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Nothing screams summer food more than ice cream! After returning from Italy, where I got addicted to gelato and ate it twice a day for two weeks, I must have gone into some sort of withdrawal period! Gelato and ice cream are the essence of summer life. For those of us who want some of the luscious, velvety frozen goodness and don't want to fork over a couple hundred bucks for an ice cream machine, you can still make a plethora of ice cream, gelato, and sorbet flavors straight from your kitchen!

Step 1: Gelato/ice Cream Base- Scoopable Ice Cream

For scoopable, creamy ice cream instead of a brick of ice, you'll need a lot of sugar, fat, and air, which all keep ice crystals from forming. These recipes use a ton of these ingredients to create a no-churn base that literally makes itself! Even so, each base only uses a few ingredients, and unlike some other recipes, there's no need for a mixer or blender. Just whisk the ingredients together, freeze, and eat! It's like magic!

Gelato base- for more dense, creamy scoops

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1 cup evaporated milk

1 1/2 cups of full fat sour cream

Ice cream base- for light, fluffy scoops

1 (14 oz) can of sweetened condensed milk

1 (16 oz) container of Cool Whip

Step 2: For Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Mint Chip, and Cookies and Cream

Now that you know the base, the possibilities are endless!

For vanilla: add a scraped vanilla bean, a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste, or a teaspoon of vanilla extract

For chocolate chip: add 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips

For mint chip: add 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips, 1/2 a teaspoon peppermint extract, two drops of green food coloring (optional)

For cookies and cream: Add a few crushed oreo cookies

Step 3: For Chocolate, Caramel, Peanut Butter, Nutella, Marshmallow Creme, and Cookie Butter Ice Cream

For all of these flavors: Put the evaporated and sweetened condensed milk on the stove over low heat, and whisk in the flavor(s) of your choice until dissolved. Cool to room temperature, then whisk together other base ingredients and freeze.

Step 4: Cookie Dough, Cheesecake, and Cupcake Batter Ice Cream!

These sinfully decadent dessert ice creams take a little more work, but they are totally worth it!!

For cupcake batter and red velvet ice cream: Whisk the evaporated and sweetened condensed milk together, then add some boxed mix. Feel free to add sprinkles! Once thoroughly combined, fold into the rest of the base ingredients and freeze.

For cookie dough: Mix together in a bowl 1/2 a cup of flour, 3 tablespoons of melted butter, 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 3 tablespoons of chocolate chips, and a 1/4 cup of milk. Then, swirl the mixture into the base and freeze.

For cheesecake: Beat together 1/2 a cup of cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Add chunks of the cheesecake mixture into the ice cream base with crushed graham cracker crumbs.

Step 5: Blended Ice Creams

Blended ice creams rely on frozen fruit as the base ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt. This makes them a lot better for your health (and your conscience). And, if you're fine with a soft-serve consistency, there's no extra freezing required! Tips for making blended ice creams:

- Be sure to use either a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix) or a food processor so you don't end up with any broken blenders.

- Frozen fruit is at its best slightly thawed before blended.

- With a Vitamix, start low then gradually go up to variable 10, then 'high.'

- Don't overblend! Stop when the mixture is no longer chunky but a smooth, thick mound and the sound of the motor changes.

Step 6: Super-easy Strawberry (or Any Other Fruit!!) Ice Cream

This ice cream is super quick, easy, and versatile. You can make everything from banana snickers ice cream, to raspberry chocolate ice cream, to mango basil ice cream... The possibilities are endless! I'm just doing a basic strawberry ice cream with a bit of vanilla extract.

Ingredients:

10-ounce bag of frozen strawberries (or any other frozen fruit)

2/3 cup of sugar (to taste; I prefer sweeter ice cream so I added a bit more.)

2/3 cup of heavy cream

Flavorings of your choice (extracts, fresh herbs, zests, syrups, candies etc.)

Blend all of the ingredients together in a high-powered blender (Vitamix) or a food processor. Blend until smooth and a soft-serve consistency. Make sure not to overblend! Then, eat immediately. If you would prefer scoops and have a lot of patience, (unlike me...) freeze until the ice cream is scoopable. The ice cream can be kept frozen for a week or two.

Step 7: Frozen Yogurt

For perfect blended fro yo, all you need is frozen fruit and yogurt. Blend together a 10 oz package of frozen fruit (I'm using peaches) with two small cartons of full-fat greek yogurt. Add any additional flavorings and blend until a fro yo consistency. Again, don't overmix, and freeze.

Step 8: Basic Sorbet

Using just frozen fruit, water, and sugar, you can make an simple but awesome sorbet that is smooth, fruity and actually healthy. Although you can use any fruit, this peach-raspberry recipe is my all-time favorite.

Peach-Raspberry sorbet

Blend together 1 (10 ounce) bag of raspberries, 1/2 a cup of frozen peaches, 1/3 cup of water, and 1/3 cup of sugar. Pulse until chopped, then continuously blend until it becomes smooth, like soft serve ice cream. I would really recommend freezing it and scooping it later, but if you don't have the patience, just eat it!!

Step 9: Basic Sherbet

Sherbet is made just like sorbet, but with milk instead of water and a bit of added vanilla. The result is more creamy like ice cream.

Berry sherbet

Mix 1/2 a bag of both frozen strawberries and raspberries with a 3/4 cup of milk, a 1/3 cup of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Pulse to chop, then blend until it reaches a soft-serve consistency. Again, I would freeze until scoopable.

Step 10: Ultimate Mango Sorbet

Ok, this is probably my favorite frozen dessert out of all of these, but it does take the longest and takes the most ingredients. The results are totally worth it, though!

Mango Sorbet

2 ripe whole mangos, peeled and chopped (You can use pre-frozen mango chunks and skip the first step, but the results are not nearly as good)

1/2 a cup of coconut cream (you can use sweetened cream of coconut, but reduce the maple syrup to 2 Tbsp)

1/2 a cup of pineapple juice (I'm just getting it from a can of pineapple rings, save the rings for pineapple upside down cake)

2 tablespoons of lime juice (preferably freshly-squeezed)

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

Pinch of salt

Freeze the mangoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Then, blend until the consistency of fro yo and freeze until scoopable.

Step 11: Enjoy!

Now eat 'till your heart's content!

I hope you learned a lot from this instructable- you'll never buy ice cream again! If you like it, please give it your vote in the Summer Food and Drink contest, and I look forward to seeing your own frozen concoctions in the comment section.

My sources were Allrecipes, Real Simple, Ladyandpups, Somethingswanky, Vitamix, and Good Eats

<p>Wow! So many variations!</p>
<p>You've got some skills, there!</p>
Awsm
<p>Wow! You really did your homework here! And have successfully made me crave some gelato! Can't wait to try some chocolate gelato with this...</p>
This is so complete! And explained wonderfully! Thank you so much!

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Bio: I am a fourteen-year-old foodie and diy-er who always prefers to make than buy. I love cooking, crafting, and eating.
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