This post may contain affiliate links. Click here for my affiliate disclosure. If you purchase items through my affiliate links, I receive a small commission but your price doesn't change.
It has been my quest for YEARS to find a moderate-calorie homemade ice cream that’s SCOOPABLE out of the freezer! I have tried many ingredients and many methods but they all fell short. Until now. **dramatic drumroll** Introducing Basic Vanilla Scoopable Ice Cream.
I’ve actually already used some of these scoopable techniques in a few recipes, like the Pecan Pie Ice Cream from my 2018 calendar and this Candy Cane Ice Cream, but I thought it was time to give you the basic version so you can use it to create your own flavors. Don’t worry – I intend to do all kinds of variations on it! After I get myself married off next month, that is. 😛
We all love the convenient yumminess of Halo Top and Carb Smart; but Halo Top is really expensive and has some cane sugar in the ingredients so you have to be pretty careful with your portions, and Carb Smart uses Splenda which isn’t ideal for frequent consumption. The obvious solution is to make your own, but a lot of homemade ice creams (even the homemade ice cream my family used to make before we knew about the THM lifestyle) freeze rock hard if you don’t eat them right after churning. Using a lot of high-fat ingredients like a boatload of heavy whipping cream can help them stay softer and creamier after long-term freezing, but that’s awfully calorie dense! While recipes like that can be great for special treats, I happen to enjoy ice cream on a regular basis. And I don’t like half cup servings, either.
Today’s recipe is the culmination of years of experimentation and research and is a delicate balance of ingredients with a dose of science. I don’t recommend replacing ingredients or varying the procedure because everything is in here for a reason and you may not get the same results if you change something. I usually encourage people to take my recipes and run with them to make them their own, but this recipe is a little more finicky than most. I’ve tried to figure out which elements help ice cream stay softer after being frozen (dairy products such as half and half and cream, eggs, xylitol, vegetable glycerin, air – which is why I blend the cream in after cooking the egg mixture) and combined them in a way that gives me a scoopable end result while not overloading the calories.
Here are some numbers (for a 1/2-cup serving, which is how ice cream is typically measured even if no one actually obeys):
- Halo Top Vanilla (contains cane sugar): 60 calories per serving
- Vanilla CarbSmart (contains sorbitol): 120 calories per serving
- This recipe (completely on plan for THM): 159 calories per serving
- Another blogger’s low-carb ice cream recipe: 268 calories per serving (this is fairly normal for homemade low-carb recipes)
A lot of my older recipes are even lighter than this one, but they take longer to thaw to an eatable consistency when leftovers are frozen for an extended period of time. Speaking of which, this recipe still takes about 10 minutes at room temperature to thaw to a scoopable consistency. Halo Top is the same way! If you store this recipe in a shallow container, it will thaw quickly, and even if it won’t scoop for a few minutes, you can still pick at it with a fork right out of the freezer, no problem. Don’t ask me how I know.
This Basic Vanilla Scoopable Ice Cream has a good flavor and a creamy texture! If you want to make it even creamier, feel free to substitute some more cream for part of the almond milk, but keep in mind that you’ll be increasing the calories. Since I like to enjoy peanut butter on my ice cream, it’s better for my waistline to keep the ice cream itself as calorie smart as possible. 😉
Wondering which ice cream maker to get? This is the one I use and love:
You may also enjoy:
As always, check out the Notes section of the recipe for extra info. Check out the links in and below the recipe to see the products I use and recommend. Some of the links included in the recipe and blog post are affiliate links, which means that if you make purchases through these links, I make a small commission (but your price doesn’t change).
Want to start the New Year out right? Grab a copy of my cookbook to get nearly 400 RECIPES to jump start your healthy journey! You’ll find lots of our Thomas family church cookbook favorites made healthy in this easy-to-use, hard cover/spiral bound book. CLICK HERE for details! You may also want to check out my 2018 recipe calendar with 12 brand new recipes and exclusive recipe cards!
- Add the first set of ingredients to a saucepan and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the glucomannan slowly while blending to avoid clumping. Cook the ice cream mixture just until it starts to bubble, whisking occasionally, then pull it off the heat. Add the second set of ingredients and blend with an immersion blender for 1-2 minutes. Let the mixture cool on the counter, then cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight to chill completely.
- When the ice cream base has chilled completely, churn it in a 1½-qt. automatic ice cream churn according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer the finished ice cream to an airtight, shallow container and freeze to firm up before eating. I prefer to freeze it overnight until all the way firm, then let it thaw on the counter for 10 minutes before scooping for best taste and texture. (Even Halo Top needs to thaw for a few minutes, so just be patient for the sake of healthy ingredients, folks! If you want it softer, just microwave it for a few seconds after scooping.)
**I don't recommend omitting the vegetable glycerin either. It helps keep the ice cream from sticking to the ice cream maker and vastly improves the creamy texture of the ice cream. We buy this brand from Amazon.
-Don't have an immersion blender? You can do all this in a regular blender, but be careful when blending hot liquids and be sure to vent the blender to relieve pressure as needed.
-As always, feel free to add more sweetener to this ice cream since my sweet tooth isn't a strong as some of yours.
-Glucomannan brands can vary in strength, so if yours is on the strong side and you think it makes this ice cream slimy or masks too much flavor, feel free to decrease the amount (don't omit). This was the amount that worked best for me; I use Konjac Foods brand glucomannan. Xanthan gum should work as well if you don't have glucomannan.
-I don't usually calculate nutritional info for my recipes since Trim Healthy Mama doesn't require it, but I was curious about this one. (Per half cup serving)
Calories: 159, Fat: 13g, Carbs: 7g, Protein: 3g, Net carbs (carbs minus sugar alcohols, glycerin, and fiber): 1.75g