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.)