Summer may look a lot different for your family this year. Events are cancelled, vacations are advised against in many places, and many of the things we have looked forward to during the past several months of corona’s wicked run are still off-limits. For those with children, it can be hard to find fresh ways to entertain and keep the spirit of summer alive. Why not focus on bonding activities such as making tasty summer treats together? For me, it doesn’t get any better than fresh home-made ice cream.
Whether I was learning how to make it in a zip-lock bag at summer camp, or having some of my grandmother’s home-made ice cream at our family’s annual pond parties, ice cream was always a staple of summer for me. No matter how you make it, there is just something about the sweet creamy goodness of home-made ice cream that you just don’t get from a pint from the store. Beat the heat with these four recipes for tasty summer treats!
1. Classic ice cream in a bag
If you don’t have an ice cream maker and don’t see yourself getting one any time soon, there are still ways to make ice cream at home. The most popular is the ice cream in a bag method. Chances are if you ever attended a summer day camp as a child, you got to make some of this. It is especially fun to try with small children so they can get involved in the process as well.
2 cups of whole milk I 1 tbsp. of vanilla* I ½ cup of granulated sugar I ice I rock salt
*Or other flavors, such as the honey lavender option below, chocolate, mint, or sliced fruit.
Combine milk, sugar and vanilla. Pour into sealable plastic bags. Seal each bag tightly, and then place each one into another plastic bag, sealing that one tightly as well.
Then fill a container with a good amount of ice and rock salt, and then place your sealed plastic bags inside the container, and seal tightly with the container’s lid. Shake vigorously—this is the fun part for the kids—for several minutes, until the bags’ contents resemble ice cream.
To serve, cut the corners and squeeze into a bowl!
2. Honey lavender ice cream
This is my favorite ice cream flavor of all time. The first time I had honey lavender ice cream, it was in a cone with another scoop of salted caramel—it sounds like the weirdest pair, but they are sooo good together. Don’t knock it until you try it.
To make this honey lavender ice cream, simply follow the instructions for the classic ice cream in a bag (above), and add in 1 tbsp. of honey and 1 teaspoon of dried edible lavender flowers with your milk and sugar mixture, leaving out the vanilla.
3. Ancient Roman style ice cream
While modern refrigeration methods didn’t exist for many years, ancient Romans (and other cultures of old) had their own variations of “ice cream”, and for the history buff, it can be very rewarding to follow a recipe much like they would have used in their time. This tasty Roman style ice cream recipe comes from icecreamnation.org.
350 ml of cream I 350 ml of milk I about 100 ml of honey I 4 teaspoons of corn-starch I pinch of salt I add-ins I about 100 ml of assorted, roasted and chopped nuts I about 150 grams of finely chopped dates, fresh or dried
Whisk 200 ml of the milk with the corn-starch, making sure that there are no lumps. Set the mixture aside. Blend the remaining 500 ml of the milk/cream, the honey and the salt in a saucepan. Warm until steaming hot on medium heat.
Blend in the corn-starch mixture with the rest of the ingredients in the saucepan. Cook on high heat and stir for about five minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken.
Reduce the heat and continue to stir for about five more minutes until the mixture has thickened even more.
Take off from the heat and let the mixture cool down. Refrigerate for a couple of hours and freeze according to the instructions of your ice cream machine.
Towards the end of the churning, add the pieces of nuts and dates to the ice cream base. Mix a little more, and there you have it!
4. Instant frozen yogurt
This one is about as easy as it gets for a sweet frozen treat. And while it isn’t technically ice cream, kids will love it, and it is a healthier option so you can make it more frequently.
All you really need is frozen fruit and Greek yogurt, plus some vanilla and honey to enhance the flavor. The great thing about this recipe is that you can basically use any frozen fruit you have on hand, though some offer better texture than others. In our house, frozen strawberries and frozen mangoes are a regular staple in this recipe. Get creative, mix and match, and enjoy!
4 cups of frozen fruit I ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt (full fat for best flavor and texture) I vanilla, honey, and sugar to taste (optional)
Simply place all the ingredients in a food processor and run it on high until creamy, about five minutes. Serve immediately.
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