Saturday, August 11, 2012

Healthy Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream - Sugar Free!

I managed to capture this before it was gone!
With fresh egg yolks, organic cream, and a tiny amount of raw honey or maple syrup boosted with 100% stevia, this ice cream is actually a healthy treat!

No sugar, antifreeze, or other weird additives! And no foul-tasting "artificial sweeteners" or sugar substitutes containing sugar alcohols.

Joseph's brilliant invention is the use of stevia to drastically reduce the need for high-calorie honey or maple syrup. Maple syrup blends more smoothly, but I like the tiny frozen honey bits you sometimes get.

The wooden mallet helps break up the bagged ice.
It all began when we found an old-fashioned, hand-crank, 70s-era ice cream maker at an "antiques" market in Michigan. I know. I didn't think I was an antique either. Never mind the insult, the thing only cost $1.69! And we've been enjoying homemade ice cream ever since.
It's so much easier than I remembered, probably because we learned the secret ingredient from author Sally Fallon (Nourishing Traditions): arrowroot. It's a white powder you'll find in the spices section. But her recipe called for a whopping 1/2 cup of maple syrup! Too much of an insulin rush! Instead, we enjoy the creamy coldness, and all of our guests have loved it.

The other white powder you'll need is 100% stevia rebaudiana powdered extract. Do NOT use green stevia, or the kind that comes in packets or has unhealthy fillers. We buy Trader Joe's brand, but read this first if you're new to stevia.

Be sure to use real rock salt. Fine salt won't work!

Healthy Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream - Sugar Free! 

3 cups heavy organic cream, not ultra-pasteurized!
3 egg yolks, very fresh, preferably from free range chickens
3 T. raw honey or maple syrup
1 T. Homemade Vanilla
1 T. arrowroot
2 scoops white stevia from TJs (or 1/32 teaspoon pure stevia, no additives)

Plenty of bagged ice
About 1 cup rock salt

Prechill your serving dishes, spoons, and plastic freezer container for leftovers (if any!)

Measure cream into blender. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Turn on blender to low and quickly add the honey or maple syrup, arrowroot, and stevia. Blend as little as possible to mix, so you don’t wind up with butter or whipped cream, Joseph says. Taste for sweetness, keeping in mind that it will be less sweet when frozen. Adjust if needed. Pour into cream container. You can do this in advance and keep it in the fridge if necessary.

If using an electric maker, follow manufacturers directions to freeze. Some of the tips below may still apply.

Tips for a hand-crank ice cream maker:

Ice & Salt: Add several layers of rock salt in between layers of ice, packing the container to the top of the cream cannister. Do not use sidewalk-clearing chemicals that are not salt! It must be rock salt.

Cranking: Don’t stop even for a second! (This goes for electric makers, too.) When you do, the ice cream freezes to the metal sides of the cream container, making it hard to crank so you think it’s done, but the middle portions will still be too soft. Ours takes about 12-15 minutes to crank. If you trade crankers, or arms, do it without stopping the motion. Crank until it become truly difficult to crank.

Opening: Carefully wipe off the salty ice and take a look. If you’ve cranked too long, some parts will be buttery but it’s still delicious. Do not remove the container from the ice mixture. Crank until it looks like this:

But you'll probably need to taste it (wink, wink):

Serving: It’s nice if you have pretty, chilled glasses or dishes and tiny dessert spoons  ready. (Tch, who ever thought you should eat this on paper plates! It melts!) Be sure to leave the container in the salty ice mixture while you serve and while you eat your first serving. Make them small servings because you know you’ll be back for seconds if there’s any left. J

One last note from Lianne: I used to panic and try to get the leftovers into the freezer quickly, using a prechilled container, but by then my serving had melted. No worries; the ice cream stays perfectly firm if you just leave it in the ice mixture until you’re done eating. That won't take long! And that myth about homemade ice cream going grainy in the freezer? Bah! It was just an excuse to eat it all at once. It stays wonderfully creamy and hard as rock if you don't let it melt before you freeze it. You can eat it in moderation all week long ...



  1. I've enjoyed Joseph's ice cream (made by him) twice. The ice cream is creamy and gently sweet. My GI tract smiled as it digested the treat except the first time I ate some, and then more and a bit more, over one memorable evening. It really is possible to eat yourself sick on this. You have been warned! I have no regrets. Thanks for sharing the recipe, Joseph.

  2. Weather's heating up, time to make this again. Probably best to eat with some restraint—no sugar, but all that cream adds up! LOL