Getting Creative With Your Ice Cream Maker
by Sandy Swegel
It was really hot yesterday. I tried to stay working in the shade but by the end of the day, I was dehydrated and light-headed despite drinking water all day. This was my wake-up call to put the ice cream maker freezer bowl into the freezer where it stays the rest of the summer. If summer’s going to be like this, I need instant access to frozen goodies. The freezer bowl has to be hard frozen to work well. I have an extra bowl or two I picked up at the thrift store.
Now I’ve heard you can use the ice cream maker for ice cream or frozen yogurt. When I’ve gotten overheated, I don’t want dairy…I want frozen water and sweetness and maybe some vitamins and nutrients thrown in. I don’t want “natural flavors” and high fructose corn syrup like the so-called healthy treats at the grocery.
I want concoctions from fruits and or vegetables. So the first task of my ice cream maker is to turning fruit and or vegetables into cold frozen thirst quenchers.
1. Slushies are my favorites: yummy, thirst-quenching slushy drinks when water just isn’t enough.
All the aqua fresca drinks of Central America make excellent slushy drinks.
The recipes are simple: Blend fruit and/or vegetables, water and sugar to taste. Traditionally people just throw ice cubes into the blender, but I strain the blended juice-water for a less pulpy drink. Then, I want the drink even colder than ice cubes can make it, so I pour it all into the ice cream maker and drink when slushy.
Great aqua fresca combos:
Cucumber and lime and sugar
Make double batches of slushies, and put some aside into the freezer to freeze solid. Voila: Sorbet.
Sorbets are great for desserts, but I like them as surprise mini-servings between courses, to “clear the palate” for the next course. Cucumber sorbet anyone?
3. Cold Soups
On hot days I love cold soups…but summer meals are often last-minute preparations so if I didn’t remember to make and refrigerate the soup ahead of time, it isn’t going to be very cold. But with my VitaMixer or a good blender and my ice cream maker, I’m set for a cold soup in the hot evening air.
The recipes are simple:
Gazpacho: throw tomatoes and other ingredients into Vita-Mix. Blend to a slurry. Pour into ice cream maker until nearly slushy. Top with cilantro. By the time the gazpacho gets to the table, it’s very cold without being frozen.
Cucumber soup. Cucumber, skin optional, into Vita-Mix. Chill to near freezing in the ice cream maker. Fresh dill and a big spoon of sour cream.
Many other vegetables work too like carrots or even beets.
4. Frozen cocktails
Need I say more? Pour limeade into ice cream maker. Once it’s freezing, pour tequila in. Done!
5. Frozen Coke
Ok, so this is the treat from my childhood. I know, Coke’s terrible for you. Too much sugar and caffeine, the acidity rots your teeth. But when it’s hot outside, nothing hits the spot like partially frozen coke. As kids, we’d put the bottles in the freezer and hope to remember them before they froze and exploded. My mother would pour flat coke or root beer into dixie cups to freeze. So it is a natural progression for me just to pour coke into the ice cream maker and make my own Coke slushie.
And of course, I’ve heard the ice cream maker makes great ice cream.
Photos and info: