Deep in vanilla flavor and rich in nutrients, this raw milk ice cream is a refreshing and a flavorful dessert. Made within minutes and naturally sweetened, this easy ice cream recipe is perfect for scooping into a bowl or paired alongside your favorite pie or fruit crisp.
As a homesteader my family and I are always looking for new skills. New ways to be more self sufficient. New ways to opt out of the system. And of course, discover more nutrient dense food that brings health and healing to our bodies. On the list of goals, we can check off growing vegetables along with food preservation. We know how to raise egg layers and broiler chickens, so check those items off too. Our beef is sourced from a local farmer and we use a mill to grind our own flour. Despite being blessed with these resources and abilities, what we needed but couldn’t find was a source for raw milk.
For many years we purchased our milk from a local dairy farmer that low-heat, vat-pasteurized the milk. It was the next best thing to raw milk! Nonetheless, we wanted better.
Where could we find raw milk?
In Ohio, you cannot purchase a jug of raw milk from a nearby grocer. Rather you have to join a herdshare program in order to buy raw milk. We searched high and low for many months, hoping to find a connection to a dairy farm.
No one seems to have a dairy cow anymore.
Sourcing raw milk wasn’t an easy task. After quite some time, a friend from the city contacted me with a name of the farm she uses to purchase raw dairy from. Turns out the place was in my neck of the woods, just over a 30-minute drive from our small country town. Following a short drive and some paperwork my husband and I, along with my parents and brother’s family, are now able to drink real, fresh milk.
And may I say, it is amazing.
We are now making raw milk kefir, yogurt and an assortment of other dairy products. Our favorite, most delicious way to use the real dairy is to make raw milk ice cream. It’s so simple and quick to make. Not to mention all of the nutrients we are getting — can ice cream be considered healthy? I do declare, yes, I believe it can quite nourishing if you’re using raw milk and cream. So go ahead, eat a few bowls of this “health food”. It’ll be the first guilt-free bowl of ice cream you’ve ever had.
What is Special About Raw Milk?
You may be wondering what is the difference between raw milk and pasteurized milk? Simply put, there is nothing “special” or magical about raw milk. Not a single ingredient has been added to make it more delicious or more nutritious, rather it is milk in its purest, most natural form. Raw milk, or should I say real milk, has not been heated, homogenized or processed, unlike the denatured pasteurized milk many people purchase in grocery stores today.
Due to the absence of processing, raw dairy contains numerous bioavailable vitamins, minerals and enzymes. The enzymes that help the body to digest lactose are still in tact which makes it easier for all to consume, including many who struggle to eat dairy products. Raw milk is also packed full of probiotics to help support a healthy gut and the dairy still contains healthy fats and proteins. It is truly a superfood.
Can Raw Milk Be Frozen?
Yes! Raw milk can be frozen without much effect on nutrients which makes it a great addition to homemade ice cream and popsicles. Sometimes raw milk can be hard to source or families have to travel a great distance to purchase raw dairy. To save time and money, you can buy the milk in bulk and freeze to preserve and use at a later date. If the texture isn’t to your liking or the cream and milk have separated after being thawed, simply give the milk jug a good shake or toss it into a blender for a moment.
What to Do With Raw Milk
Raw milk is a magnificent food that can be used in more ways than just drinking. In most cases it can be utilized just like you would use pasteurized milk. You can bake with it and cook with it but if you’d prefer to keep your milk raw, with all of the beneficial nutrients intact, here are a few ways to use raw milk and raw cream:
- Make sour cream
- Transform into homemade cream cheese
- Churn raw cream into butter
- Make milk kefir
- Create raw milk yogurt
- Turn into clabbered milk
- Make mozzarella cheese
- Add into smoothies and milkshakes
What is Philadelphia Style Ice Cream?
Did you know that there are two primary methods to make homemade ice cream? French and Philadelphia. But exactly what is the difference between French and Philadelphia ice cream? French-style ice cream is custard based using egg yolks. Philadelphia-style is made with lots of heavy whipping cream, a little whole milk and no eggs. The benefit of making Philadelphia or American-style ice cream is that it is quicker and tastes a little less rich.
For this raw milk ice cream recipe, I chose to use the Philadelphia-style for two reasons. The first being that it is easier to make because you don’t have to heat up the milk (which allows all of the nutrition in the raw dairy to remain intact). The second reason is because this style requires no eggs. Although eggs make a great addition to ice cream, many are leery of consuming raw eggs or do not have a reliable source for farm fresh eggs.
Tips For Making Homemade Ice Cream
- The key to success when making homemade ice cream with raw milk is making sure your ingredients are very cold! If they are too warm, the ice cream will not set up properly when you go to churn it in your ice cream maker.
- Do not over-blend your ice cream. Again, this can warm the ingredients too much before pouring them into the ice cream maker.
- Always use whole milk. Low fat or 2% milk does not create a smooth texture, nor does it taste as delicious as a full fat version. Don’t worry about calories; enjoy yourself a bowl of ice cream!
- A liquid sweetener was chosen for this raw milk ice cream recipe to create a smooth texture. Adding a granulated sugar will make the ice cream gritty. Natural, liquid sweeteners also help to prevent the ice cream from getting too hard in the freezer. Agave nectar is our favorite to use but honey or even maple syrup can be used, although maple would greatly change the ice cream flavor.
- This vanilla ice cream recipe can be transformed into other ice cream flavors by simply adding in a few additional ingredients. For example, add cocoa into the blender to make chocolate ice cream. Within the last few minutes of churning, add in chocolate chips, chopped cookie bits, nuts, toffee pieces and more. Or top the finished vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup, fruit or sprinkles.
Tools to Make Homemade Ice Cream
How to Make Raw Milk Ice Cream
Extra creamy, soft and delicious, this simple recipe for raw milk ice cream couldn’t get any better! With just 5 ingredients, and naturally sweetened with agave nectar or honey, this flavorful ice cream can be churned up within a matter of moments.
Makes: About 1 quart
2 cups cold raw heavy cream
1 cup cold raw milk
1/2 cup agave or honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
In a blender combine cream, milk, agave, salt and vanilla. Blend until combined, about 30-40 seconds.
Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions, approximately 22-25 minutes. Place ice cream into freezer and freeze until firm. Scoop into bowls or cones and enjoy!
More Recipe Ideas
- 2 cups cold raw heavy cream
- 1 cup cold raw milk
- 1/2 cup agave or honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a blender combine cream, milk, agave, salt and vanilla. Blend until combined, about 30-40 seconds.
- Pour mixture into ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions, approximately 22-25 minutes. Place ice cream into freezer and freeze until firm. Scoop into bowls or cones and enjoy!