Summer is finally here, and I’m celebrating with a homemade blizzard. You heard me right: a HOMEMADE BLIZZARD! Sorry, I got a little excited there. You’re not going to believe how easy this DIY Blizzard is to make, and guess what, you don’t even need an ice cream maker!
Homemade DQ-style blizzard
I love ice cream with a passion that’s usually ascribed to three-year-olds with sticky cones and sprinkles. Ice cream is probably my favorite dessert, and, let’s be honest, nothing is more nostalgic than a DQ Blizzard, eaten on the curb in the height of summer with traffic zooming by your toes. Ok, I can do without the traffic (and the curb), and I can even do without the DQ soft serve. Because guess what? If you have an ice cream tray and a food processor or Vitamix, you can whip up your own from-scratch blizzard-style treat that’s far healthier than the machine-derived stuff, but just as fun. (New video below!)
Do you want to feel like a superhero? If you whip up this DIY homemade blizzard for your family, I guarantee your kids will think you’re superwoman/man.
You’re not going to believe how easy this is. All you do is freeze whole milk (or you could use a rich nut milk) in ice cream trays. It might feel strange to freeze milk, but remember, that’s essentially the building block of all ice cream. After the milk is frozen, you dump the cubes into a Vitamix or food processor with some more milk, powdered sugar and vanilla paste (one of my secret ingredients—it’s far cheaper than fresh vanilla beans, but you still get the robust bean flavor), and then process it until smooth. THAT’S IT. No eggs, no cream, no gums or weird ingredients. It’s a light and refreshing creamy treat that’s pure heaven on a hot day. But of course, we’re not stopping there. Now for the fun part. You can add in whatever toppings you like to create a homemade blizzard-style treat. Think crumbled cookies, chopped chocolate, graham crackers, granola, or even chopped candy bars.
I discovered this technique when developing the recipes for my Make the Most of Your Blender Class on Craftsy, where I feature a Chocolate Chunk Vanilla Bean version. My kids have been obsessed with it ever since (yeah, me too). The ice cream isn’t nearly as rich or thick as machine-derived soft serve, but that’s part of its charm—it’s ultra light and cooling. You can knock back a bowl with pure pleasure, without that resulting stomachache.
I definitely suggest using whole milk here, as low fat milk will be icier. You will also have success with a rich nut milk—I prefer homemade cashew milk (you can also learn how to make that in my class!). The blizzards are meant to be eaten soon after they’re made (this isn’t an ice cream you’ll want to freeze longterm), so go ahead and dive in!
Below are some of my other favorite no-churn ice creams (you can also find more no-churn ice creams in my book, The Food Processor Family Cookbook!):
What you’ll need for this recipe:
- Vitamix or food processor: You’ll need a Vitamix or food processor to make the ice cream. I use both almost daily, not only for quick no-churn ice creams and smoothies, but also for sauces, soups, and to help with my prep work!
- Vanilla Paste: Vanilla paste is an affordable alternative to fresh vanilla beans. It’s made with fresh vanilla seeds that are bound in a syrup, offering a stronger punch of vanilla flavor than extract. It will last forever in your pantry, and you can use it in all your favorite baked goods!
- Metal bowl: A metal bowl works great for chilling the ice cream quickly. I’m in love with my enamelware bowls, which are as pretty as they are functional.
- Ice cream trays: If, like me, you have an automatic ice cube maker, you might need to invest in some inexpensive ice cube trays. These silicone trays with lids look really easy to use.
Get the recipe!
Easiest-Ever Homemade Blizzard (without an ice cream maker!)
Using just three ingredients plus your favorite toppings, you can whip up a from-scratch, blizzard-style treat that’s far healthier than the machine-derived stuff but just as fun! All you need are ice cube trays and a Vitamix or food processor. The ice cream base is made simply with milk ice cubes, sugar and vanilla, and from there you can add in your favorite blizzard toppings: think chopped chocolate, cookies, nuts, granola, candy bars…. You name it. Since there are no stabilizers in the ice cream it melts quickly, but that’s part of its charm—it’s utterly refreshing and light. I definitely suggest using whole milk, as low-fat milk will be icier. A rich nut milk, such as homemade cashew milk, is also delicious. The blizzards should be enjoyed soon after they’re made (this isn’t an ice cream you’ll want to freeze longterm), so eat up!
- 3 ½ cups whole milk, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup (2.5 ounces) powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (or more!) add-ins, such as chopped chocolate, crumbled cookies, crushed graham crackers, granola, chopped candy bars and/or chopped nuts or nut butter
- Pour 3 cups of the milk into 2 ice cube trays. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours. (Once frozen, the ice cubes can be transferred to a zip-top freezer bag and stored in the freezer for up to 2 days.)
Pour ½ cup of milk into a Vitamix or food processor. Add the vanilla paste and powdered sugar. Blend until combined.
Add the milk ice cubes. If using a Vitamix, slowly increase the speed to high while using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades; blend until smooth. If using a food processor, process, scraping the sides occasionally, until smooth. Stop and add your add-ins.
Blend again on high, stirring with the tamper (or pulse if using a food processor), until the add-ins are incorporated, about 3-5 seconds. If you can resist not devouring it right away, scrape the ice cream into a metal bowl and freeze it for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through (this will help it set up). Don’t freeze for too long, otherwise it will harden. Divide the blizzards into bowls and serve!
I’d love to hear what you’re cooking, and I’m happy to answer any questions! #FromScratchFast
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