Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ice Cream Makers - To Use Or Not To Use?

By Mia Kane

My friends are always asking me is it cheaper to make your own ice cream or buy it. As well as lots of other benefits, yes it can also be cheaper. That's up to you.

I have kids that eat a lot of ice cream, so mine is nearly always cheaper. Sometimes for special occasions, I dress it with an expensive or exotic fruit, but not for the kids. The fruit usually ends up on the floor or up a nostril. Mostly if I am using fruit, it's tinned or frozen and tastes just great.

Seasonal fruit is cheaper. So I buy it at its cheapest and freeze it. Crush it and mush it up if it makes it easier to store in your freezer. I also go out picking with the kids if I can, blackberries and blueberries.

Canned and frozen fruit work just fine and taste great. If it's canned I tend to drain the juice first, as this keeps it healthier and better for my kids teeth. But that's up to you. Here are some more tips to get you making lovely ice cream.

1. Once your ice cream has defrosted, do not re freeze. The texture will be awful, and there is also a danger of food poisoning.

2. Sometimes I make my ice cream manually, especially when I want to entertain the kids for an afternoon. I get them involved and helping. Mostly though I use an electric ice cream maker, when you make ice cream several times a week, the hands on approach of manual making can be laborious and time consuming.

3. Remember that home made ice cream will not have all the preservatives that store bought has in it. This means that it will not last as long. So try to use within a couple of weeks in the freezer.

4. Take your ice cream out of the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before serving. If it's too cold you won't enjoy it as much and it can also give you a quick sharp headache.

5. Freeze all left over chocolate and chocolate sweets (you can use these when you want to make a choc flavour version). You can grate them over the top for a lovely effect.

6. Blueberries must not go into the ice cream. When they freeze they go rock hard and could take out a tooth. So if you want to put them in, crush them first or just serve them on the side.

Making ice cream at home yourself is so rewarding. The end taste is great, you know what you have put into it, and you can make any type of flavor you want. The kids love getting involved. I like to bring ice cream around to friends' houses for dinner, we usually have for dessert on the night.

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