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I’ve been looking for a less time intensive way to make low carb ice cream. Even though my no-churn sugar-free ice cream recipe is a regular summer favorite at our house, it’s pretty time consuming to make. So, when I had the opportunity to create something using Atkins Plus Protein & Fiber Shakes, I jumped at the opportunity to make a quicker Atkins ice cream recipe – and you can still make it without an ice cream maker!
Finding a low carb protein shake can be challenging. So many of them have sugar! And for some people, drinking something like a convenient shake can help stay on track – so it’s important to find the right ones.
I talked about the flexibility of Atkins in my recent 90 second bread recipe post, including their “Hidden Sugar Effect” initiative that focuses on foods that you think are healthy that actually turn into sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugars, but your body does. I got their Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less lifestyle book recently, and Atkins is even letting me share a recipe from it next month! I’ve really been enjoying the natural, whole food based, low carb recipes in the book.
But let’s face it… it’s summer, and sometimes I just want some ice cream! And you can still enjoy ice cream on Atkins if that’s your low carb lifestyle.
I created this Atkins ice cream recipe as an easy way to make a refreshing summer treat. It has only 1 gram of net carbs per serving!
The Trick to Quick Low Carb Atkins Ice Cream
My easy Atkins ice cream recipe needs only 4 ingredients:
- Atkins Plus Protein & Fiber Shake
- Heavy cream
- Powdered erythritol
Since I used the Atkins Plus Protein & Fiber Shake in Creamy Vanilla in this recipe, you don’t need much sweetener. In fact, you could even try omitting it if you don’t need very sweet ice cream. You can also play around with different flavors.
As you might know, my other low carb ice cream recipe takes a long time to make, because simmering the cream down to a condensed milk takes a while. And even though my chocolate peanut butter nice cream recipe is much faster, it’s not as versatile for mix-ins and different flavors.
What’s the trick to preparing faster Atkins ice cream that you can customize? Make a custard using eggs, which thickens much faster! Technically you’ll still have to chill the custard, which takes some time, but at least you’re not stuck in the kitchen while you wait.
And even though the end result is not super thick before you place it in the freezer, the protein in the shake just makes it work. Here’s a shot of the Atkins ice cream right before it went into the freezer:
Let me tell you more about how to make this Atkins ice cream…
How To Make Atkins Ice Cream Without an Ice Cream Maker
There are three basic parts to making my Atkins ice cream recipe without an ice cream maker.
Make the custard
To start, we’ll make a modified version of a custard. It’s not quite as thick as a real custard, but it works for our purposes of making Atkins ice cream.
Basically, the process for the custard begins by heating the protein shake, cream and sweetener in a large pan. A heavy bottom pan is recommended here for even heating – be careful not to overheat.
Whisk together some yolks, and slowly pour the cream mixture into the yolks in a thin stream while continuing to whisk. This process is called “tempering”, and the thin streak prevents scrambling the eggs during the process. Instead, the mixture begins to thicken.
Return the mixture to the pan and continue cooking for a bit longer, allowing it to thicken more. Don’t expect it to be as thick as traditional custard, but it should coat the back of a spoon.
Let the custard cool a little in a bowl, then cover flush against the top and chill for an hour.
Fold custard into whipped egg whites
Next, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Most people just look at the peaks to know they are ready, but I have another test I use. I talked about it in my keto paleo bread recipe.
Fold the custard mixture into the whites. They will fall a little, but try your best not to deflate them completely. Make sure it’s all mixed so there are no streaks, and remember to only use a folding motion, lifting from the bottom and folding over the top with a spatula. Don’t stir!
Freeze – with or without an ice cream maker
Finally, if you have an ice cream maker you can follow the instructions on that, or otherwise just pour into a freezer-safe container. I used a glass meal prep dish like this.
If you’re making this Atkins ice cream recipe without an ice cream maker, make sure you take it out every 30 minutes for the first couple hours to stir it. This will break up ice crystals and give you the best texture.
More Low Carb Ice Cream Recipes
- Vanilla Keto Ice Cream
- Easy Raspberry Ice Cream – just 3 ingredients and made with fresh raspberries!
- Chocolate Coconut Milk Ice Cream – just sub a low carb sweetener
- Green Tea Ice Cream Recipe
- Ketogenic Ice Cream Guide
- Keto Orange Creamsicle Ice Cream
Atkins Ice Cream Recipe Without Ice Cream Maker:
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Atkins Ice Cream Recipe Without Ice Cream Maker
You only need 4 ingredients and 20 minutes prep to make this easy Atkins ice cream recipe without an ice cream maker! Enjoy protein-rich ice cream without sugar.
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RECIPE TIPS + VIDEO in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!
Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Separate the eggs first into two large bowls. Set aside.
Combine the shake, heavy cream and sweetener in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until bubbling near the edges.
Whisk together the yolks in the bowl where you separated them. Slowly pour the cream mixture into the egg yolks in a thin stream, whisking constantly. (To do this means to "temper".)
Return the mixture to the saucepan. Heat gently while stirring constantly for a few minutes, until the mixture just barely coats the back of a spoon. It won't be as thick as a traditional custard.
Remove from heat and pour the mixture back into the bowl where the yolks started. Cover flush against the top with parchment paper to prevent a film from forming. Chill for an hour.
Fold custard into whipped egg whites
In the bowl where you had placed the egg whites, use a hand mixer to whip them until stiff peaks form. (They will be room temperature by now, which is what you want.)
Remove the custard mixture from the fridge and whisk again. If there is any film on the top, skim it off.
Fold the mixture into the egg whites, until uniform. The whites will fall, but the end result will still be a little more fluffy than just liquid.
Freeze according to ice cream maker instructions.
If you don't have an ice cream maker, gently pour the mixture into a glass or parchment lined freezer-safe container. Freeze for 4-5 hours, folding the mixture gently to break up ice crystals every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours. If ice cream becomes too hard after a long time, thaw on the counter before serving.
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Serving size: 1/2 cup
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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