Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Apr 2, 2009 09:25 AM

Low sugar or sugar-free homemade ice cream/sorbet or gelato recipes needed please?

Just discovered I will be receiving a new ice cream maker (Cusinart) for Mother's Day. Looking for low sugar or sugar free recipes for ice cream, sorbet or gelato. Believe this model makes 1.5 - 2 quarts of product. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Are you looking for artificially sweetened recipes or ones without sweetener at all, thus maybe more savory? There are savory ice creams in David Lebovitz' Perfect Scoop, but I cannot remember whether they were absolutely sugar free, sorry. Might be worth a look. I made a frozen yogurt recipe of his without sugar--the one based on greek style yogurt. It was delicious, but without sugar, it does freeze hard as a rock, so is best eaten the day it's made. He also had a recipe in the LA Times for a tart fro yo made with very little sugar and lots of lemon juice, looked really tasty, but haven't made that one yet.

    1 Reply
    1. re: amyzan

      Looking for sweet, low carb, diabetic - friendly recipes. Wondering how to use Splenda or stevia in place of sugar in sweet recipes. Thanks Amy!

    2. Anybody?

      Can you just replace the sugar with Splenda? I'm thinking the sugar would keep crystals small, so would there be something to add in order to keep it from getting too hard after ripening and keep it smooth?

      3 Replies
      1. re: butland

        I have made ice cream with Splenda once. We were having a family with a diabetic child over for dinner, so I made it with Splenda so that everyone could have dessert. It tasted fine, but changed the texture. As I recall (it's been a few years) the texture was rather crumbly. In my case, the family was very appreciative that I had made it that way, but I haven't chosen to do it again for myself. I also don't recall, but think it was a fresh base rather than a custard base. A custard base might help give it more creaminess. Do you need it to be sugar free? If I were trying again, I might try a mix of sugar and splenda to see if that gave a better texture. As for myself, I eat ice cream infrequently enough that I don't make any effort to cut down on sugar or fat in it.

        1. re: butland

          I made a wonderful Peach Ice Cream using Splenda for Baking. While not totally sugar free, it cuts the sugar in half. I also used less than called for because the Fresh Peaches that I found were very sweet themselves. Another alternative might be Agave Nectar since it touts a low glycemic index (30 to 35) and significant calorie savings and the health advantages from the inulin-infused agave nectar are unmatched by any sugar or sugar replacement. I haven't tried to alter my recipe for Agave nectar yet since I just found some this weekend. However If I manage a good one this week I will post it. My husband is also diabetic.

          1. re: OkieAnnie

            Agave nectar is a really bad idea for a diabetic or low carber, though. Elevates triglycerides, since it's fructose, which may cause worsening insulin resistance. I don't use Splenda because of the maltodextrin; the sucralose drops are zero carb/calorie.

        2. There is a company making sugar free ice cream with maltitol syrup. It's called Clemmy's. I can't buy it in this part of the country, and probably wouldn't want to as I don't seem to tolerate maltitol well. I'm thinking that if one was to try making artificially sweetened ice cream at home, some kind of thickener would be required in addition to the sugar alcohol or artificial sweetener. Most commercial products have various ingredients to alter the "mouth feel" in the absence of sugar and/or corn syrup.

          1. From my knowledge of ice creams and sorbets (admittedly limited) sugar is a necessary part of what makes them come together. I know, for example, that cooks (mostly of the molecular sort) looking to make a savory sorbet found they had to use maltodextrin, a type of sugar that is not very sweet, because they found that while they did not want sweetness, their ice creams would not form properly if they omitted sugar entirely. I don't know how maltodextrin scores on the glycemic index, but I doubt it is very diabetic-friendly. As far as I know, splenda and other sugar substitutes would not behave enough like sugar to make an ice cream or sorbet work.

            You could make a granita or popsicles with sugar substitute, but you wouldn't need an ice cream maker for that.

            It is possible that amyzan is onto something and the right thickeners could produce a similar effect to ice cream or sorbet without any sugar. But I don't know any way offhand.

            1. I like to make this banana "ice cream" - it's basically pureed frozen banana, but if you do it when the fruit is dead ripe, it really does have a creamy texture. There's the sugar of the fruit in it, obviously, but no added sugar. Here's a "recipe":

              1 Reply
              1. re: junquegrrl

                Bananas are quite high in carbs. :( You're just being mean to the diabetics with your delicious banana ice cream stories! ;)