I got an ice cream maker for Christmas. I love, love, love, love, it! Not only is the ice cream delicious, but we can custom-make our own flavors and not have to worry about anything getting discontinued and bumming us out. We made a batch of cookies-n-cream ice cream yesterday. This morning we made one of my favorites - strawberry.
Avlyn loves to help make the ice cream, and I used the opportunity to teach her a little about food additives. I want my kids to understand that not all foods are good for us, no matter how the company markets the food as being high in vitamins or fiber. While I know she doesn't grasp the terms 'preservatives' or 'high fructose corn syrup,' I tried explaining why the ice cream we make at home is healthier than the ice cream we can buy at the store.
Strawberry was the perfect flavor to start a discussion since it doesn't come out bright pink like the stuff sold in stores. I told her that most companies use red dye to make the pink color, and that it's not that good for our bodies. I also explained how some ice creams have gum paste and other items to give it a hard appearance and make it easier to package and sell. We went over each ingredient we put into our ice cream maker and how each of those ingredients didn't have any added 'bad stuff.' We also reduced the amount of cream in the strawberry recipe, resulting in a softer ice cream than yesterday's.
We're slowly phasing out packaged foods and taking baby steps to improve our eating habits. I think homeschoolers have an advantage since they don't need to rely on the schools to provide lunch or worry about their kids filling up on junk during a class party. Below is a picture of Avlyn stirring the milk and strawberry juices, along with the fresh-out-of-the-ice-cream-making-machine finished product. It's very soft right out of the maker, but hardens up once put in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
Here is our recipe for strawberry ice cream:(use original recipe instructions if you want a richer, slightly thicker ice cream)
2 cups of whole milk (original recipe called for 1 cup of milk, 2 cups of heavy cream)
1 cup of heavy cream
1 bowl of chopped strawberries
1 cup of sugar
dash of vanilla
dash of O.J.
Add a Tbsp. or two of O.J. to the strawberries and 1/2C. sugar. Stir gently and chill for a couple hours or overnight. Mix together milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and juices created by the berries. We then pour this into our ice cream maker and add the fresh berries the last 5 minutes of mixing time, so just follow the instructions on your ice cream maker. That's it! Happy Homeschooling and happy ice cream making.