5 Cool Recipes for Easy Homemade Ice Cream, Gelato, and Frozen Yogurt

Beat the summer heat with homemade frozen delights such as Easy Cocoa Ice Cream, Basic Gelato, or Sour Cream Ice Cream with Crushed Berries and Basil.

August 10, 2010

Summertime peaches are perfection in this frozen yogurt.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Ah, ice cream. The lovely frozen concoction made from dairy, sugar, and various flavorings. It’s a summertime staple in freezers across America. However, what you’ll usually find in those freezers are packaged versions that often are expensive, are made with artificial flavors and colors, and are not organic. Clearly, there's a much better alternative: homemade. All you need are a few easy homemade ice cream, gelato, and frozen yogurt recipes and you can create delicious frozen treats that are made with fresh, healthy, organic, locally sourced ingredients.

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Ice cream styles vary, and it’s great fun to try the different types. For example, you can choose a milky, delicately textured Philadelphia-style ice cream made with cream and sugar (this type really allows the flavorings to shine through). Or there’s the even richer, custardlike version that’s made with eggs. Alternatively, you can use a recipe for a sublime Italian gelato, using milk rather than cream. Finally, there’s quick and easy frozen yogurt, a lower-calorie treat.

Before you take on our easy homeade ice cream recipes, you’ll need to assemble the tools of the trade, which involves some up-front cost but will save you plenty down the road. Methods vary. One option is a double-walled, nonmotorized ice cream maker that you keep in your freezer. With this maker, you pour your ice cream mixture into the prechilled container and stir every five to 10 minutes. In about 20 minutes, your ice cream will be ready to enjoy.

You can also use a self-churning ice cream machine with an insert that you freeze ahead of time, or a more expensive self-churning version that has the freezing element built in. Or, if you’re looking to do it the old-fashioned way, you can buy a hand-cranked ice cream maker: With these old-style makers, the ice cream mixture goes into the center container while the outside gets packed with ice and rock salt. Your job is to crank away. Finally, there’s a Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker on the market, which is a ball you roll or toss to a companion for about 20 minutes until the ice cream inside is churned.

Once you have your equipment, the only thing left to do is choose your ice cream type and flavor. Here are some cool, creamy selections from the Rodale Recipe Finder.

#1: Sour Cream Ice Cream with Crushed Berries and Basil. Sour cream adds a lovely tang to this uniquely flavored ice cream, topped with a distinct blueberry-basil sauce you won't find in the supermarket freezer.

#2: Basic Gelato. This rich-tasting recipe is primed and ready for endless variations, so have fun experimenting with your favorite frozen flavors. We offer vanilla, hazelnut, and coconut options to get you started.

#3: Easy Cocoa Ice Cream. If you’re a chocolate lover, this smooth, subtle ice cream option is going to drive you wild.

#4: Mango Ice Cream. For two unusual tropical twists, make ice cream with mango or banana. Either makes a great finish to a backyard tiki party.

#5: Peachy Frozen Yogurt. Summertime peaches are perfect in this homemade frozen yogurt, while ginger and vanilla add depth to this recipe for Spicy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt. If you like the classic taste of vanilla, try this rich-tasting cross between gelato and frozen yogurt.

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