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

What if you could eat ice cream every day and have it be part of your 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. So go ahead and splurge on these delicious dairy delights!

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. Try this strawberry sour cream ice cream or this tangy lemon sour cream ice cream which also uses yogurt.

Crème Fraîche

The nuttier, more French version of sour cream, crème fraîche
also works wonderfully in ice cream. Try this crème fraîche vanilla ice cream over pie or this peaches and crème fraîche ice cream all on its own.


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 peanut butter kefir cheese ice cream.


Everyone’s heard of frozen yogurt. But most commercial frozen yogurt is loaded with sugars and preservatives. Using homemade yogurt and natural sweeteners will guarantee that froyo is all it’s cracked up to be.

Try this peach and honey frozen yogurt for or maple frozen yogurt for treats that are both delicious and simple. This strawberry maple frozen yogurt would also make 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, if you don't already have one.

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 your ice cream base into a freezer-safe shallow pan. Allow to freeze for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove and mix with a fork or sturdy utensil to break up all of the ice chunks. Fewer ice chunks = smoother ice cream.
  3. Repeat every 20 minutes until it has firmed up to your liking, 2 to 4 hours, and then serve.


Cultured Cherry Ice Cream

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