I’m Eating Ice Cream Again – YAY!!!!!!!!
The Back Story
I stopped eating ice cream a couple of years ago after learning of the potential health problems that can be cause by carrageenan. Carrageenan is a additive that is commonly used by food manufacturers. It has no flavor or nutritional value but is used as a stabilizer and thickening agent. It is used widely in dairy and dairy-like foods but is used in some other foods as well.
According to this report by the Cornucopia Institute carrageenan may cause digestive problems such as intestinal bloating, spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis, so I decided to remove it from my diet.
As I began reading food labels I discovered that in most of the products I buy, like yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese, and almond milk some brands contained carrageenan and some did not so it was easy enough to choose the products that did not contain carrageenan. The two exceptions were whipped cream (whipped topping) and ice cream. I don’t use a lot of whipped cream but when holiday time rolled around I discovered that homemade whipped cream is super easy to make (with an electric mixer) and far superior in flavor and texture to the store bought products. With so many ice cream products on the market I kept searching for those that did not contain carrageenan, but every label that I read listed it as an ingredient. According to this carrageenan shopping guide there are a few organic brands without it but none that I have seen in stores.
So I stopped eating ice cream.
For more information about carrageenan or foods that contain carrageenan please see the carrageenan report or shopping guide linked above.
A Bit of Hope
I really didn’t find it difficult to not eat ice cream as there are plenty of other satisfying desserts that I enjoy (too many if I am honest.) I did, however, continued to check ice cream labels now and then.
Last summer my daughter, Tina, was telling me about buying really good milk and ice cream from a local dairy. I immediately wondered out loud if their ice cream had carrageenan in it. As I was thinking “I’ll have to check it out” she pulled up their website and began looking at the ingredient list for their various ice cream varieties. Oh, how disappointed I was to learn the this company that boasts premium quality products was using this potentially dangerous ingredient.
For the past several year Tina and Ken got us beautiful personalized Christmas ornaments for Christmas. I keep them displayed in our hutch year round. This past year my husband suggested to Ken rather than a Christmas ornament they could get us some type of farmer-themed vanity license plate for our car. When Christmas came I was expecting either an ornament or license plate from them, so imagine my surprise when I opened an ice cream maker.
It was several days later when I decided to try it out. I took it out of the box and found the instruction manual which also included a few recipes. After reading the recipe for chocolate ice cream I was excited that I happened to have all of the ingredients that I needed.
There are a couple of drawbacks to using this ice cream maker. The first is that you have to plan ahead. The container part of the machine that holds the ice cream has to be frozen, so it must be put in the freezer for several hours or overnight to assure that it is. Also all of the ingredients must be chilled, so for the chocolate ice cream recipe that requires the ingredients to be heated when combined that mixture had to be refrigerated overnight as well.
The second drawback is that the machine is very noisy while it is running. It needs to run for 20 – 40 minutes so the noise can be bothersome. (After tasting the results I decided I am willing to put up with the noise.)
It probably goes without saying that being able to control the ingredients that go into the recipe is a huge advantage. The other is that this is probably the best ice cream I have ever eaten.
Below is the recipe that I followed. Note the ingredients – whipping cream, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla – it was thick and creamy with no need for a stabilizer! I did substitute 1 cup of half and half for 1 cup of whole milk (because that’s what I had on hand). It was scrumptious!!!
I included the Strawberry Sorbet recipe in the photo because we still have strawberries in the freezer from last spring so I plan on making the sorbet this week.
Thank You Tina and Ken for this wonderful gift! 💖