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Sunday, September 14, 2008

We all scream for gum free ice cream!

Dreyer's Ice Cream (aka Edy's on the east coast) had a banana walnut flavor this past summer. It was quite tasty, so we bought it often, especially when it was on sale. When not on sale it was $4.99 per 1.75 quarts which got reduced to 1.5 quarts by the end of the summer (the old, 'don't change the price but just put less in' trick that many companies such as Frito Lay and Wrigley's Gum also employed this summer). In addition to the price, I was a little concerned about eating too much due to all those ingredients listed on the carton which I am unable to pronounce. What are all of those gums?? I am sure they are added not only for "mouth feel" as they call it, but also to help ensure the ice cream does not lose it's creaminess while in transit from manufacturer to supplier to Ralph's Market. But what are these gums doing to my insides? If you make homemade ice cream, it's just fruit, cream and sugar...and none of those things are evil, right?

When I saw Cuisinart ice cream makers on sale over 4th of July weekend for $50, it seemed to make sense to get one. If we use it 10 times, it's basically paid for itself! We immediately made some lime sherbert using the recipe that came with the maker. It was tasty but a bit tart. Next time, I will cut back on the lime juice added. The next ice cream we made was banana walnut. The flavor was so good...like fresh bananas which makes sense because we USED fresh bananas! I made some to accompany Victor's Tres Leche birthday cake. The picture above really does not do the flavor any justice. In short, if you like ice cream, buy an ice cream maker. It's worth it in my humble opinion.

Banana Walnut Ice Cream (from Ice Cream Recipes )

3/4 pint milk or cream
4 oz sugar
3 ripe bananas (to puree)
Finely chopped walnuts (to taste...I probably used about 1/2 cup)

Puree bananas (we used our blender to do this). Add milk/cream and sugar. Transfer to ice maker and follow manufacturer directions. We let ours churn the ice cream for 20 minutes, adding the walnuts in the last 3 minutes of the cycle.

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