I just ate a bowl of vanilla ice cream. This hasn’t happened in over three years because my body gets mad at me now when I eat much sugar. But let me say it again: I just ate a bowl of ice cream. Happy, happy, happy, happy!!
I’ve been wanting to figure out how to make low sugar ice cream (for three years), but I had two hang-ups:
- I was feeling pretty lazy about pulling out my ice cream freezer.
- I wasn’t confident that cutting the sugar in ice cream would taste good and I didn’t want to waste ingredients.
So I started doing some looking online. There are plenty of recipes for “no churn” ice cream so I could avoid the trouble of getting out my ice cream machine, but they all call for sweetened condensed milk. Nope. That wouldn’t make it low sugar.
Other recipes took way too many steps, at which point I figured I might as well suck it up and get out my ice cream freezer.
Finally, I decided to try the “no-churn” method I’d read about – but with healthier ingredients I feel good about instead of condensed milk – and just see what would happen. I decided if it didn’t turn out – at the very least I could re-purpose the cream mixture into a smoothie.
When you see this recipe you will wonder (like I am wondering) why it took me so much research and time to figure this out.
Three ingredients. Three. They are so obvious. (Cream, maple syrup, vanilla. See? Why did I make this so hard?)
The trick is to whip the ingredients together just long enough that they thicken, but don’t turn into whipped cream. This isn’t hard as long as you’re watching carefully. I put the ingredients into my Blendtec, whipped for 15-20 seconds, poured the mixture into a dish, froze it, and boom. I had Low Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream.
Low Sugar Vanilla Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup (more or less to taste)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Blend ingredients together with a hand mixer or in a high power blender until they have thickened - but have not yet turned into stiff whipped cream. (The mixture should still be runny.)
- Pour mixture into a small casserole dish.
- Cover and freeze for about three hours.
- Scoop and serve right away.
- If ice cream is left in the freezer overnight, you may need to let it sit on the counter a few minutes before serving!
A key player in this recipe is Homemade Vanilla Extract. I decided “why just add one teaspoon when I could add two?” This, of course, makes the ice cream much, much better tasting. (Ironic, isn’t it, since I was just saying that you can use half the amount called for in recipes since this vanilla is so potent? Use less vanilla in this if you like, but I am loving the strong vanilla punch of two teaspoons in this vanilla ice cream!)
I learned that if you freeze this for less than 3 hours, the ice cream will be too liquidy. But if you freeze it for more than 3 hours it becomes a bit hard. The solution for “too hard” ice cream? Simply pull it out of the freezer and let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before serving. It’ll soften just enough for you to scoop it out.
Want your ice cream to be not-so-low in sugar?
My kids agree. Simply add a little more maple syrup until you have reached your desired sweetness level. You might also try adding a few drops of liquid stevia.
Because we have the whole summer ahead of us, I will now spend time creating variations of this Low Sugar Homemade Ice Cream. I’m thinking peach, strawberry, chocolate, mint, chocolate mint, and whatever other ideas you have for me.
Go make yourself some ice cream!!