With fall officially beginning in just a few days, what a bummer that summer is almost over. Even though fall brings relief from the summer heat, and I love the changing leaves, to me it’s bittersweet. Fall brings the reminder that winter is too soon to follow. Days get shorter and cold, I begin to crave soup and hot tea rather than salads and ice cream. The real bummer is, I love ice cream. I think I would rather cut off my little finger than give up ice cream. Okay well maybe not, but I LOVE ICE CREAM!
Lately, I’ve been paying more attention to food package labels. I can’t believe how much needless crap there is in foods. Being health conscious, I choose a popular grocery chains store brand low fat, low sugar vanilla ice cream. Gotta be fairly good for me, right? When I noticed however, that it really didn’t melt, I wondered what it was made of. You gotta see this video!
Here is the actual ingredients; Milkfat and Nonfat Milk, Sugar, Sweetcream Buttermilk, Corn Syrup, Contains Less than 2% of Whey, Natural Flavor, Mono and Diglycerides, Guar Gum, Tara Gum, Cellulose Gum, Propylene Glycol, Monoester, Xanthan Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin A Palmitate, Annatto (Color). Heck, I can’t even pronounce some of these ingredients, don’t think I want to ingest them.
Okay, if this is a frozen food, why all the “gums”? While they are derived from natural grains and used as thickening agents, are the really necessary? Carrageenan is a gum as well made from seaweed, but 45 public studies suggest there may reasonable concern that it may cause gastrointestinal tumors and inflammatory bowel disease. Yet one industry funded study concluded there is no credible evidence that Carrageenan contributes to tumor promotion or colon cancer. (Wikipedia) And Propylene glycol, although it is considered generally safe by the FDA, and used in many foods, is primarily used in the production of polymers, like um, yoga mats (and Subway Sandwich bread ;0), environmentally friendly anti-freeze, and the liquid in E-cigarettes. (Wikipedia)
I’ve given you this information so YOU can decide if you want to eat this stuff, but why not make your own? It’s quick and easy. My recipe has three ingredients and if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can get one at most discount department stores. They come in many brands and price ranges. I use a Cuisinart like this one, but this one is an inexpensive option as well. During my research for this article, I did find two brands that have only four or five ingredients that are all pronounceable. Blue Bunny All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream and Harris Teeter All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream. Surely there are more out there if one just looks hard enough. Read the labels. In addition, I read that if the ice cream melts quickly, it probably has few needless ingredients.
I kind of tweeked the recipe that came with the instructions to my Cuisinart to make it lower sugar and fat, but it still tastes awesome.
Real Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
3 cups of Half & Half (original calls for 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup milk)
1/2 cup turbinado (natural raw) sugar (original 3/4 cups of white processed sugar)
1 Tablespoon of McCormicks Pure Vanilla Extract (Believe it or not, there are vanilla extracts that have unnecessary ingredients, like corn syrup!)
Put the three ingredients in a bowl and stir until the sugar is pretty much dissolved
follow instructions for your machine
I guarantee this ice cream will melt quickly!
P.S. If you have a smartphone, here’s a great App that can help you make better choices at the grocery store, and at home. By scanning the barcode with your phone at the store, you can find out if it’s best for your personal profile, which you create in the app, and offers suggestions for better choices if it’s not. At home you can search an item and see the same. Isn’t technology great?! www.shopwell.com