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Jul 2, 2008 12:48 PM

Low Sugar Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I have parents who have reached that "age" where they have started to admitt that they can't have certain foods, yet they still want what they want and expect me the foodie to figure out how to do it. I have been pulling my hair out looking for two recipes for vanilla bean ice cream that 1. uses a natural sweetner substitute, 2. an second recipe the uses the same natural sweetner substitute, and no eggs. Help me please!!! Also are there any recipes for mac and cheese that contain cheese substitutes that don't taste like rubber, and actually melt.

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  1. Mark Bittman published an eggless ice cream thickened with cornstarch:

    You should be able to sub in either agave syrup or a sugar substitute easily. There are also plenty of eggless ice cream recipes out there - not every good ice cream must contain eggs!

    As for mac n cheese, I'm not sure I'd want to try it with a cheese substitute. Is reduced fat cheese out of the question? I've seen tofu cheese at Trader Joe's before. At least if you don't like it, they'll take it back!

    1. For your natural sweetener substitute, i'd use stevia - they sell it in powder form at TJ's and Whole Foods.. I'll see if I can find my recipe that used it (I just moved and have everything in boxes...)

      1. Unlike a lot of people here I have no problem with using Splenda. I make our ice cream using a traditional recipe but I sub out the sugar with Splenda at about 1/2 -3/4 of the amount the recipe calls for (I think Splenda tastes sweeter than sugar so I use less). Sugar in custard and pudding recipes is only there for sweetening purposes unlike recipes where you need the sugar to, for example, caramelize. Or you could still use sugar but cut back the amount. Put in half what the recipe calls for and taste it, add a bit more if you think it needs to be sweeter. Our family has actually come to prefer things less sweet, lets the other flavors come through.
        You should be able to find egg substitute in the dairy dept. of your local grocer. I haven't worked with the egg substitutes (sugar problems, not cholesteral problems here) so I don't know if they have the thickening properties that real eggs do but you could give it a try.

        2 Replies
        1. re: morwen

          morwen, have a great vanilla ice cream recipe using ALL-NATURAL ingredients, let me know if interested.


          1. re: rfr

            I am interested and would love to see it. Unfortunately if it contains Stevia I just can't use it (family member has a reaction to Stevia).

        2. Sugar serves another purpose in ice cream/sorbet/gelato other than sweetening. It lowers the freezing temperature so that it doesn't get rock hard and stays creamy.
          Substituting stevia, Sweet and Low, etc. aren't going to do that. You don't save any calories with things like agave syrup/nectar and you add different flavors which might overwhelm the traditional vanilla flavor and be unacceptable to your parents.
          Splenda might work since it performs much like sugar. It basically is altered sugar.

          You might try sorbet which doesn't use eggs but again it depends on sugar to keep from freezing rock hard. Frozen yogurt is a possibilty.
          Semifreddos are great but calorie-laden.
          There are many gelato recipes that don't include eggs or that can be made successfully using only egg whites.

          The most difficult problem you have to solve is finding a way to keep your product from freezing too hard. That's just basic science.

          As awful as it sounds, Kraft Blue Box uses powdered cheese for a reason. It's the cheese solids without the milk. The same stuff that's added to cheese popcorn and other cheese-flavored snacks. I used to buy it for popcorn topping for my kids at a restaurant supply house.

          4 Replies
          1. re: MakingSense

            Hmmm...interesting about sugar lowering the freezing temperature... We've been using Splenda in recipes with our (canister) ice cream maker. All the recipes call for cooling the mixture before putting it in. When we've tried that, the mixture freezes to the canister right away and doesn't mix very well. So, we've been putting our mixture in the canister warm, which enables some air to be spun in and works fine. Maybe we're doing something else wrong and it's not the Splenda after all, but I'm guessing it is the Splenda.


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              I haven't noticed that the mix freezes any faster or slower than one with sugar but that may be because I'm too impatient and as soon as the mix is near room temp, I pour it in the canister and start it churning. I wonder if wiping the inside of the canister with a hint of oil would make a difference?

              1. re: morwen

                Hmmm...yes, that could be worth a try, but reminds me to mention that we've also reduced the fat in a lot of our recipes, so, maybe it's more likely to stick to the canister?


              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                The problem is that Splenda sweetens but it does not bind the water molecules. See my post below--try cornstarch and vodka. Sounds weird, but it works.

            2. As another poster notes, the chemical role of sugar in ice cream is to bind water molecules so they won't freeze. So, you need substitutes that provide sweetening AND absorb the water molecules. One option: use Whey-lo, a sugar substitute that uses Whey (from milk). Be sure to use the Whey-lo product for ice cream, or leave the mixture in fridge overnight or it will be grainy. Another option is to include cornstarch (to bind the water) or alcohol (lowers the freezing point, so it won't be so hard).