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Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy cows; and cows make milk; milk makes ice cream, and ice cream makes you happy!

So many flavours, so little time.

Buying a cow is not a bad idea, but that seems like an awfully long, round-about way of getting your hands (and taste buds) on limitless scoops of happiness. Not to mention the garden space and amount of hay and silage required to keep daisy happy.

Why not just cut out the “middle-cow” and buy your own ice cream machine? 

Picture this… A good ice cream maker, time and again churning out fresh, preservative-free ice cream in just one hour. About the same amount of time it takes to find your keys, drive to your local supermarket for an over-priced tub of whatever flavour you can find, sit in traffic in both directions and rush home before it melts in the car. 

Do You Need an Ice Cream Machine?

Besides the obvious convenience, having your own ice cream maker at home has real health benefits. It also provides inspiration for your inner foodie to impress guests with out-of-this-world dessert ideas.

Offer your guests delicious treats that are not only mind-blowingly yummy but that could also be tailored to accommodate vegan, diabetic or dairy-free dietary requirements such as sorbet.

How Could Ice Cream be Healthy?

Store-bought ice cream is full of added chemical preservatives intended to help it look, feel and taste better. Preservatives also help to keep frozen ice-cream fresh for months in the freezer.

Some would argue adding preservatives to any food to extend freshness to be an oxymoron in itself because how can anything laced with unnatural additives still be regarded as fresh? 

Usual Additives Found in Store-bought Ice Cream

Claire McCarthy, M.D. mentioned some common additives used in commercial ice cream in the Harvard Medical School’s online platform Harvard Health Publishing. These include:

  • Calcium sulfate. Added to store-bought ice cream as a firming agent so that it does not melt as easily.
  • Magnesium hydroxide – A commonly used laxative ingredient, magnesium hydroxide is an additive in store-bought ice cream that retains colour.
  • Corn syrup – Corn syrup solids in commercial versions enhance flavour, smoothness, creaminess and body while reducing recrystallisation during storage (improving shelf life).
  • Glucose. Found in corn syrup , glucose is able to enter the body more quickly and raise blood sugar levels faster – not exactly ideal for children who are prone to sugar highs.
  • Artificial food colourants – Used in many foods, including store-bought desserts, food colourants may also increase the symptoms of ADHD in children.

Having an ice cream machine to help you make fresh, preservative-free, homemade ice cream therefore not only has an array of health benefits for the whole family, it also delivers pure and fresh flavour.

An easy comparison is a microwave dinner vs mom’s homemade spaghetti Bolognese, made with quality ingredients and fresh herbs from the garden, and, of course, extra cheese. 

Homemade Ice Cream – The Entertainers Dream

As spring settles in and swimming pools gradually warm-up, we are all ready to embrace outdoor entertaining with open arms again. Dinner parties, casual pizza nights, an afternoon braai with friends or kids parties by the pool all call for something sweet.

Can you imagine how delighted and impressed your guests would be if you treated them to homemade ice cream in an exotic flavour you conjured up yourself?

Magic!

Some of the best inventions were discovered by accident like corn flakes, safety glass and penicillin. 

Remember every summer on the beach eating ice-cold popsicles that coloured your whole face blue, red or whatever colour popsicle you had?

The world is a better place thanks to Frank Epperson who, at the age of 11, accidentally left a container of household cool drink, with its mixing stick still inside, out on the porch one exceptionally cold night.

Overnight, the cool drink froze with the mixing stick still inside, accidentally creating the world’s very first popsicle. 

Healthy Homemade Ice Cream Flavour Ideas

One of the best things about having your own dessert maker at home is that you can have never-ending fun experimenting with as many flavours as you can think of.

Bored with the same old store-bought flavours? Keen for something different? 

How about strawberry, honey and balsamic vinegar with black pepper? Or chocolate malt, lemon ice or vegan banana sorbet? You could experiment with next-level ice cream sandwiches like brownie, doughnut or cookie variants.

If you want to get really creative, you could try your hand at making ice cream tacos, bacon wave ice cream sandwiches (yes, bacon!), or even peanut butter chocolate ice cream sandwiches.

For those looking for something a little less sugary, Google has a few mouth-watering recipes for Greek frozen yoghurt or, for a Middle Eastern twist, date ice cream (Buza Ala-Tamr) which is lower in sugar because the dates add all the sweetness needed to perfect this miracle of nature.

Making Your Own Ice Cream at Home

Making your own ice cream at home can be a fun, family activity topped with pure creamy bliss. Just whip out an automatic ice cream machine and buy a few simple ingredients. Peanut brittle, fresh berries, smarties, crunchies, peppermint crisp make for good starters. A few tins of caramel treat and a variety of biscuits are also great options. Go and let the kids’ imagination run wild.

Add a few sugar cones and sprinkles and discover why the best time for the cool creamy indulgence, is always.

Steve Jobs said if you want to make people happy, don’t be a leader, sell ice cream. We say, just make your own and treat yourself and others to a dose of sweet and creamy happiness.

Remember, a balanced diet is an ice cream cone in each hand and without it, there would be only darkness and chaos.

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