Ice cream has always been popular, and whether you buy your own yogurt machine, source out the best Taylor shake machine, or are a little confused about the difference between gelato and ice cream, read on to learn some cool facts about frozen treats and how to make them at home.
- Just how popular is ice cream, really? Ice cream has been popular ever since it was first invented, but soft serve ice cream really became popular in the 1970s and 80s, though at first it was a bit of a health nightmare because it contained raw eggs (don’t worry; no eggs in soft serve now!). Today, seven out of 10 ice cream eaters will choose a soft serve over a hard ice cream when given the choice. And when astronauts for NASA report the things the foods they miss most while in space, ice cream always makes the top of the list, along with pizza and sodas.
- Ok, what’s the difference between frozen yogurt, ice cream, gelato, custard, and even hard and soft ice creams? Frozen yogurt is typically the lowest in fat and is made with yogurt. The good news is it contains some live probiotics. The bad news is it’s typically far higher in sugar than any of the other frozen dessert choices. Whenever you remove fat from a treat like this you have to add sugar to make it more palatable. Ice cream, by law, must have at least 10% milkfat. If an ice cream is labeled soft serve, though, it can have less fat (3% to 6%). Gelato is ice cream that has less air incorporated into it, which means it feels denser. Frozen custard has to include at least 1.4% egg yolk solids in the final product.
- Wait. I thought you said egg yolks were taken out! Is frozen custard unsafe? It all depends on how you clean your machine. Your ice cream machine or yogurt machine can be used to make all kinds of sweet treats, but bacteria can lurk anywhere. When you’re dealing with eggs, bacteria is always more of an issue; but a clean machine is essential no matter what type of frozen dessert you want to make. The good news is that if you make a simple custard on the stove, heating the eggs slowly to a safe temperature, then cool it and put it into your yogurt machine or soft serve ice cream machine, it will be perfectly safe as long as the machine is clean.
- Is making my own frozen dessert hard? Not at all! In fact, in the last few years retail sales of frozen yogurt and non-dairy ice creams have dropped, at least in part because it’s so simple to make these at home. All you need for a really healthy treat is a quart of plain, full-fat Greek yogurt (remember: the low-fat versions contain a lot more sugar and need added sugar to taste good), two thirds a cup of sugar, and just a pinch of salt. Mix these and then add to your yogurt maker and churn according to the directions. Flavor it with orange or lemon zest, or add ginger or mint. Mix in fruits of any kind, nuts, or anything else you’d choose at the frozen yogurt stand.
Making your own frozen yogurt is simple with the right yogurt machine, and if you feel more adventurous you can make custards, ice creams, and gelatos, too. Look for a frozen yogurt machine for sale and see how you can save money while not giving up on your love of frozen desserts.