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National Ice Cream Month 2015: How to make ice cream at home

What is considered a sweet treat on a summer afternoon or a side to birthday cake was once declared a health food. 

July is National Ice Cream Month, so ordered by former President Ronald Reagan in 1984, according to Time. When he made the announcement, he even said the dairy dessert was “nutritious and wholesome.” 

Not saying there’s anything wrong with eating your favorite flavor straight out of the carton during a Netflix marathon, but ice cream is actually pretty easy to make at home. Special machines and mixer attachments make ice cream production at home a little easier, but you can make it without them, too. 

Without an ice cream maker: 

From Taste of Home 

Combine all ingredients for the ice cream and chill over an ice bath. Freeze an empty, freezer-safe shallow bowl. Place the chilled mixture in the cold bowl. 

Let chill for about 20 minutes. As it starts to freeze, stir until creamy and then stick it back in the freezer. 

Stir every 30 minutes until the ice cream is set. Beat and serve. 

If you have an ice cream maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. In the spirit of summer, pick some fresh mint off of the plant if you have one or head to a nearby food stand or farmers market to get some leaves to throw into a deliciously cool mint chip mixture. 

Homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream 

From Real Simple 


  • 2 cups loosely packed mint leaves 
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons whole milk 
  • 1 ¼ cups heavy cream 
  • ⅔ cup sugar 
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese at room temperature 
  • Kosher salt 
  • 3.5-ounce chocolate bar 


  1. Wash and drain mint leaves, then bruise the leaves to release oil. 
  2. Combine 2 cups whole milk, cream and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium/high, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to boil, then remove from heat. 
  3. Add mint leaves to warm milk and let steep for 25 minutes. Strain out leaves. 
  4. In a small glass, combine the remaining whole milk and cornstarch. Stir well and then stir into the mint mixture. Return saucepan to heat and bring to boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. 
  5. Stir together cream cheese and a pinch of salt in large bowl. Add hot milk and whisk until combined. Cover and chill until cool. 
  6. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and let chill. 
  7. When all ingredients are chilled, add to ice cream maker or use method above. 

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream to enjoy after a hot day? 

Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron

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