Believe it or not, homemade ice cream not only tastes better than store bought, but the cost analysis is comparable. Imagine all the custom-made concoctions you can enjoy this summer!
Include this yummy ice cream in Sherbet Punch or an Sorbet & Ice Cream Pie with Chocolate Ganache. It’s great for topping one of your favorite Homemade Pies!
I’ve always loved the flavor and fun of homemade ice cream. It tastes so much better than store bought. And there is such excitement when an ice cream machine starts churning. The air just bursts with anticipation!
When I was a kid, we would go to backyard BBQs where the hosts would handcrank the ice cream for what seemed like hours. Later, electronic machines took over for the cranks, but you still needed to remember to buy the salt and ice. Nowadays a gel-filled canister takes the place of the ice and salt. Soft serve in a matter of minutes.
Recently, I took the plunge of buying an ice cream maker. One of those fancy-store-the-canister-in-the-freezer kind. Yeah, I know, I’m a sucker for small kitchen appliances.
I had priced out ice cream at the store a few days prior and was amazed at how small the packages had become and how high the prices, even on sale. Not to mention the unpronounceable ingredients!
Since we tend to give our appliances a good run for their money, I knew we could make it work for us in that way. A quick search showed me that Costco’s price was pretty fab for the model in question. It’s not the newest model, but it’s $32.99 right now at Costco. More on the machine once I’ve used it enough to report effectively. (Head’s up! If you make a purchase through that Amazon link there, I do receive a small percentage of the sale.)
But aren’t the ingredients expensive?
Currently, I can buy half-gallons of organic cream at Costco for $6.79, or $0.85/cup. Milk is around $2.55/gallon, or $0.15/cup. Evaporated sugar cane juice, the sweetener I’m now using is $0.80/cup.
I used the recipe from the ice cream maker as follows:
$0.15 – 1 cup hormone-free milk
$1.70 – 2 cups organic cream
$0.60 – ¾ cup organic evaporated sugar cane juice
$2.45 – Total cost of 1 ½ quarts of homemade, almost organic ice cream
Healthier and Cheaper?
Clearly, the ingredients I used were almost as good as it gets. And the price comparison?
In my neck of the woods, ice cream no longer comes in half-gallons. It’s so weird. In fact, one of our preferred brands sells them in 1 ½ quart tubs. And honestly, I pay a lot more than $2.45 for those tubs, even on sale. Last week their “sale” price was $3.99.
So, the verdict is that homemade ice cream can be more economical and healthier than store-bought. I never thought I would see the day where it was cheaper to make our own.
You can bet that we’ll be making more homemade ice cream, sorbets, sherbets, and frozen yogurt this summer!
Simple Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 cup milk
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cup whipping cream
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Evaporated sugar cane juice takes a little longer to dissolve than regular granulated sugar. Some grains didn’t completely dissolve, but I was okay with that.
- Stir in the cream and vanilla.
- Freeze in the ice cream machine according to the directions provided by the manufacturer of your particular machine.
- Once the ice cream has thickened, eat immediately as soft serve ice cream or transfer it to an airtight container and store in the freezer for an additional 2 hours or more.
You can thaw a package of frozen berries over three rings of dried pineapple then blend with immersion blender. (Or whatever) That makes jam that you can use for pbj or waffles or you can add it to your ice cream mixture and freeze together for a really healthy berry ice cream. You can cut out some of the sugar in the ice cream recipe too because of the pineapple. I used a quarter cup of sugar for two cups ice cream with berry mix.
Plus. Two cups ice cream plus berry mix is at least three cups of liquid to freeze.
Sounds yummy. Thanks for the tip!
does anyone have the instructions for the older cook’s essential ice cream maker Model # K77102
if so can you scan it and email it to me @ [email protected] com
till I find out to run it the sooner I can make some ice cream
thank you BJFoust
Love having this recipe to try, maybe if we got an ice cream maker for a christmas gift, it would make it possible. I’d love to make our own for the better ingredients, but right now we buy Breyers Vanilla (only 5 ingredients-MILK, CREAM, SUGAR, TARA GUM, NATURAL FLAVOR) and while not organic or hormone free, it’s only $2.50-$3 on sale and our ingredient prices are much higher than yours, so it’s still cheaper to buy it in this area :-/ If prices go up, I will have to come back and reconsider.
What I do what to recreate is chocolate covered vanilla ice cream pops like the Haagen Daasz/Dove bars! Those are expensive, have a lot of ingredients, and the only one without Caregeenan is Haagen Dasz!
I’ve had my ice cream maker for 16 years now and I LOVE IT! I dread the day that it finally dies, because it’s made great ice cream. My MIL gave me the kitchen aid attachments a few years ago (we make a lot of ice cream), and it works very well too.
Each of my kids have had ice cream themed birthday parties – the kids loved getting to make their own party favors (everyone took home a pint that they made their own mix-ins for). By far, one of the most economical parties we’ve had.
Looking forward to my peach tree giving some amazing fruit for peach ice cream soon!!
I found a great kefir ice cream recipe…kefir being my new favorite ingredient to use in EVERYTHING:)…anyway, I followed this recipe http://tammysrecipes.com/vanilla_kefir_ice_cream
but added 1 container (I think 1 lb) of pureed fresh strawberry’s and it was delicious!
SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen
We’ve been making our own ice cream and frozen yogurt now for 7 years. I have an allergy to nuts, so store-bought ice cream was off limits.
We’ve had success with everything from dark chocolate, mint chip, vanilla, chocolate cherry, mixed berry, raspberry, & cake batter to strawberry cheesecake and apple pie! All these recipes are on my blog.
Our base recipe uses 1 more cup liquid (we do 1 C whipping cream and 3 C half and half or milk with 3/4 C sweetener) than yours does, Jessica. Do you find it overly rich with the whipping cream, or does the milk help reduce the richness?
But, I am with you — it’s actually cheaper & much better for you to make your own.
Look for ice cream makers at garage sales this spring and summer if you are in the market for one 🙂
It was very rich. One child thought it tasted like whipped cream. But the next batch that I added mint extract didn’t have that taste.
SnoWhite @ Finding Joy in My Kitchen
that was our experience too – that’s why we decreased the amount of whipping cream and upped the half and half. I’ve found a difference with mint too! Maybe the extract cuts the thickness with a freshness 😉
Sooo, is “cream” heavy whipping cream?
I haven’t priced it out before, but that makes a compelling case for an ice cream maker being a lot cheaper than our current ice cream obsession…..
But does it make good frozen yogurt? =)
There are a number of different phrases used to label cream. I think for ice cream, any of them are fine. But, yes, whipping cream would be one of them.
This is SO timely! The natural ice cream here in Canada is usually $8 unless on sale. I totally forgot about the electric ice cream maker we registered for, and got, for our wedding almost 15 years ago. We don’t use it often due to having to store the part in the freezer. But now that we have the deep freeze, I will have to price out homemade!
This model looks intriguing! One quick question: Amazon says you can make about 1.5 quarts in an hour. However, you need to freeze the gel portion for 8 hours. Does the frozen gel only make one run before it needs to be refreezed? So do you really need 8 hours + 20 minutes to make 1.5 quarts? Or can you do several batches with the frozen gel? Just wondering because my family can go through a lot of ice cream in one sitting. 😉
I’m sorry, I meant “you can make about 1.5 quarts in 20 minutes.” Not an hour, as I wrote! Sorry!!
If you try to use the canister again after making a batch it does not freeze, it is still mostly liquidy. I have done that, and it does turn out okay after you put it in the freezer but for the best results I only make a batch at a time and then refreeze the canister. In my experience it takes a full 8 hours to freeze it.
Thanks, that’s helpful!
I can’t wait to make this with my grand daughter. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.
Hi Jessica! I have the exact same ice cream maker and have had it for over a year now. I wasn’t sure how much I would use it when I got it, but once the kids learned how to make ice cream…it became one of our most used appliances! I know you are getting your kids to help you more in the kitchen. Teach them ice cream recipes! My 16 yr old has become quite the expert and is even developing her own flavors. I use the same recipe for vanilla ice cream, but here’s a quick cheat… I buy the half and half at Costco (I see from your grocery shops you do too) and use that for the 3 cups of liquid. Saves me having to buy a big thing of cream. I always have the half gallon of half and half, so ice cream can be made anytime!! lol Great post!