What Is Slow Churned Ice Cream?(Explained)

Dreyer's Slow Churned Ice Cream Truck

Slow churned ice cream was invented by Edy’s/Dreyer’s in 2004. You’ve likely noticed it down the ice cream aisle at the grocery store or maybe have even tried it a few times.

But, what exactly is this type of ice cream? Read on to learn about slow churned ice cream including how it compares to regular ice cream.

Slow-Churned Ice Cream Explained

Slow churned ice cream, also known as slow-churn or double-churn ice cream, is a process that involves a unique method of making ice cream with a creamy texture that is lighter in calories and fat.

The traditional method of making ice cream involves churning the mixture quickly to incorporate air and freeze it simultaneously. However, slow churned ice cream takes a different approach.

The slow churn process begins by creating a base mixture that consists of the primary ingredients of cream, milk, sugar, and flavorings.

This mixture is then poured into an ice cream maker and churned at a much slower speed compared to traditional ice cream production.

The slower churning allows for a denser and more compact ice cream texture by reducing the formation of large ice crystals. It also reduces the size of fat globules and distributes the fat in a more efficient manner.

The result is a creamier texture without the need for as much fat as is found in full fat ice cream. Edy’s slow-churned ice cream, as an example, is marketed as containing half the fat and a third fewer calories compared to regular, full fat ice cream.

Nutrition: Slow-Churned Vs. Regular Ice Cream

One of the key benefits of slow churned ice cream is its reduced fat content compared to regular ice cream. By using a slower churning process, it helps stretch out the fat molecules allowing for the reduced fat content to taste like the ice cream has much more of it.

You can see why slow-churned ice cream is a popular choice for people watching calories given the nutrition data in the table below. The comparison of regular versus slow-churned vanilla reveals slow-churned has fewer calories, fat, and cholesterol.

Of course, nutrition facts will vary based on brand, flavor, and other factors. View the nutrition facts on the product label for the most accurate nutrition data.

Edy’s Regular VanillaEdy’s Slow Churned Classic Vanilla
Serving Size2/3 cup (86g)2/3 cup (79g)
Total Fat9g4g
Saturated Fat6g2.5g
Trans Fat0g0g
Sodium 50mg50mg
Total Carbohydrate20g23g
Dietary Fiber0g3g
Total Sugars17g17g
Includes Added Sugars12g12g
Vitamin D0%0%

Ingredients: Slow-Churned Vs. Regular Ice Cream

Below you’ll find the ingredient for Edy’s regular and slow-churned vanilla ice cream products.

Let’s talk about some of the ingredients in the slow-churned that are not in the regular ice cream:

Polydextrose – It is a lab made soluble fiber and low-calorie sugar substitute commonly used in food products. It helps to provide texture, body, and mouthfeel similar to sugar while contributing minimal calories.

Some potential side effects include gas, bloating, cramps, and diarrhea (source).

Invert Sugar – Invert sugar is a type of sugar that is created by hydrolyzing sucrose, which is the common table sugar found in our kitchens. This hydrolysis process involves breaking down sucrose into its two component sugars, glucose and fructose. The resulting mixture of glucose and fructose is known as invert sugar.

The dangers of this sugar are the same as you’d find with standard table sugar. An excessive amount over the long-haul can results in health issues such as heart disease, obesity, fatigue, kidney damage, tooth decay, and more (source).

Mono and Diglycerides – These are emulsifiers that help maintain stability and a desirable structure for the ice cream. They are generally regarded as safe but contain trans fatty acids which can lead to heart disease. The Edy’s regular vanilla does have monoglycerides.

Soluble Corn Fiber – This substance helps thicken ice cream. It also produce a similar mouthfeel as milk fat. Too much soluble corn fiber can cause gastrointestinal issues in some people.

Edy’s Regular Vanilla

  • Skim Milk
  • Cream
  • Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Whey
  • Guar Gum
  • Carob Bean Gum
  • Monoglycerides
  • Natural Flavor
  • Annatto Color

Edy’s Slow-Churned Classic Vanilla

  • Non-Fat Milk
  • Sugar
  • Cream
  • Corn Syrup
  • Polydextrose
  • Soluble Corn Fiber
  • Whey
  • Mono and Diglycerides
  • Carob Bean Gum
  • Guar Gum
  • Natural Flavor
  • Invert Sugar
  • Annatto Color
  • Vitamin A Palmitate

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, slow churned ice cream is a unique and innovative method of producing ice cream that offers a smoother and creamy texture with reduced fat content compared to traditional ice cream. Its slow churning process creates a denser and creamier dessert that is a delight to savor.

Slow churned ice cream is a delicious treat that continues to be loved by many people almost 20 years after it was invented. While it’s traditionally a “light ice cream”, it taste pretty close to the full-fat varieties.

We encourage you to try it on its own or better yet, alongside a regular ice cream of the same flavor to see how it compares!

Dreyer’s Truck Image – Cliff Johnson/flickr