No Need To Scream For Ice Cream, Just Make It

DIY recipes for healthy nice creams, tropical popsicles and no-churn delights.

Suman Mahfuz Quazi

Consider this to be like our little homage to the frozen goody on this Ice Cream Day.


Ice cream is like a treat, a present, a mollifier, guilty pleasure and a getaway, all rolled into an icy chunk of sugary goodness. But with new eating habits, ice creams, too have metamorphosed to meet the demands of the health conscious consumer that seeks flavour, nutrition and imagination, in equal measure. As such, we now, have things like nice creams. Explaining what they really are, Neysa Mendes, founder of the Good Slice, which specialises in easy, healthy, DIY recipes, says, “'Nice cream' is largely fruit-based, dairy-free, fruit-sweetened 'ice cream'. It's not technically ice cream, but it sure can pass for it.


If you’re looking to celebrate Ice Cream Day at home, you can either experiment with a nice cream, not only because they’re healthy, but also because they’re fairly easy to make. There’s also no-churn ice creams, perfect for a home set-up, or popsicles, which many are experimenting with, incorporating seasonal stone fruits and plums, like jamun. 

 

Take your pick from this list of 10 icy cool recipes!

1. Chocolate Banana Nice Cream by Neysa Mendes 

This three-ingredient nice cream is a perfect dessert to try at home. Mendes says, “It's so easy, and rewarding for something that's really quite healthy. When I first started making it, I realised that the trick to getting it closest to ice cream, is to add in something creamy – a fat, like a nut butter or tahini.” 


Ingredients:

200 gm or 2 large frozen bananas
2.5 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp tahini
A pinch of salt

Method:

  • Chop frozen bananas and place them into the smallest jar of your mixer.
  • Add cocoa powder, tahini, salt and give it a whizz, opening the jar regularly to bring the bananas to the centre. Do this till it just comes together and is still   icy. Don’t over mix or it’ll get too liquid-y.
  • Transfer to a bowl. It's good as is, but much nicer if you place it in the freezer for about 45-60 minutes.


2. 

Young Thai Coconut Ice Cream by chef Ananda Solomon


After many years of switching between humble flavours like, chocolate, vanilla and two-in-one, Indians finally woke up to fruity ice creams sometime in the 2000s. This recipe by legendary chef Ananda Solomon of Thai Naam restaurant in Mumbai is a befitting homage to fruit-based ice creams. “This is a sumptuous and healthy ice cream that offers an authentic taste of Thailand,” he shares. 

Ingredients

:


4 eggs
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons flaked coconut
2 teaspoons coconut flavour essence

Method:

  • Choose an ice cream tub or container which is perfect to put in the freezer.
  • Place the eggs and sugar in mixer. Mix together for a few minutes.
  • Pour this mixture into a double-boiler and place over medium-high heat.
  • Cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously with a whisk until the mixture thickens and becomes creamy.
  • Place in the refrigerator to cool.
  • Pour the heavy cream into the mixer. Blitz until the cream becomes very thick which would take about a minute. Scoop and place the cream in a mixing bowl.
  • Fold the coconut milk and the flaked coconut into the whipped cream, stirring softly to combine.
  • Add the cooked egg and sugar mixture, as well as the coconut flavouring, while still stirring to get a thick white mixture.
  • Pour into the ice cream container. Allow to freeze overnight.
  • To serve, top the scoop with coconut flakes and enjoy.



3. Mango Nice Cream by chef Guntas Sethi Bhasin 

“This mango nice cream recipe is super easy and quick. It requires very few ingredients that are easily available. Plus, it’s dairy free and does not contain processed sugar,” shares patisserie chef Sethi. 

Ingredients:

300 gm or 2 large, sweet and ripe mangoes, cut into small cubes and frozen
2 tbsp honey (may need more if your mango isn’t very sweet)
120 gms or 4 tbsp coconut cream or full fat Greek yogurt
Pinch of salt

Method:

  • Place a metal cake pan that you will use for storing the ice cream into the freezer before you start prepping. Use a metal cake pan because it will help the ice cream firm up faster.  Faster freezing means less icy and more creamy ice cream.
  • Put the coconut cream into the blender first, then honey. Add frozen mango cubes and blend on highest speed. It will likely be stuck in the beginning, so you have to keep pushing the mixture down to the blade, using either the blender tamper or a wooden spoon. As soon as the mixture looks smooth, it is done. Do not over blend.
  • You can either serve it right out of the blender as a soft-serve ice cream or, place it into the metal cake pan and freeze for at least 1 hour.
  • To serve: If you’ve let it freeze for several hours, it may be a little hard to scoop so you will just need to let it sit at room temp for 5 minutes to soften slightly to make scooping easier.
  • For long term storage, cover the container with plastic wrap and then another layer of aluminum foil.




4. Farsan Drawer Brown Sugar Ice Cream by Rajat Mendhi, Chef and co-founder of Bombay Picnics 


“The farsan drawer brown sugar ice cream was born during the lockdown. With just a few ingredients available during the lockdown this was a happy, happy mistake. Caramel notes of the brown sugar ice cream go well with the salty-ness of the farsan. And the crispy textures,” says Mendhi, who has developed a penchant for quirky recipes. Be it his cream cracker pakodas, or Bournvita milk pies, they’re all tinted with desi nostalgia. 

Ingredients:

For the Farsan Granola:

1 cup mix of your favourite farsan
1 tsp brown sugar

For the Brown Sugar Ice Cream:


3 egg whites 

2/3 cup + 2 tbs brown sugar, divided
250 ml cream, cold
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
A pinch of cream of tartar

Method:

  • Make the farsan granola by mixing your favourite farsan (like broken muruku, moong dal, chips, chikki, etc. with brown sugar and bake it at 180C for 10 mins. Cool and lightly crush.) 
  • To make the brown sugar ice cream, in a clean metallic bowl add the egg whites and cream of tartar. With your handheld mixer or stand mixer whip for about two minutes until it’s light and airy.
  • Add 1/3 cup brown sugar and continue to whip on high speed for five minutes. Add another 1/3 cup brown sugar and whip for an additional five minutes until you get a glossy mixture and stiff peaks. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, mix together the cold cream, 2 tbs brown sugar, vanilla essence and salt. Then fold in the whipped egg whites 1/3 at a time. Be careful not to be too rough with it.
  • Lastly, fold in the farsan granola. And freeze the mixture overnight. Scoop and serve.


5. Keto Peanut Butter Nice Cream by home chef Shweta Nagpal

Nagpal is a home baker who specialises in vegan and healthy bakes. Her keto peanut butter ice cream is perfect for a guilt-free indulgence. “Think about the name itself. It's called nice cream because it mimics classic ice cream but is better for you.”

Ingredients:


2 cups canned full-fat coconut cream 

1/3 cup Erythritol, or sweetener of choice if non keto
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean
2-3 tbsp creamy unsweetened peanut butter 


Method:

  • Refrigerate the coconut cream cans upside down for at least two days to allow the cream and liquid part to separate. 
  • While making the nice cream, remove cans from refrigerator, turn cans back up and open. You will see the cream part floating up. Scoop this out carefully to avoid taking out any liquid part. You can reserve liquid part for smoothies or curries.
  • Stir in the sweetener, salt, and vanilla extract.
  • Mix the peanut butter in a separate bowl with little cream to allow it to blend uniformly and then add it to the nice cream mixture. Then, freeze the mixture in ice cube trays for about four to five hours and then, blend the frozen cubes in a high-speed blender.
  • Scoop out the nice cream and freeze for an hour or so for a firmer texture. This preservative-free, keto ice cream is best the day it’s made, but you can technically freeze leftovers for a few days and just thaw for a while before eating. Enjoy!




6. Salted Caramel Kulfi by chef and restaurateur Rachel Goenka 

“My salted caramel kulfi is sweet and salty with a slight smokey flavour from the caramel. It's rich and creamy,” says Rachel Goenka, speaking about this delish recipe from her book, Adventures of Mithai. “Use a good quality kulfi, one with a high fat content, which has a creamy consistency rather than an icy, grainy one. I love using Parsi Dairy Farm kulfi,” she adds. Here’s what you need for it. 

Ingredients: 

1.2 kg plain malai kulfi 
390 gm castor sugar 
40 gm salted butter 
390 gm heavy cream 
50 gm liquid glucose 
1 tsp Maldon sea salt 

Method:

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat liquid glucose and sugar on medium heat. Stir constantly till the sugar dissolves and mixture starts to gently bubble. Increase the heat, bring it to boil and stop stirring. Let the mixture continue boiling until it turns amber in colour. This will take 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add butter to deglaze the pan. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cream to make the salted caramel.
  • Add the salt and mix well.
  • Melt the store-bought kulfi in a bowl till it’s liquid in consistency.
  • Add the salted caramel and stir. Reserve some of the caramel for the garnish.
  • Pour this mixture into kulfi moulds and set it overnight in the freezer. To unmould, dip the moulds in warm water to loosen the kulfi.
  • Garnish with a sprinkle of sea salt and drizzle of salted caramel sauce.




7. Mojito Pops by Shaily Sanghavi 


“I came up with these three-ingredient yogurt pops during the lockdown because I needed a cold and refreshing dessert that was comparatively healthy and easy to make. Greek yogurt is easily available and if not, can be made at home. These popsicles are extremely simple and requires only seven minutes of your time,” explains Sanghavi, better known as food blogger, The Next Door Baker on Instagram. And these really are super easy-peasy!

Ingredients

:


150gm Greek yogurt
1tbsp lemon juice
Zest of half a lemon 
Few mint/basil leaves
2 tbsp honey/icing sugar

Method

:

  • In a large bowl, mix together yogurt with the flavorings using either a whisk, or a spatula. 
  • Use a popsicle mould/plastic cups/ice cube trays and pour the mixture into it. Insert an ice-cream-stick, if needed.
  • Freeze for 6 hours or overnight
  • De-mould and enjoy your guilt-free dessert!


 

8. Mango Kulfi by food blogger and Ayurveda nutrition expert Amrita Kaur 

Food influencer Amrita Kaur has always had a fun take on healthy food and homegrown flavours. Her mango kulfi recipe on Instagram had us drooling and is a must-try at home. 

Ingredients:


2 ltr milk 
2 cardamom
½ cup raw sugar
2 ripe mangoes
 

Method:

  • Bring the milk to a boil and add the crushed cardamom, stirring occasionally to get thick cream color reduced milk.
  • Add 1/2 cup raw sugar (more if you like sweeter kulfi and if your mango aren't sweet enough).
  • Once nicely reduced, remove from the flame. Add mango pulp and mix it well.
  • Freeze in any dabba or molds if you have. Enjoy!




9. Strawberries and Cream Ice Cream by chef Suvir Saran

“This is the richest, most golden and creamiest strawberries-and-cream ice cream you can imagine,” says Saran, a popular chef, writer and speaker. His recipe, though a tad complicated, is worth a shot!


Ingredients:

For the strawberry syrup:

2 pounds or 907 gm strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup or 100 gm sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons or 22 ml lemon juice

For the ice cream base:


1 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
1.5 cups or 360 ml full cream milk
1/5 cups or 360 ml heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup or 150 gm sugar

Method:

  • To make the syrup, slice 1 1/2 pounds or 680 gm of strawberries in half and quarter the remaining. Place the halved strawberries in a medium saucepan along with the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Reduce it to a jam-like consistency on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, then add the quartered strawberries. 
  • Chill it in the refrigerator for at least several hours before use.
  • Pour half-and-half of the cream into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Turn off the heat, cover the saucepan and set it aside for 30 minutes. 
  • Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. 
  • Set a medium bowl into an ice water bath and place it next to your stovetop. Return the egg mixture to the saucepan and place it over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spoon, until you can draw a clear line through the custard on the back of the spoon, about 5 minutes. Don’t allow the custard to boil; this could cause the eggs to curdle.
  • Strain the base through a medium-mesh sieve and into the chilled bowl in the ice water bath.
  • Whisk in your vanilla paste or extract for 30 seconds to cool slightly, and then cover the custard flush with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. 
  • Take it out and pour in one cup of strawberry syrup and churn it in an ice cream maker.
  • Transfer the ice cream to a container, cover, and freeze until the ice cream is firm, at least four hours or up to 3 days. Let the ice cream stand at room temperature for five to 10 minutes before scooping and serving.




10. Java Plum Popsicle by chef Kashmiri Barkakati Nath


“Summer is all about the joys of jamun stained tongues, eating mangoes and lazy afternoons,” Nath wrote on her Instagram, for the post she shared for these gorgeous looking jamun popsicles, that work as a pick-me-up and the perfect way to enjoy the seasonal fruit. Here’s what you need for it. 

Ingredients:

 


250 gm jamuns or java plums, de-seeded and chopped
½ cup thick yogurt 
4 tbsp honey 
4 frozen bananas
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp mint leaves 
1 tsp lime juice

Method:

  • Blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy, ensuring there are no lumps.
  • Pour into popsicle mould and freeze up to four hours at least. 


Images: Rachel Goenka, Suvir Saran, Kashmiri Barkakati Nath, Shaily Sanghavi, Guntas Sethi Bhasin and Shutterstock.com for banner image. 

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