Ice Cream Science

Ice Cream Science (4)

Although this is pretty much a repeat of homemade ice cream that Travis shook up back in March, we had no qualms doing it again on a 95 degree day! The recipe was a fun addition to Travis’s Edible Elements kit from Raddish Kids.

For variation, we decided to make two different flavors this time, turn the project into a blind taste test, too! We poured 1/2 cup non-dairy creamer and 1 tablespoon sugar into each of two small zip-top bags. Then we added 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract to one and 1/4 teaspoon mint extract to the second.

Ice Cream Science (1)

We placed both these small bags in a gallon-sized zip-top bag filled with 4 cups ice and 1/2 cup coarse salt. Seal and shake!

Ice Cream Science (2)

Travis took a few shakes, but then he passed it my way for some mama muscle.

Ice Cream Science (3)

Get ready, because you may need to shake for as long as 10 minutes. Luckily, by the five-minute mark, our liquid creamer had turned into ice cream. (Note: we used oat milk creamer, and we’re curious to hear if other plant-based milks take less time or more, so please share in the comments!).

During all that shaking, we talked about the science behind what was happening; because salt lowers water’s freezing point, it makes the ice melt. As the ice melts, it absorbs heat from the cream. The cream, conversely, becomes colder. And here’s the important bit: because it’s churned, not just resting still on the ice, tiny ice crystal form. These give you smooth ice cream instead of a big chunk of ice.

All that aside, now it was time for the taste test! I spooned a scoop of each flavor into Travis’s bowl, and he proudly deduced which was which.

Ice Cream Science (5)

If your child prefers, you can add other toppings, too, like sprinkles, crumbled cookies, or candy. However you flavor it, this project is sure to beat the heat.

Ice Cream Science (6)

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