I love…love…love…ice cream. I can’t help it. I have tried to reform. I have tried to give it up. I have tried to look away. But no matter how hard I try, I love it even more.
I have started a healthy diet plan several times, only to crash it somewhere along the way because I could not resist the opportunity to enjoy some creamy delicious ice cream. Currently, I am trying to eat a healthy diet and there is no ice cream in the house, because if there was, I would be tempted to eat it.
Ice cream can be a healthy treat when made right with healthy ingredients and eaten in moderation. But, I would venture to say with confidence, that the majority of store bought ice cream and restaraunt ice cream, shamefully is not 100% healthy. I have also tried making ice cream substitutes with nutmilks, and coconut milks, or using banana as the base instead of milk, etc, and I just don’t really enjoy those like I do real ice cream.
I grew up some of my younger years with a cow, and we had fresh milk to make homemade ice cream with. My dad loved ice cream too, so we made it often. When I was sixteen, I worked in an ice cream shop. I never knew there could be so many flavors. Daily I dipped hundreds of ice cream cones, and made hundreds of milkshakes and specialty deserts with ice cream. That was a fun job! Then for many years as an adult, I have had access to fresh milk either from my own farm, or from neighboring farms, and I find ice cream to be a real comfort food and very satisfying both nutritionally and emotionally. But without fresh milk available, then ice cream from the store is not very satisfying nutritionally. I don’t gain weight on fresh milk ice cream, but I do gain weight on ice cream made from pasturized milk. So here is my big problem to overcome and why I need to avoid store bought ice cream.
But there is a healthy beverage, called Kefir, that is amazingly healthy, and it can be easily frozen and made into ice cream. Kefir is loaded with enzymes and probiotics and is one of the most nutritious beverages on earth. It has more enzymes and probiotics than yogurt, but is similar to yogurt in taste and a little thinner in texture.
Homemade Kefir has so many enzymes and probiotics, that you couldn’t name them all, but I think there is over 50. And store bought Kefir has less probiotics than homemade, because a special controlled culture is used, but it is still loaded with lots of the same nutrients too, just less of them. Whether you buy premade Kefir, or make it yourself, it is healthy and life promoting. Kefir is nutritious and delicious!
I enjoy making my own Kefir when I have access to live Kefir cultures and fresh milk. Be sure to read my post with step by step instructions on how to make it. You can continue to make Kefir over and over with the same culture (Kefir grains) for years and years if you know how. I also use homemade Kefir to make other things too like smoothies, pancakes, sourdough bread, and awesome Kefir frosting for cinnamon rolls too.
But when I don’t have access to fresh milk and live cultures, I buy my Kefir at the grocery store. It is widely available now in almost every store. Store bought Kefir usually costs in the $2 to $3 range, and some stores might charge as much as $4 for special brands for a large bottle. Even at discount stores like Walmart and Aldi Kefir can be found and they carry several flavors too.
Homemade Kefir made with fresh milk is more nutritious than store bought Kefir, but both are great options for better health, and for improving the immune and digestive systems. Homemade Kefir can be made for free, (and that needs repeating: FOR FREE), if you already have your own source of fresh milk and cultures (Kefir grains).
One really great way to get natural healthy foods into your family’s body isto offer a fun and delicious smoothie. I love to put plain Kefir into smoothies and combine it with other nutritious ingredients too. That is something I have done for many years with my homemade Kefir. I especially love to make a breakfast smoothie, and I will share that recipe in the future. I also love to make an immune boosting Weiser Powerhouse Smoothie. I will post this smoothie recipe in my next post. I usually served this once or twice a week to my family as an afternoon or evening snack, and the kids always think its a real treat.
Flavors of store bought Kefir I have enjoyed over the years include: plain, blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, mango, and vanilla. I enjoy drinking flavored store bought Kefir straight from the bottle, and my favorite flavors are raspberry and strawberry. For years I served my kids a 4oz serving of these flavored Kefir’s everyday at lunch to build up their immunity and boost the digestive colonies in their young bodies. We stopped doing this a few years ago when money was tight and I could no longer afford to buy the store bought Kefir. I still included plain homemade Kefir in our morning smoothies until my cultures died right after having our last baby about two years ago, while we were living in North Carolina. I was recovering from an emergency C section and ended up letting a lot of things go and my cultures died off from neglect.
I recently picked up a bottle of raspberry Kefir and mango Kefir for $2 each on sale at the store and was intending to drink it right away, so I set it outside on the porch to quickly chill in our frozen winter weather. I accidentally forgot about it longer than I meant to and it lightly froze. I went to pour a glass, but it was not budging from the bottle, kind of like Heinz ketchup. Then I shook it some more and squeezed it into the serving glass and it came out like soft serve ice cream.
It was lovely and looked and tasted just like ice cream. All the children wanted it. Alas, I only got a couple of bites of that first bottle of raspberry Kefir. But it was delicious!
So I have repeated the process again with the bottle of mango Kefir and didn’t invite (tell) the kids, except soon the baby found me when I was about to enjoy it … and … so … we … shared … and once again, I only got a bite or two. Little stinker! For sure, my accidental soft serve ice cream is a big hit with both the kids and myself.
The possibilities for enjoying this delicious frozen Kefir treat are endless. You could dress up the frozen treat into a Sunday by adding fresh berries, bananas, or other fruits, or nuts, or even a homemade syrup too. If you are sugar free, then go with the plain and sweeten with stevia or Truvia or fruit. Serve it to family and to your guests. It is so good for you and delicious too.
This frozen Kefir excited me so much, because I could finally enjoy something just as much as I enjoy ice cream. Now I want to share this experience with all my readers, friends, and family. You can truly have a quick, delicious, creamy ice cream treat that is good for you too. Give it a try and let me know what you think. You just might like it as much as we do!
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