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How to Make Ice Cream with Snow

Updated on June 6, 2014

When we think of Ice Cream we think of that brain numbing goodness in a bucket often associated with spoonfuls and hot summer days. But, why wait for summer? Especially when mother nature does half the work for us! Now you can enjoy a home made treat with just a few staple ingredients common to even the most rudimentary of kitchens.

Fresh White Snow
Fresh White Snow

I'm not going to weigh in on the debate of whether or not ingesting snow is safe. Surely there are a lot of ecological points that must be taken into account. You will have to decide that for yourself.

With that said make sure the source is as pure as possible. Freshly fallen snow is best! Make sure that it is pure white. I would not collect shallow snow that is less than a few inches deep. Never collect the first snow of the year. The first snow can contain more contamination than those following. If you live in a pollution heavy region, eating snow may not be the best idea.

There's really no wrong way to make Ice Cream using snow as long as you incorporate a few key ingredients. Snow! (duh), Milk and a sweetener like sugar.

Think of the grand kid’s faces when they learn that Grandma can turn snow into ice cream!

Better yet, think of it from an eco-friendly perspective. We're making use of a natural resource here folks and global-warming not withstanding, renewable. It doesn’t take any electricity to make either! Yes, that battery powered mixer you're hiding behind your back counts as electricity! (I'll forgive you anyway)


Sugar, Milk, Vanilla Extract & Whisk
Sugar, Milk, Vanilla Extract & Whisk

TIP: Did you know you can place a bowl outside before it snows to ensure it doesn’t touch the ground? Have fun digging it out!

Home Made Snow Ice Cream Recipe

Unless you make it outside (I do) set the bowl in the freezer so the snow doesn’t melt before you're ready for it. I found that mixing the Milk, Vanilla & Sugar together first makes it easier to add to the snow. Then, just mix it into the bowl of snow and enjoy!

1 Gallon
Fresh Snow
1 1/2 cups
1 Cup
2 Tsp.
Vanilla Extract

Blenders work best but outside I use a whisk. Just make sure you don't wind up with a malt instead! Not that it's a bad thing. Hmm, Snow Malts!

TIP: You can also forgo the milk & sugar in place of sweetened condensed milk!

Chocolate Snow Ice Cream

No way can we forget the Chocolate Ice Cream lovers out there. You know who you are! Well don't fret, I haven't forgotten you. All you have to do with any of these recipes is use chocolate milk instead! I'd tone down the sugar to half unless you have a sweet tooth.

1 Gallon
Fresh Snow
1 1/2 Cups
Chocolate Milk
1/2 Cup

TIP: Low fat Chocolate Milk works well too.

Diabetic Snow Ice Cream Recipe

But what about those of us with glucose levels on the brain? How about Diabetic Snow Ice Cream? Be sure to check the conversion ratio on the back of whatever artificial sweetener you're using. This recipe assumes a 1:1 ratio. Or you can always use half/half of sugar and the artificial stuff if you're feeling especially cheeky!

1 Gallon
Fresh Snow
1 1/2 Cups
1 Cup
Artifical Sweetener (Splinda)
2 Tsp.
Vanilla Extract

TIP: I often use Sugar in the Raw in place of artificial sweeteners in many recipes. I haven't tried it with Ice Cream so tell me how it turns out!

That was simple. Let's get inventive now!

Chocolate and Vanilla are more than fine and dandy but what about other flavours? Time to douse our pallets into a dose of the sublime!

Strawberry Snow Ice Cream Recipe

There, I said it. We're on the next level now. Hold on to your spatulas! How does it feel looking out onto all the vanilla lovers with a sly and mischievous smile that can't begin to portray the culinary goodie goodness that awaits? Behold one of nature's greatest accomplishments, The Strawberry!

You have a choice to make now. The easy way or the slightly less advantageous way.

Easy way:

Simply substitute milk for strawberry flavoured milk. Cut sugar to half.

Quick, Simple & probably preferable if you're in a pinch for time. IE: Kids

TIP: Who says you have to be limited to just strawberries? Just about any flavoured milk will do. Go crazy!

Now for those of you still with me, lets get down and dirty! You guessed it, whole strawberries. Here's what you'll need.

1 Gallon
Fresh Snow
1 Cup
Sliced Strawberries. (Eighty-Six the green tops)
1/2 Cup
1 Cup
  1. First, lets make the syrup. Better put the snow in the freezer till we're done.
  2. Boil the strawberries & sugar over the stove in about a cup or so of water. It takes about 15 minutes to extract most of their gooey nectar.
  3. Once it's boiled off some and thickened pour it into a bowl using a strainer.
  4. Let it chill completely before continuing or slushy be in your future! hmm... Snow Slushies!
  5. Once Chilled, add a few teaspoons to the cup of milk. (2,3,4,5 whatever your sweet tooth yearns!)
  6. Mix the Sweetened Strawberry milk into the snow.
  7. Enjoy!

Home Made Snow Ice Cream with Chocolate Syrup on top
Home Made Snow Ice Cream with Chocolate Syrup on top


I don't typically store Ice Cream made of snow simply because of possible unknown components to the snow. Namely, possible contaminates. So, Exercise your own prerogative here. Besides, It's so good there is never any left over for storage!


Well, that was interesting and hopefully a tad entertaining. Don't stop here, come up with your own recipes. This is just one way we can make better use of what mother nature gives us.


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