Getting the hang of homemade ice cream

ApricotAlmondIceCream060913

When I received an ice cream maker last month, I had the grand idea that I would make homemade ice cream on a regular basis. I thought it would be a cinch.

But it hasn’t been. Finding a good ice cream recipe has been more difficult than I anticipated. While the simpler apricot-almond recipe I first tried turned out pretty well, it wasn’t the creamy, scoopable kind of ice cream I had in mind. Since then, I have been on the hunt for something with that store-bought texture.

As it turns out, that kind of ice cream is made by first making a custard, then processing it with the ice cream maker. I tried the chocolate ice cream recipe from the manual, but it ended up being much thicker than what I was looking for. It ended up being more like frozen custard. After looking at several other recipes, I decided to see what Joy had. It had a few pages worth of recipes, but I settled on strawberry frozen yogurt to see how it would turn out. So far, it is my favorite recipe of the ones I’ve tried. It had a rich strawberry flavor, vibrant color and good texture right after making it, which I attribute to the gelatin used in the recipe. However, the next day it was stiff, so I had to let it sit for about 20 minutes before scooping. It’s still not quite the consistency I’m looking for, but the flavor is good.

So, I’m still looking for a good ice cream recipe. If you have one you’ve had success with, please share it!

Ingredients
2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup sugar, to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
1 cup soy milk or whole milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

Spoon yogurt into a fine-mesh sieve set over a large measuring cup or bowl. Refrigerate until 1/2 cup liquid has drained off, about 2 hours, then scrape the yogurt into a medium bowl. Discard the liquid.

Place strawberries in a food processor and pulse a few times, or until the fruit is crushed. Do not puree. A potato masher can also be used for this step. Add sugar, vanilla and salt. Cover and let stand at room temperature for one hour.

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup milk. let stand for 10 minutes to soften.

Combine 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve hte sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool for five minutes, then add the gelatin mixture, stirring until it dissolves completely. Let cool to room temperature.

Gently whisk the milk and strawberry mixtures into the drained yogurt. Refrigerate until cold. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze as directed. Mine was done after about 30 minutes.

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Banana oatmeal muffins great for breakfast to go

Bananaoatchocomuffins

This week’s recipe comes from Pinterest. I was looking for a recipe for chocolate chip muffins and found these banana chocolate chip baked oatmeal singles.

There is no flour used in these muffins. Instead, the main components of the mixture are oats, bananas, milk and eggs. The muffins don’t end up light and fluffy; they end up with a bit more of a dense, eggy texture. The flavor is well-rounded and the ingredients make this recipe healthier than other options may be.

These muffins are nice to have on hand during a busy week — you can make them ahead of time and have them grab-and-go ready for weekday breakfasts or snacks. I used mini chocolate chips when I made them because I prefer the smaller bits of chocolate in smaller muffins.

One step that I have found is particularly important to take at high altitude is to spray the paper cupcake holders with cooking spray. For some reason, baked goods tend to get a good grip on the paper otherwise, leaving the person eating them to have to peel away a good layer of the muffin. Who wants to do that with something so delicious?

Ingredients
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder (1 1/2 if you’re at high altitude)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 egg whites
1 egg
1 1/4 cup skim or soy milk
3/4 cup mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly mist 18 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray.

Combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites, egg, mashed banana, milk and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until blended together. Mix in chocolate chips.

Spoon the oatmeal mixture evenly between the prepared muffin cups. Bake uncovered for 18 to 22 minutes or until oatmeal is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.