Frugal Homemade Lemon Almond Ice "Cream"

Ah… a chilly bowl of homemade ice cream- the epitome of summer…

A few weeks ago, we had friends over for a spontaneous ice cream & board game night. They provided the homemade ice cream, and I supplied the toppings (homemade caramel and hot fudge sauces, jams, nuts, coconut, and home-canned peaches).

But what to do when there’s no sugar or cream in the house (especially with this pregnant mama’s cravings on a hot summer evening!)?

We found a frugal solution, that happens to be deliciously healthy!

Based on this gourmet Ice Milk recipe, here is what we came up with. We used raw whole milk, so it was still creamy enough to pass for ice cream; just a bit lighter than the usual cream-filled affair. (We skim much of the cream off the milk to use in making butter, so we didn’t have any left to use for making ice cream.)

The light lemon flavor and slight nutty crunch were delightfully satisfying on a hot summer evening date night at home. We made half the recipe for just the two of us. (The freezer is full of meals for when the baby is born, so there’s no room for a container of ice cream! We *had* to eat large servings to finish it off!)

Lemon Almond Ice “Cream”
1 quart Whole Milk (preferably raw)
2/3 cup Honey (preferably raw)
1/3 cup finely diced toasted Almonds*
1/2 tsp. Lemon Extract (I use an organic alcohol-free version)

Simmer milk and honey over medium-low heat, until honey dissolves; about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the ground almonds and the lemon extract. Transfer the almond milk to an ice cream maker (let cool first, if necessary) and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions on your ice cream maker.

*I soak almonds overnight, and then roast them in the oven until dry, for the nutritional benefits. I ground them up in a small food chopper until they were almost a coarse “almond meal” texture.

Flavor Variation: Instead of the lemon extract, try a mint flavoring! (You can also add chocolate instead of almonds, if desired.)

For more Frugal Friday ideas visit Life As Mom.

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