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Easy Homemade Ice Cream Trick

Every chef has a few tricks up her sleeve apron.

One of mine is the Voluminous Oatmeal Trick.

Or the plump-up raisins trick, the melted-banana trick, and now: the “Sir Mix A Lot” ice cream trick. It might seem like making Vita-Mix ice cream is simple. Just throw a bunch of frozen fruit in the blender and go, right? But a lot of y’all have left comments lamenting the fact that your Vita-Mix ice cream attempts have turned out looking and tasting more like ice, slush, or soup. The problem? A lot of the Vita-Mix ice cream recipes I’ve seen call for a truckload of ice.

While this might make the finished product “look” like ice cream, the resulting flavor ends up tasting more like… well, ice, of course! Not exactly something to write home Ben&Jerry’s about. In general, it’s wise to be wary of any Vita-Mix ice cream recipes calling for tons of ice. There are two alternatives to making Vita-Mix ice cream that looks and tastes like the real thing (without all the “bad-for-you” ingredients). One is to use a bunch of frozen fruit, as opposed to ice.

vitamix ice cream

For all of the different flavors, click here: Vitamix Ice Cream Recipes

Vitamix ice cream Trick

  • Blend a smoothie (or you can even just mix some flavorings into milk).
  • Pour the liquid into a bowl (or an ice cube tray works really well).
  • Freeze, then remove from the bowl or tray and re-blend in the Vita-Mix (or your food processor or blender)

Two tips for any Vita-Mix ice cream:

1. Use an ice cream scoop (not a spoon) to serve, for a true “ice cream” look.
2. It helps to make at least 2 servings at once. You’ll get a creamier result.

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Above, homemade Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Valerie says:

    My favorite Vita-Mix ice cream is your “Kermit the Frog” ice cream:

    http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2008/10/22/making-popeye-proud/

    It gets my picky daughter to WANT to eat green veggies! :)

  2. Sarahishealthy says:

    I am bookmarking this post and cannot wait to try your re-blend trick! I’m thinking my favorite chocolate soymilk would make a really awesome ice cream! Thanks Katie!

  3. Good tricks! Thanks :)

    I never tried to do “Ice Cream” like that. I’m a big sucker for store bought Ice cream …

  4. Beth says:

    I don’t have a Vita Mix at all! Sad story. I’ve heard refreezing smoothies after you blend them and then eating them straight from the bowl that way can be delicious.

  5. Great tips girl! The vita-mix is the best piece of equipment in our kitchen 😉 It gets used a lot! Ice cream is perfect for this time of the year, which reminds me I need to make some soon :) xoxo

    1. Raw&Healthy says:

      Yes well I have the Vita-Mix and it is a great piece of equipment in our kitchen. Good tips for making icecream!

  6. Veggirl says:

    I don’t have a Vita-Mix, but I think this would work with a regular food processor, so I’m excited to try your tips! I especially love the ice cream scoop tip. Why didn’t I think to scoop out my “ice cream” with an ice cream scoop??? Thanks for stating something I should’ve thought of! :)

  7. Leslie says:

    My favorite “ice cream” is your all-fruit ice cream. I’ve made “banana peach” as well as “strawberry banana” and even plain “banana”. It’s so versatile!
    :)

  8. Great tips! I like the idea of using frozen fruit instead of ice. I haven’t tried using my Vita to make ice cream yet but I really want to. I do make a lot of smoothies though :)

  9. Jess says:

    Thanks for a great post!

  10. Inspired says:

    How do you manage to always come up with such cute, creative names for your recipes and tricks?!?! I thought PMS was the best, but then this one had me smiling all over again. :)

    1. Inspired,
      At first I was going to call it the “Blend again” trick, but how boring does that sound??? 😉

  11. *Andrea* says:

    love the melted banana trick!!! i usually put my banana in the microwave (too lazy for the stove) for a minute then put it in my oats to cook in the microwave… i swear it comes out carmelized or something, because it makes the oats so much sweeter! i hate bananas in the raw form (weird i know) unless smothered in nut butter or melted in oats.

  12. You do have some tricks up your sleeve! I’ve been lazy and haven’t made my own ice cream in a long time. Not even a smoothie has graced my blender in months, lol. Time to make some PB ice cream!! :)

    1. Jessica,
      You need a Magic Bullet!! It’s the blender for lazy people (like me). You don’t even need to wash the blender cup; just throw it in the dishwasher :) :). Yay laziness!

  13. ruby red says:

    While I do not have a VitaMix, I have had the very best results with the following recipe with my ice cream maker at home:

    From http://veganicecream.blogspot.com/2006/06/mint-chocolate-chip-ice-cream.html:
    Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

    2 c. Silk soy creamer [You could even use the new coconut milk creamer!!!]
    1-1/4 c. soy milk [Feel free to use a little more soy milk and a little less creamer to decrease the fat]
    3/4 c. sugar
    2 T. arrowroot [cornstarch works too]
    1 1/2 t. peppermint extract
    1/2 t. vanilla extract
    a few drops green food coloring (optional)
    3/4 c. chocolate chips
    [Ruby Red HIGHLY suggests adding chopped Newman-O’s, Joe-Joe’s, or 365 sandwich cookies to the mix in the last 5 mins of churning!!!]

    Mix ¼ cup of soy milk with the 2 tablespoons of arrowroot and set aside.

    Mix the soy creamer, remaining soy milk, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. When the mixture has just started to boil, take off the heat and immediately stir in the arrowroot slurry. This should immediately cause the liquid to thicken (not a lot, but a noticeable amount; it will be thicker when it cools).

    Stir in the peppermint extract, vanilla extract, and food coloring (if desired).

    Set the ice cream mixture aside to cool. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Add chocolate chips [AND chopped SANDWICH COOKIES!!] during the last 5 minutes of freezing.

    1. Ruby Red,
      How did you know that mint chocolate chip was my FAVORITE ice cream flavor growing up? I have not found a good vegan commercial brand of the flavor, so I’m taking down your recipe. Thanks you so much! :)

  14. Looks so yummy! I’ve yet to be courageous enough to try and make my own vegan ice cream yet! This looks do-able though!

  15. I really want a magic bullet, Katie! I’ve had one on my Amazon wishlist for a looong time but my family doesn’t know how to take a hint. Maybe I should buy myself a gift, hehehe!!

    RubyRed, I want you to make that ice cream for me (with Joe Joe’s, of course!) Yum :)

    1. Jessica,
      Definitely buy yourself the gift!! If you have a BBBeyond near you, you can download a 20%-off coupon, and the thing is only like $50 to begin with. It’ll be the best money you’ve ever spent. I like mine even more than the Vita! (Uh oh, don’t telll Mr. Vita!)

  16. Stefanie says:

    I need a Vita-Mix now but they are too expensive. Your tips and tricks are great. I have used a couple and they make breakfast taste better. Have a great day. :)

  17. Meg says:

    I’d link to all of YOUR recipes, but I’m sure people know where to find them 😉

    I want a Vitamix SO BAD! Happy Thursday Katie :)

  18. Heather says:

    Hey Katie and fellow CCK fans:) check out my post on my blog a few days ago for 3 yummy vegan ice cream trix;) of course they use the vita-mix ….. Plus 2 great creamy shakes are on there this week too:) yay to summer treats!!

    http://millieskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/06/i-scream-you-scream-for-yummy-vegan-ice.html

  19. Mandiee says:

    Love the vegan ice cream trick! However, I don’t have a vita-mix. Major sad face. Either way, it’s totally appropriate because I’m planning on making strawberry blueberry softserve oats in just a few minutes. Yumm!

    Have a lovely day!
    xox

  20. Aw, how I wish I had a Vita-mix! :-(

  21. Danielle says:

    The only ice cream I’ve made in the vita was HEAB’s protein ice cream & it was good!! Another good trick to getting it thick are GUMS (xanthan & guar to be specific). Of course, you don’t have to go out & buy those but if you happen to have them lying around, they really help!

  22. I love making peach sorbet in my Vita-Mix. It’s the first thing I made with that baby and it’s delicious! Just frozen peaches, a little sweetener of choice and a little nondairy milk. Yum!

  23. Sharon says:

    i love blending up some frozen bananas in a regular ‘ol blender or food processor and it creates an awesome ‘mockscream’ (mock ice cream).
    i want a VitaMix but those puppies run up to$400!

    examples of my ‘mockscream’:

    http://healthyjewishprincess.wordpress.com/2010/06/10/lurkerville/

    http://healthyjewishprincess.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/matzah-oy/

  24. Caroline says:

    Hey Katie,

    First, thanks for your suggestions on the raw cheesecake the other day (I emailed you). My parents are paranoid about my breaking the food processor and I think they didn’t let me blend the cashews enough, or idk..but I have found that you can get a great result using cashew butter (and it’s faster).

    Second, as summer approaches, I am really looking forward to creating your vegan ice creams, especially since I don’t have an ice cream maker….however, I don’t have a Vita Mix, either…so will your recipes work in the plain old food processor??

    1. Caroline,
      You are so welcome!! And thank YOU for suggesting cashew butter. That might come in handy for me in the future, because I don’t always have cashews on hand (or sometimes I don’t think about wanting to make cheesecake far enough in advance to soak the cashews overnight). So I’ll definitely keep your trick in mind :).
      As for the ice cream question: YES! You might have to add a little extra liquid (as I wrote in my instructions in the Chocolate-Covered Berry ice cream post), but it should work fine!

  25. Sarah says:

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me, since I just bought a Vita-Mix! I’m making Vita-Mix ice cream today!

    Vita-Mix ice cream!!! Vita-Mix ice cream!!! Chants :)

  26. Marianne says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever made homemade ice cream, due to lack of the proper equipment. But I imagine I would experiment with coconut milk until I was sick of it…if that’s even possible. LOL.

  27. Wow! Now I really want ice cream LOL
    I didn’t know you could make ice cream without an ice cream maker!

  28. lola says:

    sadly i don’t have a vitamix but all your ice cream looks delicious!

  29. Katie says:

    mmm…I do this with coffee ice cubes sometimes. It’s delish! Thanks for your tips!

  30. Erika says:

    Hi Katie – or other Vita users out there — can you use the VitaMix as a food processor too? Or is it mostly smoothies and soups and well, ice cream. Can it juice too?

  31. Ahhhh I wish I had a Vita-Mix!!!!!

  32. Erika,
    I’m pretty sure it can do everything a food processor does. But honestly, I’ve not chopped/diced/juiced with it. I’ve only made ice cream, smoothies, and soups.
    So I’ll pose the question in my post tomorrow for you :).

  33. loveelisa says:

    this looks sooooo good! and the chocolate strawberry ice cream? OMG!
    :)

  34. Stephanie says:

    Oh how I desire a VitaMix. My Magic Bullet just doesn’t get the job done!

  35. Thanks for the tips! That ice cream looks amazing.

  36. This is a great tip, and timely for me. I recently purchased a Blendtec and of course have not been able to stop trying to make “ice cream” for dessert every night (despite the fact that I do actually own an ice cream maker), so I throw in some ingredients plus lots of ice, and out of like 4 attempts, I only got it really nice and creamy one time. Even when I blend til the non-dairy cows come home, I still often end up with ice chunks, so I sometimes wonder if my technique and/or ingredient ratios are off, but the first problem is likely too much ice. Your trick would definitely help make it more like real ice cream though (as opposed to soft-serve). I dunno, I have the rest of my blender’s life to play with the instant ice cream formula, I guess…unless I drive it to an early death in the process. :)

  37. Erika says:

    Thanks sooo much Katie!! :) Would love to hear from any other VitaMixers out there!

  38. CONCORD GRAPE SORBET – This is my favorite! It has only two ingredients, and you can make it in a blender if you freeze the grapes first. http://ateenagegourmet.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/concord-grape-sorbet/

  39. Anonymous says:

    Do you have a facebook page? I would love to learn more about you!

  40. Anonymous,
    I just made one, a few weeks ago, for my blogging friends:
    Look up Chocolate-Covered Katie and you should find me :).

  41. Brandie says:

    OMG. I wish I’d read this post before!! I’m just catching up – checked out today’s post and referred to here… I LOVE making ice cream in my Vita, but YEAH it’s SO icy!! Ack! Ooohhh..,,,,, I will try these!! :) Thanks darlin, yet another fantastic idea from CCK *giggle*

  42. Anita says:

    Katie you are a genius. I bot at Whole Foods some frozen greens mix: kale, collards, it’s all minced up. I sneak it in their smoothies in the AM. I’m aspiring to the Vita Mix for years. Only have the magic bullet so far.

  43. carin says:

    hi katie,

    i got a vitamix for my bday saturday (will arrive this week) and am wondering what speed setting you use to blend your ice creams? thanks!

    1. Aww happy birthday! I start out on low, then move the dial up slowly, and after about 10 seconds, I move it to maximum for a few seconds, squishing the tamper down as I blend :).

  44. kaz says:

    hi does anybody have a good recipe for green tea ice cream using the vita-mix?
    By the way what a cool site
    thanks
    K

    1. Aw thanks!
      Maybe use the trick in this post to make your own? So make up some green tea (with water), then freeze it. Later add sweetener and nondairy milk or even coconut milk, and blend!

    2. MJ says:

      i love green tea,coconut and redbean ice creams i just got a vitamix the day before i left for vacation and just got back last nite. i was dreaming of different icecreams to make as i had made a strawberry banana sorbet the nite before i left.

      i would think for making the green tea ice cream you would need to use the macha green tea powder it can be pricey but is very concentrated and will give you the flavor you are looking for…as cck said mix the powder w water and freeze in ice cube trays then throw in the blender with your prefered sweetner and some coconut milk. Good luck..i am going to try this myself as soon as i get some more macha powder…my mouth is watering…lol

  45. Gail says:

    I’ve had much success with one-ingredient vitamix ice creams. My most recent success was making the most wonderful mango sorbet with frozen mango I had cut up. The texture was perfect and the flavor was out of this world.

  46. Melanie says:

    Great ideas! I made ice cream tonight for my kids, and my landlord’s son who doesn’t eat a whole lot of fruit (in my opinion). I put frozen whole strawberries and 2 bananas into the blender with a tbsp. of cocoa powder. DELICIOUS chocolate ice cream all the kids loved… it was so rich and creamy! No sloppy mess from ice, and no extra liquids floating around because I didn’t use any! LOVE LOVE LOVE the vitamix.

    1. Yay! That makes me SO happy! I love when I can find a recipe to feed people who don’t usually get enough fruits/veggies and they actually like it!

  47. vicki says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m a blendtec user (I’ve never used a Vita-mix), but I don’t want to wait for my ice cream. I like instant gratification! Maybe you should contact Blendtec and get them to send you a blender so you can compare and constrast! I’m able to slice a fully frozen banana w/a very sharp knife (everyone needs at least one very good knife). I can then blend that up w/out any liquid at all and have a very thick banana ice cream base. I can add cacao or even another frozen fruit, again it’s ready immediately. Kind of addicted to two banana’s and cup or more of frozen raspberries… I no longer need to add sweetener. If I add liquid it’s just a matter of having more frozen banana to make up for it (I have a bag of frozen banana’s on hand at all times)… and then eating it faster than it melts :) Yummy!

  48. Billy Bob says:

    You are hot and I would like to cover you in chocolate.

  49. Pamela says:

    Big disappointment with vitamix. Taking it back tomorrow. My $80 blender works better. $600 for it is a joke.