Cultured Ice Cream (and how to make it without a machine)

Raspberry Ice Cream

What if you could eat ice cream every day and have it be part of a nutritous, probiotic-rich, healthy diet?

Ice cream can indeed be a great addition to your menu when you make it from home-cultured dairy products such as sour cream, crème fraîche, kefir, or yogurt.

Sour Cream

Since sour cream is simply cream that has been soured or cultured, it is a natural ingredient for ice cream. It adds a tang and depth of flavor that regular cream can’t bring to the table, like in this strawberry sour cream ice cream.

Crème Fraîche

The nuttier French version of sour cream, crème fraîche also works wonderfully in ice cream. Taste the difference in this crème fraîche vanilla ice cream. Serve it over pie, for an extra-special treat.


Kefir has such a unique flavor that you wouldn’t necessarily picture it as the base of a frozen treat. But when paired with the proper flavorings and sweeteners it makes a winning combination.

Try this vanilla kefir ice cream as a very basic recipe. Switch it up by adding chocolate chips or seasonal fruits. Or, if you really want that rich ice cream mouth-feel then strain your kefir and use the kefir cheese as the base as in this Chocolate Chip Raspberry Kefir Ice Cream.


Commercial frozen yogurt is popular but can be expensive, and may have ingredients that you’d otherwise avoid. Using homemade yogurt and natural sweeteners will guarantee that froyo is all it’s cracked up to be.

Try Honey Peach-Strawberry Frozen Yogurt for a treat that is both delicious and simple. Strawberry frozen yogurt or Peanut Butter Chocolate Greek Frozen Yogurt also makes a perfect treat for a hot summer day.

Making Ice Cream without a Machine

If you’re going to be making a lot of ice cream you may want to invest in an ice cream maker. But if you can’t bring yourself to buy another appliance, it is possible to make ice cream without a machine. The technique is simple, but it does take more hands-on time than the machine would.

  1. Pour the ice cream base into a freezer-safe shallow pan. Freeze for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from freezer and mix with a fork to break up all of the ice chunks. Fewer ice chunks means smoother ice cream.
  3. Repeat every 20 minutes until ice cream has firmed up to your liking, 2 to 4 hours. Serve.


Shannon is a mama to four small children, homesteader, freelance writer, and picture-taker. She lives with her husband on their off-grid homestead where they make and eat kefir, kombucha, sourdough, and fermented vegetables.

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