5 Green Reasons to Use an Ice Cream Maker

06_08_09_icecream.jpg

Anyone else craving a large bowl of something ice-cold? As summer approaches, we find it's happening more and more. We love our hand-me-down KitchenAid stand-up mixer for its myriad uses. Over the weekend, we added yet another attachment to our collection: the ice cream maker. You may remember our argument for using a bread machine. Well, we justified our purchase of the ice cream maker with many of the same points...

Our favorite argument? Making your own ice cream means you're not relying on "big food" to choose your ingredients. You can use locally-produced and organic ingredients, like milk from grass-fed cows, eggs from farm-raised chickens, and fresh fruit from the local farmers to make delish ice cream recipes. What a great way to use up the deluge of fresh peaches we'll be seeing mid-summer at the farmers' market!

• You can go off the grid. If you use an old-school hand crank ice cream maker, you're cutting out the power altogether. But making ice cream at home with an electric mixer takes under 20 minutes--and not a whole lot of wattage.

Imagine all the packaging you'll save over the lifespan of your ice cream maker. Most of the makers on the market make about 2 quarts at a time, which you can store in reusable airtight containers.

Of course, you're cutting down on transportation needs as well. That ice cream won't have to travel who knows how many miles to reach your spoon.

• It's not a one-trick pony, if you count different types of frozen desserts: an ice cream maker will also make fresh fruit sorbets, sherbets, and non-dairy ice creams made with rice or soy milks.

And of course, though it's not a specifically eco-minded perk, making your own ice cream saves money. We figured that ours will pay for itself this summer!

(Image via sxc.hu member Ulex, royalty-free.)