If you love dark chocolate and Andes mints, you NEED to try my Mint Chocolate Ice Cream!! It's perfect timing too since July is National Ice Cream Month.
Chocolate chip mint was always my favorite flavor at Baskin Robbins when I was a kid. Once, I accidentally ordered the pistachio (which is now one of my favorites) instead of the chocolate chip mint since they were both green. Needless to say, I quickly realized they were NOT the same and was not happy. It's funny how tastes change over the years.
Granny has made homemade ice cream before, but I hadn't until this week. It always seemed like so much work. Until I realized that it really wasn't if you planned ahead.
Ice cream is always one of my favorite treats after a long, hot summer day on the farm.
Regardless of the size of farm or type of animal raised, farmers have the same level of commitment to taking care of their animals and providing consumers with a safe product. Farmers also eat and drink these products, so safety and quality is important for lots of different reasons.
Dairy farming is a 24/7/365 job. The cows don’t take a day off. Even if the herd is seasonal and may all be dry (not milking for the ~60 days prior to having their calf) at the same time, they still must be fed. In short, dairy farming is busy. However, I’ve never met a dairy farmer who doesn’t love their job.
Here are a few of the many, many reasons dairy farmers take good care of their cows:
- Cows are the backbone of these family businesses. Without the cows, there is no dairy farm and no jobs on the dairy farm.
- Most cows are raised from baby calves on the farm. This means dairy farmers spend A LOT of time with them. If they are show cows, dairy farmers spend even more time with them.
- Many cows and cow families have been on the farm for generations. Much like the farm families. Dairy farmers are committed to taking care of their cows and the environment. The best reward? When the next generation wants to come back to the farm.
- Cows thrive when they are well fed. To ensure these bovine beauties receive the nutrition they need, many farms work with an animal nutritionist to balance a diet/ration to meet the cows needs for milk production and health. This is especially common in herds that feed a TMR (total mixed ration…similar to a salad or casserole with lots of different feeds and nutrients). Herds that graze on pasture may also supplement cows with corn or another type of grain to help balance the cows’ diets.
- Dairy farmers want to keep their cows in tip top shape. While they don’t have a routine exercise program (cow yoga?), they do have a veterinarian on call. Just like people, cows get sick occasionally and need medical attention. Cows are much larger than cats and dogs, so most times a veterinarian will come to the farm (sometimes farmers take cows to a vet, though). Cows must be healthy to be their most productive.
- Dairy farms have changed significantly over the last several decades, but the values behind them haven’t. When Grandpa was milking a few cows by hand before school in the 1920s on our family dairy farm, he knew that taking care of cows was not only the right thing to do, but what was necessary to ensure the family had fresh milk to drink and some to sell to the local creamery. Today, there are a lot more scientific studies and research to confirm that taking good care of our cows is good for the family, the farm and the community.
- To read more, click here.
Let's get back to that ice cream, shall we? Enjoy!!
Mint Chocolate Ice Cream
Makes about about 1/2 gallon
- 2.5 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. corn starch
- 3 tbsp. Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder
- 2 cups crushed Andes mints
- 1 tsp. Mint extract
- 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Freeze ice cream maker base for about a day prior to making this recipe
- Combine milk, heavy whipping cream, sugar, crushed Andes mints, cocoa powder in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until all ingredients are a consistent texture (there may be a few chunks of Andes mints...that's okay). (About 5-10 minutes).
- In another bowl, combine corn starch, 1/4 cup milk, 2 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 tsp. mint extract and mix until smooth
- Slowly add corn starch mixture into the rest of the ice cream mixture in the sauce pan. Stir consistently. It should thicken up a bit after adding the corn starch.
- Remove from heat
- Add ice cubes and water to a large bowl. Pour the ice cream mixture into another bowl and submerge the bottom of that bowl in the ice water. Put it in the refrigerator for about an hour after it cools.
- After that hour, take the ice cream maker base out of the freezer. Plug in the machine and add the cooled ice cream mixture. Let the machine churn for about 45 minutes (or as directed by your ice cream maker instructions) until the ice cream has a soft serve consistency.
- Remove the ice cream from ice cream maker and store in another container in the freezer until hardened throughout.
- Top with more crushed Andes mint pieces if you'd like
Check out these awesome ice cream recipes from some of my dairy friends!
- Enough Ice Cream? by Farmer Bright
- Why this Ice Cream Addict has a New Addiction: Ice Cream Sandwiches by New Mexico Milkmaid
- Sprinklers, Fans and Ice Cream in the Barn by Modern-day Farm Chick
- Here’s the Scoop on My 5 Favorite Ice Cream Recipes by Eat Farm Love
- Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal a la Mode by New Day Dairy
- Gimme the Jimmies by The Deere Milkmaid
- Ice Cream Month by Spotted Cow Blog
- Oregon Ice Cream by Guernsey Dairy Mama
- In Celebration of Ice Cream by New Moon Farms
- Sadie’s Homemade Ice Cream by Dairy Good Life
- The Best Ice Cream Stand by Raising a Farmer