I have fond childhood memories of summertime with my family. On days like today, when the temperature is in the triple-digits, we would load up in the car and drive to the snow cone stand. They were super cheap. They were super sweet. And they cooled us off quickly. Now that I’m a mom of two kids with a low tolerance for sweaty afternoons, I want to share the same fun. The problem is, I know that snow cones are made from two ingredients my kids can’t (and shouldn’t) have: corn syrup and artificial dye. That didn’t stop me though. I decided I had to try making them myself and came up with this super easy dye-free snow cone recipe.
I started by doing a little research and found several dye-free snow cone recipes from other natural bloggers. Most of them involved making your own syrup from various ingredients and running a handful of ice cubes through the blender. My blender is okay for smoothies, but I know it wouldn’t turn ice into snow.
Plus, the heat makes me lazy and that was too many steps. I wanted something that I could make fast, without too much prep. I decided to try using my electric ice cream maker and just one ingredient. Yep, one.
Dye-free snow cone recipe
- 1 32-ounce bottle of natural/organic juice or lemonade
For our first try, I used Santa Cruz Organic Mango Lemonade. I picked it up on sale for a dollar at Kroger, but it is regularly $3. They have tons of other flavors and we have plenty of summer left to try them all. Of course, you can use any kind of juice, homemade lemonade, or probably any kind of drink.
Put the ice cream freezer can in the freezer for several hours, preferably over night. We keep ours in there, so it is always ready.
Put the ice cream maker together and turn it on. Pour in the lemonade and let it spin until ready. It will start to get little ice chunks within a few minutes. Ours took maybe 15 minutes to be completely frozen. We were impatient though, and it could’ve gone for a few more.
Divide between glasses and serve immediately. A 32-ounce beverage makes four generous servings.
Note: Ours were still soft, rather than crunchy, and melted within half an hour. If you prefer a more solid snow cone, put the beverage in the freezer for up to 30 minutes before blending. You want it cold, but not frozen, or it won’t come out of the bottle.
Use other juices to make a rainbow of color options!
Red = cranberry
Orange = mango
Yellow = lemonade
Green = kiwi
Blue = blueberry
Purple = grape
White = white grape
About our ice cream maker
Last summer we purchased a Cuisinart ice cream maker. It is really simple to use. It has one button and is easy peasy to clean. There is no need for ice, or salt, or cranking. We’ve made several kinds of ice cream, margaritas, and now snow cones.
This recipe would probably work in other kinds of ice cream makers too.
Do you have fond childhood memories of the snow cone stand? What flavor dye-free snow cone would you share with your kids now?