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This recipe for Keto Vanilla Ice Cream makes a creamy, low-carb version of the classic frozen dessert we all love. I’ve worked hard to develop the best ice cream recipe for an ice cream maker out there. Because it’s low-carb, this ice cream can be a part of a keto, Atkins, gluten-free, sugar free or Banting diet.
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The Recipe for Keto Vanilla Ice Cream
You’ll find that recipe for keto vanilla ice cream tastes even better than most sugared up versions! This is due to the flavor complexity that sets it apart from other recipes. In addition, the consistency is nice and creamy One warning, though, just one taste of this ice cream will ruin any affinity you have for the purchased sugar-free ice cream out there.
This recipe requires an ice cream maker. While no churn ice creams have their place, I really think that the very best homemade ice cream comes out of an ice cream freezer. Why? Check out the section below on what makes ice cream creamy.
If you don’t have an ice cream freezer, you can still make ice cream. You will just need a no-churn recipe such as this keto strawberry ice cream recipe.
Better yet, if you’re an ice cream lover, you might want to consider getting an ice cream maker. I have this one from Cuisinart and use it frequently. It’s one of the best appliance investments I’ve ever made. I keep the bowl in my freezer so that it’s ready whenever I get the urge to make a batch.
The inspiration for this homemade vanilla ice cream
This recipe actually came from a failed chocolate ice cream recipe. I was working on making a low carb version of chocolate ice cream that was inspired by a recipe in Faye Levy’s Chocolate Sensations cookbook. Actually, I was inspired by two of her recipes and was attempting to cross them together.
One thing I was trying to achieve was a chocolate ice cream recipe that didn’t become a brick after sitting in the in the freezer. In fact, I had new ice defying weapon, glycerin, sitting on my counter and I was ready to use it.
Unfortunately, I overshot with the amount of glycerin and couldn’t get the ice cream to freeze at all. The ice cream maker just stirred it for 45 minutes. Yep, it was just ice cream soup. Finally, I gave up and just put it in a bowl and put it in the freezer.
While a great chocolate ice cream recipe is still on my list of things to do, I decided to switch to vanilla to avoid wasting all of that chocolate while I worked out the kinks of the basic recipe. The result was so good that I couldn’t help sharing this recipe with you.
What makes ice cream creamy?
To have creamy ice cream, first we need some type of fat. In this recipe, I use a combination of heavy whipping cream and egg yolks.
The egg yolks not only add richness, but also add lecithin. Lecithin acts as an emulsifier, allowing the fat to combine with the other liquids in the recipe, adding to the creaminess.
Heating the egg yolks changes the protein and helps make the ice cream even creamier. It’s just important to not allow them to clump.
Another factor that adds to the creaminess of the ice cream is air bubbles. The smaller the bubbles, the creamier the ice cream.
Air also makes the ice cream softer, so it doesn’t get as hard in the freezer. One thing that makes manufactured ice cream softer than homemade is that the industrial machine’s ability to whip lots of air into the ice cream.
Home ice cream makers also whip air into the ice cream, just not as much. You can tell how much air your machine whips into your ice cream by comparing the level of the pre-frozen ice cream with the level after freezing.
Churning not only adds air to the ice cream, but also keeps the size of the ice crystals small. Small crystals make the ice cream creamier. This is one reason why churned ice cream is creamier than no-churn ice cream.
The addition of stabilizers such as gelatin, xanthan gum, and guar gum also helps keep the size of the ice crystals small by thickening the mixture.
Freezing point depression
Alcohol and the type of sugar used in ice cream has an effect on how solid ice cream freezes. When dissolved in a liquid, they make the liquid freeze at a colder temperature and allows ice cream to stay softer at regular freezer temperatures. If you use too much, it will prevent the ice cream from freezing well.
Glycerin is an alcohol and helps keep the ice cream soft. It has a low glycemic index and typically doesn’t elevate blood sugar, but can in some people. If you’re sensitive to glycerin, you may leave it out. However, if you leave it out the ice cream will be much harder after freezing.
This recipe only uses a small amount of vegetable glycerin, but even a 1/2 teaspoonful makes a great deal of difference in the consistency of the ice cream and adds only 2 grams carbs to the entire recipe (or .3 grams carbs per serving).
What to serve with ice cream
This keto vanilla ice cream makes the ultimate dessert topper. It’s perfect on top of our brownies, blueberry cobbler, apple pastries, or strawberry rhubarb crisp.
This ice cream complements fruit perfectly. I love it with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.
I also like to serve this low-carb vanilla ice cream with toppings, such as our Low-Carb Caramel Sauce, or our Low-Carb Hot Fudge Sauce. Add a few nuts or crumble on some of these keto cookies from Two Sleevers if you want a bit of crunch.
My favorite way to eat this ice cream, however, is by itself. This allows you to enjoy the wonderful nuances of flavor in the creamy goodness. Enjoy!