Ninja CREAMi ice cream maker review

The Ninja brand is known for making innovative countertop appliances that do more than you expect. The latest addition to their product line, the Ninja CREAMi, is designed to turn almost anything into ice cream.

Naturally, I was intrigued by a machine that could produce ice cream in the blink of an eye. To see if it works as well as it claims, I tested the Ninja CREAMi for myself.

What is Ninja CREAMi?

According to Ninja, the CREAMi can “turn almost anything into ice cream, sorbet or milkshakes“. It’s a slim countertop appliance that looks a bit like a carafe-style coffee maker.

The machine comes with plastic pint containers, a larger mixing container with a handle and a blade attachment.

The interface has only a few buttons for various frozen treats: ice cream, sorbet, light ice cream, smoothie bowl, gelato and milkshake. There’s also a “mix-in” button that does what you’d expect: incorporate small, crunchy bits into your dessert.

How does the Ninja CREAMi work?


The use of the machine requires preparation work. The base of your treat must be frozen for at least 24 hours before it can be CREAMi-fied. For example, to make pineapple ice cream, you’ll need to empty a can of pineapple into a Ninja Pint container and put it in the freezer. The next day, pop the pint into the CREAMi machine, press the Gelato button and let CREAMi do the work.

It takes a few minutes, but essentially the machine sends a sharp rotating blade through the frozen pint to clear the contents. When the cycle is complete, remove your pint to find it filled with a creamy spoon treat.

Unlike another blender, such as a blender or food processor, the CREAMi uses a fine blade to grind ice crystals into a smooth, creamy texture.

Results

I started testing CREAMi using one of their signature recipes, recommended for beginners: good old vanilla ice cream. I made a few changes to the recipe to use what I had on hand, mostly opting for almond milk instead of whole milk (realizing that this will yield a thinner, less greasy result).

I combined all the basic ice cream ingredients (a little cream cheese, sugar, cream, milk and vanilla, plus a pinch of salt) in a mixing bowl. This went into a Ninja Pint and then into the freezer for 24 hours. Ninja makes it very clear that the pint must be frozen on a flat surface for proper mixing.

The next day I took the lid off and put the frozen pint in the machine. Once everything was locked in place (pretty easy to figure out), I pressed the Ice Cream button. The machine immediately buzzed – it’s not silent – ​​for several minutes.

When the mix was done, I revealed the content. The “ice cream” was quite powdery at this point. I could add mix-ins now if I wanted to, but I decided to keep it simple. The instruction manual also said I could remix the base if it came out too dry or powdery. I decided to try.

The second time the ice cream was less powdery, but not as creamy as expected. It’s probably because I used low fat ingredients. As the base warmed up a bit, however, it held together with a soft, creamy texture. There were no weird lumps or ice crystals, and it was really delicious.

Bottom Line: Is the Ninja CREAMi worth it?

The Ninja CREAMi is a fun device for anyone who loves frozen treats. It’s a great way to make smoothie bowls, healthier sweet treats, and custom ice cream. The machine costs $229, which is steep, but it will pay for itself if you use it to replace a homemade ice cream or smoothie bowl.

CREAMi requires advanced preparation and planning, as the base must be completely frozen before mixing. The machine comes with multiple pints, and you can buy extra pints if you want to prep things ahead of time.

The best part of CREAMi is how easy it is to create completely personalized treats. If you avoid dairy, reduce added sugars or want to invent your own gummy bear flavored ice cream, with CREAMi you can.

About Thomas B. Countryman

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