Ninja Creami: The Perfect Ice Cream Maker for Homemade Treats

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Perhaps you’ve seen Ninja’s ice cream machine making the rounds on TikTok. That would track considering we’re barreling head-on into ice cream season, and the Creami happens to be about as easy as ice cream making gets. It’s also a total slay for making healthier versions of your favorite ice cream flavors.

I have high standards when it comes to ice cream, but I also don’t love paying $8 for a pint of Häagen-Dazs, and so I figured I’d try my hand at making the sweet stuff myself. While the upfront cost of an at-home ice cream maker – the Creami will run you about $180 – is certainly a factor, making ice cream yourself from simple and relatively inexpensive ingredients like cream, milk, sugar and eggs will likely save you money over time. Ninja’s Creami countertop ice cream maker is one of the best I’ve tried so far.

The Ninja Creami: Easy Operation and Delicious Results

Using this ice cream maker was simple and there’s no setup required. Along with the machine itself, there are three plastic pint-sized tubs. In each tub, you create whatever sort of frozen treat you want including sorbets (typically just fruit, sweetener and water), gelato and ice cream, which can be full-fat, low-fat or dairy-free. You can also make smoothies and milkshakes with this machine, but so can my blender. I wasn’t as interested in those.

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There is an accompanying recipe book of about 30 creations and more can be found online. The recipes have as few as one ingredient such as a one-ingredient sorbet that requires just canned fruit (already swimming in sugar) as well as more complicated recipes that have seven or eight. Most ice creams and gelatos have about four or five ingredients, while the sorbets have just two or three.

After you’ve whisked up a recipe in a large bowl – it generally takes no more than a few minutes – you must freeze your pint-sized tubs of ice cream mix for 20 to 24 hours. I froze one of my creations for a smidge less than that and it came out fine, but Ninja recommends 24 hours, so I mostly stuck with that.

Once fully frozen, you pop the frozen pint of mix into an outer bowl, screw the paddle lid on top and load it up into the machine. Finally, you’ll select the preset for the type of dessert you’re making, and in less than three minutes you have a pint of freshly churned ice cream, sorbet or gelato.

Taste Test: The Results Speak for Themselves

Because the Ninja unit comes with three bowls, I decided to make three different types of frozen dessert: a full-fat chocolate ice cream, a nondairy vanilla ice cream with granola mix-in, and a lemon sorbet.

The lemon sorbet was first up and proved an easy recipe. I squeezed half a cup of fresh lemon juice and whisked it with a little less than half a cup of sugar (the recipe called for half of a cup but I always like things less sweet), one tablespoon of agave syrup, and one cup of warm water. After a full-day freeze, I loaded the plastic pint container into the machine and smashed the sorbet button, and it whirred for just over 2 minutes. The resulting lemon sorbet was excellent – perfectly smooth with no ice shards. Since I used slightly less sugar than the recipe called for, it was more tart than sweet, a sorbet tailor-made for my taste buds.

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Next was the full-fat chocolate ice cream. This recipe called for some gently melted cream cheese, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and whole milk. I also snuck in a tiny dash of amaretto-flavored instant coffee for fun. After the obligatory whisk and 24-hour freeze, I put the Ninja Creami machine to work on its ice cream setting. In 2 minutes, I had some rich and expensive-tasting chocolate ice cream with a pleasant hint of amaretto. It was honestly as good as anything I’ve had from a pricey brand and the entire pint didn’t cost me more than a couple of bucks in total.

Finally, I wanted to try a “healthier dessert” and so whipped up a light and low-sugar, nondairy vanilla ice cream with granola mix-in. I did some freelancing on this one, using a coconut and almond milk creamer as the base with my personal favorite zero-calorie sweetener (monk fruit and allulose), along with some good vanilla extract. After the initial mix, I pulled the container and added some chopped-up Munk Pack keto salted caramel granola bars.

After the first mix, it’s recommended to pull the bowl and add your mix-ins before employing a special second spin setting to quickly remix the batch with whatever you’ve added. The Ninja mixed the granola bits evenly into the ice cream. This was the recipe I was most impressed by, since I took several liberties with the ingredient list and even some of the proportions. It still came out well-mixed and tasted as good as any nondairy frozen dessert I’ve had, with no pesky ice bits to be found.

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A Smart Solution for Ice Cream Lovers

The Ninja Creami isn’t cheap but I found it easy to use, compact and, most importantly, it churned out some delicious frozen desserts that tasted about as good as anything else I’ve had or bought. If you are a habitual ice cream eater and tend to rack up Ben & Jerry’s tabs like gamblers rack up debt, this could be a good way to lower those monthly costs and have a lot of fun experimenting with recipes.

Is it a little bit annoying to have to plan your ice cream a day in advance? Yeah, kind of, so you’ll have to decide if you have that kind of forethought and patience. Otherwise, it might not get the amount of use commensurate with the cost or end up collecting dust in the cupboard or basement.

That said, the Ninja is also a solid option for people like me who try to layer in some lower-sugar ice cream every once in a while but who are tired of getting, well, burned by freezer-burned batches. There are cheaper ice cream maker options out there that’ll get the job done, but one smart design innovation by Ninja allows you to make multiple types of ice cream at once, just as long as you remember to mix and freeze them ahead of time.

So, if you’re ready to dive into the world of homemade ice cream and enjoy the freedom to customize your flavors and ingredients, the Ninja Creami is the perfect companion. Check out Ice Cream for more information and start making your own sweet creations today.

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