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Kefir ice cream in bowls
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5 from 6 votes

Kefir Ice Cream

This Kefir Ice Cream tutorial will walk you through how to make this customizable, healthy treat using plain milk kefir as your ice cream base. No ice cream maker? No problem!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 48kcal

Ingredients

Ice Cream Base:

  • 1 cup plain kefir OR coconut milk kefir
  • 1 tablespoon honey, maple syrup, or sugar Sweeten more or less as desired
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Optional, especially if using add-ins

Add-Ins for Fruit Kefir Ice Cream:

  • 1 cup frozen or fresh berries

Add-Ins for Peanut Butter Kefir Ice Cream:

  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter powder (See recipe notes for regular peanut butter directions)
  • 1 banana (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa or cacao powder (optional)

Add-Ins for Chocolate Chip Kefir Ice Cream:

  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa or cacao powder

Instructions

Ice Cream Maker Directions:

  • Blend together plain kefir, desired add-ins, and as much sweetener as desired in a blender or food processor.  
  • Add mixture to an ice cream maker, following the directions for your ice cream maker.  Serve immediately, or store in an airtight, freezer-safe container.  Use within a week.
    Tip: If storing in the freezer, ice cream may freeze solid.  Allow ice cream to sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes until softened.

No Churn Directions:

  • Add plain kefir, desired add-ins, and as much sweetener as desired to the basin of a blender or food processor.  Blend until mixture is frothy, with lots of air bubbles.  
    Tip: Air bubbles are easiest to achieve in a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix.)  If your blender isn't creating the desired air-bubbles, try pouring the mixture into a mixing bowl after blending, and beat with an electric hand mixer on high until the mixture is bubbling and frothy.
  • Taste mixture, and add more sweetener or add-ins if desired.  The mixture should be slightly sweeter than you prefer, because it will taste a little less sweet when frozen.
  • Pour the mixture about 3" deep into a container until hardened, about 3 hours.  Stir the mixture 1-2 hours into the freezing process.  
    Container Tip: If serving immediately, an open container will be fine.  If storing, pour mixture into an airtight, sealable container.  A long, shallow container will allow the mixture to freeze more quickly (approx. 3 hours), and a deep container will take longer (approx. 6-8 hours). I generally pour my kefir mixture about 3" deep.
  • Remove kefir ice cream from the freezer.  Use an ice cream scoop to serve, and use within a week. 
    Tip: If the ice cream has frozen solid, let it sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes until softened.  Kefir frozen in a large, deep containers could take up to an hour to soften. 

Video

Notes

Recipe time is listed for the ice cream maker option.  No churn freezer times may vary depending on the size and shape of the freezer-safe container used.
Peanut Butter Kefir Directions:  Peanut butter is thick and dense, and will stop the mixture from developing the needed air bubbles.  If you want to use peanut butter for the no churn ice cream, I recommend peanut butter powder.  If you'd prefer traditional peanut butter or nut butter, stir the mixture in the freezer every half hour until frozen.  
Kefir Ice Cream Troubleshooting: 
  • My ice cream isn't sweet enough: Drizzle a little of whatever sweetener you prefer over the ice cream scoops, and/or top with sweet toppings. 
  • I want my ice cream to be richer: Try stirring in more fat by adding a little heavy cream to the mixture. 
No Churn Kefir Ice Cream Troubleshooting: 
  • My no churn ice cream falls apart when I scoop it:  To help the scoops hold together, stir the mixture (or break up with an ice cream scoop) about 15 minutes before serving.  Then, stick it back in the freezer until it's time to serve.
  • My ice cream has ice crystals: This can happen if you're using a kefir made with lowfat milk, or if you didn't get a lot of air bubbles in the no churn mixture.  Try using a full-fat kefir, mixing until it's frothy, or stir the ice cream every half hour in the freezer while it's hardening, until it's too frozen to stir.
Kefir Ice Cream Recipe Ideas:
  • Add toppings: Top your ice cream with toasted coconut flakes, fresh berries, or mini chocolate chips
  • Add a ribbon of sweetener: Only add half the sweetener to the blender, and drizzle the rest in over the mixture after it's poured into the container.  This works best with thick sweeteners like honey.
  • Add unblended mix-ins: Let the ice cream freeze for about an hour.  Then, remove it from the freezer, and stir in extras like chopped nuts, diced or small berries, or coconut chips.
Nutrition information is for a ½ cup serving of the kefir ice cream base.  Calculations for the kefir were made using the plain homemade kefir from this site.  Recipe add-ins and variations will alter the nutrition information.

Nutrition

Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 27mg | Potassium: 82mg | Sugar: 7g