Kiarra's Finds: Cuisipro Donvier Ice Cream Maker
My daughter Kiarra has dietary restrictions due to food intolerances. She cannot tolerate wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugars, and any artificial preservatives or additives in her food. Approximately three years ago, our family changed our diet to accommodate her needs. We have learned to be creative when it comes to food, and most especially treats and snacks! Just because Kiarra cannot eat what most people are able to tolerate, it does not mean treats are completely off-limits. Over the years, both Kiarra and I tried various recipes, discovered several snacks in the market she can enjoy, and ultimately found healthier alternatives to the common snacks and treats out there. For readers interested in healthy treats and sweets, we started Kiarra's Finds of Healthy Treats and Sweets so that Kiarra can share her discoveries with you! If you know of any recipes out there worth mentioning or snacks/treats we can try out, be sure to send Cat an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice cream!!!...well, at least, Kiarra's brother Seamus does. That is why he insisted on helping out with this particular review. In terms of ice creams sold in stores, there are not many options out there for Kiarra. I cannot count the number of times a particular ice cream brand states 'All Natural' in the front and the ingredients state otherwise. Kiarra cannot tolerate dairy or soy so she is limited to ice cream made out of coconut milk or sherbet which only makes our hunt for ice cream she can have even harder.
Her food restrictions, however, does not mean she can never enjoy ice cream. For folks like her who have dietary restrictions or are just plain concerned about what they put in their bodies, homemade ice cream is where it's at. No, not the alleged home-made ice creams you can buy at the store or some ice cream shop, I mean actual ice cream you make yourself using an ice cream maker. There are several in the market, some better than others, all ranging in price. Now you are probably asking yourself at this point if grabbing an ice cream maker is a necessity. Well, do you find you often buy ice cream when you are grocery shopping or out and about? Are you starting to become concerned about the ice cream you or your kids are eating and want the option of making it yourself? Do you or your kids have dietary restrictions and want the option of making your own ice cream easily? I am guessing you answered yes to at least 2 of these questions since you are after all reading this review. And if it is a resounding yes, I would say an ice cream maker, provided it's the right one for you, would be an excellent investment. Kiarra is here to help you choose. She is on a quest to find the perfect ice cream maker!
There are manual ice cream makers and there are ones you just plug in and away they go. Kiarra's first review involved a manual maker - the Cuisipro Donvier Ice Cream Maker. Unlike some ice cream makers, Cuisipro does not require electricity (manual remember?), salt or ice. As with most makers, there is some preparation involved. It comes with a 1 quart cylinder that needs freezing overnight.
In terms of finding an ice cream recipe to try, I had to find an easy one that both Kiarra and Seamus could handle. Since they both insisted on turning the handle on the maker themselves, I knew there had to be some room for error. I envisioned some fighting over whose turn was next and possibly some delays with the churning the first time we use the maker. In the end, my initial suspicions were founded. An overly complicated ice cream recipe which required more preparation would not have been a good idea.
For this particular review, we ended up making Frozen Paleo's recipe Cherry Vanilla Sorbet. It was simple to make. There was no cooking or heating involved. It did not require chilling the mixture overnight. It was just a matter of mixing all of the ingredients together, popping them into the maker, and voila!
So, what are our thoughts on the maker???
The Waiting Game
The kids had fun churning the ice cream and taking turns. Cuisipro suggests waiting between 2-3 minutes (closer to 1-2 minutes for sherbets like the ice cream recipe we made) before churning the ice cream again 3-4 times clockwise. I thought at first this would be a problem since these kids don't have a whole lot of patience and asking them to wait a few minutes before each turn at churning could lead to some difficulties. Instead, the kids found it fun to run back each time the 2 minutes was almost up to start churning again. They turned it into a game of sorts. They got their exercise while running back and forth to churn the ice cream, and was awarded with a delicious treat in the end...and to think I didn't have to do much if any of the work - win, win all around. In all honesty, it didn't really take that much work at all even for the ones doing the labour.
Enough Ice Cream for A Family of Five (1 Quart)
1 Quart is enough to feed our family of five. It would be handy, however, to be able to make a double batch to freeze and eat for later, or the following day. Because the cylinder has to be frozen overnight again before starting up a second batch, it just wasn't possible to make more the same day. All in all, however, we had our fill of ice cream.
Easy to Clean
The ice cream maker is incredibly easy to clean. The cylinder does have to be washed by hand so you just have to wait until it is no longer cold, rinse it off, wash with some warm soapy water, dry it off really well, and then you are all ready to freeze it again for the next batch. I am not certain if the rest of the components are dishwasher safe. It doesn't state so in the instruction manual. Nevertheless, the rest of the components are easy to wash just like the cylinder so I do just that. I find the life cycle of certain kitchen utensils last longer when washed by hand as opposed to the hot and at times searing dishwasher.
Frozen Paleo's Cherry Vanilla Sorbet
The recipe turned out delicious and incredibly tasty. The kids couldn't wait to freeze it for a few more hours after it had its turn in the maker (recommended by the author and Cuisipro for harder ice cream) so we ended up having it as soft ice cream. The kids had no complaints. Kiarra, of course, couldn't resist and sprinkled chocolate chips (Camino's chocolate chips) all over hers. I wish I took a better photo of the ice cream but it was dark since we made the ice cream right before bed, plus trying to get a photo before the kids and husband snatched it up was a challenge.
The kids loved making ice cream using the Cuisipro Donvier Ice Cream Maker all on their own. I appreciated how the cylinder base was very easy to clean, as well as all of the accompanying attachments. Hey, what would be the point of being able to conveniently make ice cream easily at home if you have to spend an extraneous amount of time cleaning the maker? I've had kitchen equipment that have been difficult to clean and I know how discouraging that can be so I was glad the Cuisipro Donvier Ice Cream Maker only required a few minutes of washing at the most.
The maker itself is quiet unlike some electrical ones in the market (some makers can get quite noisy). In terms of price, the Cuisipro Donvier Ice Cream Maker is certainly not the cheapest but I can guarantee it works. We have purchased cheaper makers in the past which barely froze the ice cream. I cannot count the amount of times I ended up with slush despite trying different recipes and different techniques. Some makers just cannot cut it so always be sure to read the reviews on them. Cheaper doesn't always mean the best way to go - that I can assure you.
All in all, we were happy with the Cuisipro Donvier Ice Cream Maker. We do have to test it out with a more complicated ice cream recipe but for now, safe to conclude that it does the job it's supposed to do and it does it well - despite the fact Kiarra and Seamus were not following the specified instructions to a tee.
Disclosure: All or a portion of this product or service was sponsored or provided at a reduced cost in exchange for a review. All opinions expressed in this post are our own - no pretenses here!