My kids are ready to celebrate! I’ve found some freebies and low-cost deals for those of you looking for some sweet deals (see what I did there??) and some of our family recipes if you are in the mood to cook.
I mentioned in the Weekly Meal Plan post yesterday that it’s going to be a hot one this week. Ugh.
That means lots of time swimming and lots of time at the YMCA enjoying their AC and doing fun activities- Big Kid just did the fitness orientation and he is excited to start exercising. Mostly he wants to take boxing classes with me on Saturdays.
All that activity requires good, healthy fuel, and I do not want to fire up the stove or oven when it’s over 90 outside.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes to serve when it’s hot outside!
Protein Shake Recipes! Big Kid has really taken to protein shakes in the morning, since he’s a vegetarian and doesn’t really do eggs either (It’s a texture thing). The trainer that did the orientation really drove home that he needs to fuel his body with protein on mornings when he works out- which I really appreciated because for some reason, he’ll listen when someone else tells him the EXACT THING his dad and I have been telling him. C’MON KID!!
As you can tell there are a lot of dessert recipes. Because, really, who doesn’t like dessert?
We love Ice Cream! But, it can be expensive, a carton that’s not a half gallon can run upwards of $5.00 around these parts. Most cartons of ice cream are 1.5 to 1.75 quarts, that’s a decrease from 2 quarts or a half gallon just 10 years ago. Same price (or more) and less product. No thanks.
And honestly, there are a lot of weird ingredients in store bought ice cream. Food stabilizers, thickeners (like seaweed), and artificial flavors/colors. No thanks!
After meeting with a nutritionist recently regarding my big kids food issues stemming from sensory issues related to ASD, she recommended more full fat dairy products to help make sure he was getting enough fats in his diet. A kid can only drink so much milk, so I decided to make some ice cream from scratch.
I borrowed my parents Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, which you can buy on Amazon, or probably at your local Bed Bath and Beyond. It makes 2 quarts at a time. It comes with a great cook book full of all kinds of great recipes and ideas.
After looking through that cook book, as well as looking through several of my own, and a quick internet search, I came up with several ideas on how to concoct some tasty ice cream. I asked the kids for flavor suggestions. Two choices were the big winners:
Peanut butter ice cream with chocolate chips- I opted to use PB Fit instead of blending peanut butter into the milk/cream/sugar mixture- so it would have a better texture. I was also worried that the extra fat from the peanut butter would mess with the fat ratio and inhibit the hardening of the mixture.
Chocolate Malt- I used the basic recipe below, but added 1/4 c malt powder. I buy a huge container of malt powder on Amazon every quarter, but you can get smaller sized containers at Walmart or in the grocery store.
Making Ice Cream is easy. If you’ve got an ice cream maker, you just mix up your ingredients, pour into the drum of the maker, put the lid on, flip the switch and 15-20 minutes, you’ll have a pretty soft ice cream. Scoop it into an airtight container with a lid (like Tupperware), and freeze it for about 2 hours. Then it’ll be hard enough to eat.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, don’t fret, you can use two coffee cans (cleaned out of course), some ice, salt, and duct tape and make it at home- This is the method we used when I was a kid. You can read all about it here along with a true and funny story about making ice cream with kids. This is also a fun thing to do while camping- You can pre-mix the ingredients and take it in your cooler.
Here is the basic recipe I use. Please note that the ingredients used are chosen specifically for their fat content so the ice cream will be creamy. If you alter the ingredients at all, the ice cream will be gritty, grainy, or have ice crystals in it.
Ice Cream Base (makes about 1.5 quarts)
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream- DO NOT USE half and half, fat free half and half or non-dairy creamer).
1 cup whole milk- You have to use whole milk or you’ll get ice crystals
3/4 c sweetener (I used white sugar, you can also use brown sugar, or 1 for 1 Splenda)
1 T Vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Prepare Ice Cream maker as machine instruction call for, or set up your Coffee Can ice cream maker.
Place all ingredients into chilled mixing bowl, and mix with hand mixer until all ingredients are well blended,
Pour into cream cream maker.
Turn on ice cream maker, or start rolling your coffee cans!
If you want to make my PB Fit ice cream, add 3/4 c PB Fit and 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips in step two.
Chocolate Malt ice cream is the base recipe with 3/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 c malt powder, and an additional 1/2 c brown sugar.
Now onto the economics: Is making your own ice cream cheaper? Usually, yes. We used flavorings that we already have on hand, and I recommend that you do the same- You know what flavors you like, and you probably already have some flavorings on hand.
32 oz. Whipping cream- $4.99
1 qt. Whole Milk .99
That’s enough cream to make 2 2-quart batches of ice cream.
You can watch a video of the ice cream maker going here, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram too! I post all kinds of fun stuff there!
Disclaimer: I have linked to items on Amazon. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. Monies earned through commissions are used to offset the costs associated with running the blog (and the occasional cup of coffee).
Talk Back: What is your favorite flavor of Ice Cream? Have you ever made Ice Cream at home before?
It’s really hard to lose weight and eat well, especially when there are restaurants like Sonic Drive-In. They have these yummy, thick rich shakes and blasts (which is soft serve ice cream with cookies or candy mixed in and topped with whipped cream), but good lord, do they have tons of calories.
This recipe is a Swap. We swap out stuff with crazy high calories for lower calories ingredients to make a yummy, less calorically dense treat. For reference, a MINI Reese’s Cup Sonic Blast is 580 calories and is about 8 ounces (oh, yeah, they come in four other, progressively larger sizes!). The HMR recipe is 380 calories, and the Swap version is between 380-420 calories depending on which brand of light ice cream you use. Oh, and the recipe makes about 20 ounces! Hooray for more volume and less calories!
I’ve included two versions: One with HMR ingredients (you can substitute your favorite brand of vanilla protein powder and PB Protein Bar), and one using ingredients from the grocer.
Peanut Butter Cup Shake
Makes 1 large shake (or I guess you could split it and share, but trust me, you won’t want to!)
1 packet Vanilla HMR Shake (or scoop if you use the 120 version)