wider range of flavours and Jim can help create them! I bought this machine from Lakeland. I read a lot of reviews online and tried to find a Phillips machine as it had the best reviews, but as usual that particular item had been discontinued… Lakeland offer a lifetime guarantee, should anything go wrong with it they will replace it right away so it felt like a pretty safe buy.
At present there are 3 vegan ice cream books on the market (along with a few recipes here and there in other books). The Vegan Scoop is the one we’ve been using all the time (of course I bought the other two as well!).
Our first ice cream attempt was Jim’s favourite, Mint Chocolate Chip. We got the flavour perfectly right and got it the right shade of green for him but it didn’t turn into ice cream in the ice cream maker… Once it was frozen in the freezer it was edible, but of course it was very icy. The book says to refrigerate your mix for 3 hours but I’ve found with our maker that it needs to be very very cold before you put it into the machine so I’ve taken to making the mix in the morning and refrigerating it all day. I also realised that as I didn’t have any arrowroot to hand using cornflour didn’t make a thick enough mixture for successful ice cream. It needs to be a thick pudding type consistency to make good ice cream.
Once I had bought some arrowroot and figured all that out we were away and so far we have made chocolate (I have more of this in the fridge at the moment and I’m going to put chocolate chips in this batch!), Peanut Butter (to die for, I threw in some chocolate chips and it was heavenly, it’s the one photographed above!), Blueberry (delicious!), Banana and Green Apple. The only one we haven’t loved is the Green Apple, it’s a little too tart and also too salty for my tastes, the boys tried to love it because it was ice cream but they just weren’t keen on it.
Beyond the forward planning of having the bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer and making the mixture in advance ice cream making is pretty easy! If you like your ice cream harder than soft serve you need to make it in advance and put it in the freezer for a few hours to harden up, we tend to eat the first lot soft serve straight from the maker and the rest from the freezer with a little bit of time to defrost before scooping.
There are tons more flavours that I’d like to try and different bases like coconut milk or nut milks. The Vegan Scoop relies on soya creamer and soya milk for it’s base (I use organic of both) but the other books have a wider range. I’m glad I invested in the machine and we’ll see if now that I’m making it whether I allow the boys to eat ice cream in the winter or not!