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Low sodium no-churn lemon ice cream

Dori Sanders' famous recipe without the salt and with just a little less sugar. There are only five ingredients and everything comes together in one bowl. What more could you ask for?

Servings: Makes about 3 cups Sodium: 130 mg for the entire recipe Time: 15 minutes prep, about 5 hours total freezing time


1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/4 cup lemon juice

3/4 cups sugar

1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1) Combine all the ingredients in a large metal bowl (one that will fit in your freezer) and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. I used about 3 medium-sized lemons to get a full tablespoon of zest and the 1/4 cup of juice. If you don't have whole milk but still want the ice cream to be nice and creamy, add just a little more cream (about 2 tablespoons) and just a little less milk (about 2 tablespoons) so you still end up with 2 cups of milk/cream together.

The original recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar but I cut it down to 3/4 cup and find it’s still plenty sweet. Your lemon juice can really influence how much sugar you need- a more tart lemon may need more sugar. So I usually start with 1/2 cup sugar and then add more to taste. Once you start to freeze the ice cream it’s hard to add more sugar.

2) Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and freeze. The next step is to stir the ice cream once it starts to solidify around the edges but is still mushy in the middle. Dori Sanders' recipe says to do this just once, at the 2-3 hour mark. But I found that the edges start to freeze after just an hour so I do it 3 times, at around the 1, 2, and 3 hour marks. After 1 hour, just the edges will be frozen and the middle will still be quite liquid. After 2 hours, you'll have thicker ring of solid cream around the edges and the middle will be more slushy. After the third hour, there surface is solid but it's still soft and mixes easily. Once you mix after the third hour, leave the mixture to freeze completely for a few hours (takes a good 6-7 hours for me, but the timing will depend on the size of your bowl). To be safe, make this the day before you plan on serving it.

To store, place a film of plastic wrap flush against the surface of the ice cream so it doesn't dry out, and then cover the bowl with foil.


-I use a heavy cream that is ultra-pasteurized with 0 sodium so the sodium comes just from the milk (and very, very trace amounts from lemon juice). Most every other heavy cream I've seen has 5 mg of sodium per tablespoon. That said, I'm sure there's some sodium in the cream I'm using. Under the FDA's labeling requirements (at 21 CFR 101.61), food can be labeled "sodium free" if it has less than 5 mg of sodium per serving. One cup of cream is 16 servings so that's something to consider when you're thinking about how much sodium you're consuming, even when a product is "sodium free."

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