If you peek into your garbage and recycling, you’d probably notice a lot of packaging from store bought food items. That’s nothing new. What may come as a surprise is how many of these items can be made at home, sparing the packaging. Many fridge and pantry basics like peanut butter, ice cream, butter, and sour cream can be made in as little as five minutes from scratch. Not only does this method reduce plastic, paper, and metal waste, but it also allows for less food waste. You will be able to control in what quantities you would like your food. There is also more room for customization and variation.
Save yourself the trip to Wegman’s the next time an undeniable craving strikes with this very simple method for making ice cream at home (writer tested and approved!). This can be a great activity to do with people of any age, is inexpensive, and incorporates less waste. Consider using organic ingredients to make this fun activity even more sustainable!
Mix sugar, milk or half & half, and flavoring in a bowl, then seal it in a quart-sized plastic bag. If you use chocolate for the flavoring, use extra.
- Take roughly two quarts of ice, crushed if possible, and place it into the gallon-sized bag with rock salt (also known as coarse salt). (Writer’s note: table salt worked just fine, just use a bit extra!) Ideally, the gallon bag will be roughly half full with the ice and salt mixture.
- Place the sealed quart-sized bag with the ingredients into the gallon-sized bag. Make sure the bags stay sealed. Do not allow the contents to mix at any time. If the bags don’t seal sufficiently, use duct tape to seal the top of both bags to ensure they don’t open during shaking.
- Gently massage and shake the bags for about fifteen to twenty minutes. In this amount of time, the contents of the quart bag should start to turn into solid ice cream. It is important that you are mixing the contents of the inner bag, but you don’t want to be so aggressive that you burst the inner bag or cut it on the ice. Double-bagging should prevent this.