Tuesday, February 10, 2015

wholefood step-by-step: # 24 make your own ice cream and icy poles

It's summer here in Australia. Hooray! My favorite season (next to Spring)

Hot days call for cool ice cream, not just any ice cream though - home made, wholefood, real food, preferably organic kind of ice cream.

The beauty of making your own is that you know exactly what's in them and you can be endlessly creative with the combos you come up with.

What to avoid in commercially made ice creams and icy poles

Where to start? Well of course there's the obvious one the high concentration of sugar in all its forms - cane sugar, glucose, maltodextrin to name a few. Then there's the numbers that are usually attached to emulsifiers (the ingredients that add to the smooth creaminess), then there's ingredients you probably wouldn't expect to find in ice cream like wheat and soy. And finally the pasteurised homogenised milk and cream that can be difficult for people to digest, you can read more about modern milk here. And what on earth is the curious 'flavour' ingredient listed in so many processed foods?!

Let's take Peter's Original vanilla as an example:

  1. Ingredients: Water, Cream (15%), Sugar, Milk Solids, Glucose Syrup(Wheat), MaltodextrinVegetable Origin Emulsifiers [477, 471 (Soy)], Flavour, Vegetable Gum (412).
  2. While we're here, I just want to go over something that comes up a bit with wholefood/healthy blogs and bloggers. And that is, I'm not saying that I've never eaten this type of ice cream and neither have my children - we have. If you go and stay a weekend at my nan's I guarantee you will be offered this ice cream alongside a piece of her cheesecake or pavlova. I just want to give a little reminder that the whole purpose of this series is to shine a light on what is in processed foods and offer ways to make better choices more often.
I want to be so careful that people don't feel shame or guilt about what they have in the freezer and pantry when they read a post here. We are all on a learning curve in this processed food world we live in, awareness is the beginning for change and for long term health and happiness. So, no shame, no guilt - my line of work is about education not deprivation!

I digress. 

Back to the ice cream and icy poles. The ingredients to consider in commercially made icy poles are of course again an overload of sugar but also artificial food colourings. You can read more about food colourings here and here.

Equipment to make your own

- Icy pole moulds. You can buy these in most supermarkets and chain stores (ie. in Australia big w, kmart, target) and they are relatively inexpensive around $10, the ones I use I've had for two years. Biome have a range of pricier stainless steel moulds here. (I'm not an affiliate).

- A blender comes in handy if you want to make 'smoothie' style icy poles.

- An ice cream maker adds to the fun but is by no means necessary for creating beautiful cool sweet treats. 

- And of course the thermomix fans in our midst will already know the wondrous sorbets and ice creams that can be made with this pricey kitchen appliance that has won hearts all over the world (personally I don't have a thermomix and don't actually dream of owning one either but that's kind of a whole other post!)

Believe me when I say I don't have fancy or expensive equipment in my kitchen. I recently bought a blender from Kmart for $25, when my other one blew up unexpectedly, and it is doing a fine job of creating all manner of smoothies. 

I do have an ice cream maker that I picked up about 4 years ago at Aldi again for the magic sum of $25. The tricky part for me is I have a very small freezer and this particular ice cream maker requires the bowl to be frozen before use so it takes some planning, the ice cream it produces is beautiful though. There really is nothing like making ice cream at home and if your family really love it I would recommend making the investment in an ice cream maker.

Ingredients to make your own:

Fresh seasonal fruit, local and organic is always good!
Coconut milk or yoghurt
Organic milk or yoghurt
Sweeteners of your choice: maple syrup, honey
Real flavours: cacao, vanilla bean, mint, cinnamon
Freshly squeezed fruit juice

The possibilities are endless!

For some recipe inspiration check these out:

Raspberry mint ripple icy poles, Avocado lime icy poles
- Jo from Quirky Cooking : coconut ice cream with date swirl (no ice cream maker required)
- The Best Apricot Ice Cream Ever (dairy free)
- Michelle Schoeps icy pole video!
- The easiest way to make vanilla ice cream at home (this is a very comprehensive post. If you don't want to use cane sugar in the recipe you could try coconut sugar or rapadura, bear in mind it will change the colour of your ice cream. But even if you do use sugar (perhaps reduce the amount) it will still be healthier in my opinion than a store bought ice cream full of additives).

For the icy poles pictured I used:

2 frozen bananas
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 can coconut milk
a dash of maple syrup

In the blender til smooth then into the moulds and freeze. Delicious. Enjoy x

Do you make your own? Share some of your favorite flavour combos in the comments and the brand of your favorite ice cream machine if you have one.


  1. I've just started doing this with my kids and I love that they love them without realising they are so much better than store bought icecreams. I have been using two Emma Galloway recipes 'My Darling Lemon Thyme', one from her cook book - Chocolate Chills - which are so close to tasting like Paddle Pops it's not funny and I made this mango yoghurt one the other day and added a dash of honey to sweeten it a bit for my kids. SO yummy!


    1. My Darling Lemon Thyme cookbook is on my wishlist! I just have soooo many cookbooks I am pacing myself with them but those paddle pop tasting ice creams sound like something my boys would love! Thanks for sharing the link x


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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