Kefir Ice Cream is easy to make homemade and doesn't require an ice cream machine! All you need are the ingredients, a bread pan and a mixer.
I love making homemade ice cream! It's shockingly easy to make, takes little time and tastes delish! The texture is fluffy like your favorite ice cream brand too.
This recipe is a simple vanilla kefir ice cream base with a little lemon zest and fresh strawberries to brighten it up!
How to Macerate Strawberries
The key to fruit flavored desserts is using the real fruit.....you feel the same? I always find it sad when I take a bite of a strawberry flavored ice cream and get a mouth of artificial strawberry flavor.
You just can't beat fresh, ripe fruit!
To help enhance the strawberry's natural sweetness, I macerate them before adding them to the ice cream.
Ever macerated fruit before?
If not, you're in luck for a tutorial! It's easy peasy too! All you need to do is chop up the strawberries, add the sugar and let them sit for 30 minutes.
Great question! Macerating fruit helps enhance the fruit's natural sweetness and the sugar draws out the moisture aka the water in the strawberries, which creates a delicious syrup.
Plus, it also softens the strawberries since a lot of the water is pulled from the strawberries, so the texture of the strawberries is better for a smooth ice cream!
Dice the strawberries into small pieces or you could even put them in a blender after macerating them to make the strawberries smoother if you prefer that texture.
After making this recipe, I would recommend dicing them smaller than what's in the pictures above. The more surface area available to the sugar, the more water that can be drawn out.
How to Make Homemade No-Churn Ice Cream
Here's the simple steps needed to make the recipe:
- Beat the heavy cream until you get fluffy whipped cream....right before it starts to get to stiff peaks.
- Mix together the kefir, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, zest and salt.
- Gently fold the two together.
- Then slowly fold in the macerated strawberries.
- Slowly pour the mixture into the bread pan. If you pour the mixture to fast the weight of the strawberries may fall to the bottom of the pan.
- Cover the pan well and freeze for 6 hours or until frozen.
Enjoy in a bowl or in a cone or right outta the pan!
I love to top it with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. If you love simple ice creams with a hint of fruit and creamy vanilla flavor - this is it!
Vanilla, strawberries and lemon zest are a flavor combo that needs to be made more if you ask me!
To get even more vanilla flavor, you could add the beans from a 1 vanilla bean in place of the vanilla extract.
I've done this before when making homemade vanilla bean ice cream and it tastes aaaamazing!
Recipe Tips and FAQs
I used plain kefir for this. However, you could use strawberry flavored kefir for a stronger strawberry flavor or heck use any flavored kefir you want to change it up! I used store bought kefir for the sake of time, but you could also make it from scratch and use it.
If you're using a metal mixing bowl and whisk, chill them ahead of time! Place the bowl and whisk in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or in the freezer for half the time. The cold temperature will speed up the process and create a light, fluffy texture.
Healthy is pretty subjective if you ask me! It's got probiotics from the kefir (bacteria that supports our gut health) and it's a bit lower in sugar and saturated fat than traditional ice cream but it's still high in sugar overall and saturated fat. If you're looking for a healthy ice cream alternative, try Greek yogurt desserts. Enjoy this recipe because you like the kefir addition and flavor - not because it's "healthier."
It's not as sweet as other ice creams, and it has a yogurt based flavor. I love traditional ice cream but I also love variety in flavor, so if you're looking for something to change up your usual ice cream dessert, give this a go!
More Fruity Desserts
Mango Popsicles: This post shows you 3 different flavor variations: Zesty Mango, Creamy Tropical Mango or Ginger Mango Spice. They're full of flavor and oh so refreshing for those hot summer days!
Raspberry Lemon Loaf Cake: This is the perfect dessert for a brunch, bridal shower, or just because you need a little sweet treat in the morning! It's got a white chocolate icing, and it's topped with lemon zest for a sweet yet citrusy treat!
Vanilla Kefir Ice Cream with Strawberries (No-Churn)
- 1.5 cups finely diced strawberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups kefir
- 14 ounce sweetened condensed milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- zest of one lemon
- Mix the strawberries and sugar together. Set aside for 30 minutes to macerate. The more finely diced the strawberries, the more surface area for the sugar to do its work of drawing out the water.
- Whip the heavy whipping cream for 3 minutes or just until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the kefir, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, salt and zest.
- Fold the sweetened kefir mixture into the whipped heavy cream.
- Fold in the macerated strawberries and gently scoop the mixture into a 9x5 bread pan. Cover tightly with foil or saran wrap.
- Freeze for 6hours or until frozen.
- To help the heavy cream whip up even faster, use a metal bowl and freeze it before whipping the heavy cream.
- If you prefer your strawberries not so chunky, blend them up in a blender before adding them to the liquid ice cream.
- Slowly scoop the ice cream liquid into the bread pan. Pouring too fast may cause the strawberries to sink to the bottom.
- Since freezers range in temperature, you may need more or less time for the ice cream to completely freeze.
(Nutrition values are calculated by third-party software and an estimate that can vary based on product brands and cooking methods.)