Yes, you can make Italian ice without needing the Deluxe version of the Ninja Creami, if you know how.
When the Ninja CREAMi Deluxe 11-in-1 was released it introduced a number of new programs including Italian ice. While there are plenty of other reasons to upgrade to the Deluxe model, Italian ice is entirely possible on the older creami models. That being said, since Italian ice isn’t officially supported on the older 7-in-1 and 5-in-1 models I don’t know for sure it won’t cause excessive wear or damage to the machine, so use at your own risk.
Note that unlike a lot of the other recipes on this site, this recipe is very high in sugar and carbs. This is because the goal of this recipe was to mimic the official Deluxe recipe as closely as possible in the regular Creami. If you’re looking for a low carb Italian ice, checkout Ninja Creami, Sugar Free Lemon Italian Ice Recipe (Keto) which can work in both models.
For this recipe we taste tested the official (high carb) Ninja Kitchen Lemon Italian ice for the Deluxe model against the unofficial adapted recipe here. In our household only one person was able to detect a difference between the official Deluxe version and the unofficial version here, and even then it was extremely slight. This unofficial recipe simply switches the program to Sorbet and decreases the ingredient amounts to fit the smaller size pints of the original Creami.
Like the official recipe, this version has very few ingredients:
- Lemonade powdered drink mix: I used Country Time Lemonade drink mix simply because it’s commonly available and what I grew up on but almost any brand should do.
- Hot Water: The official recipe doesn’t specify but we assume this is plain hot water from the tap and not boiling water. You can use hot water from your tap, though in my tests I used an electric kettle that has a thermometer. U.S. hot water heaters are generally set around 140 degrees Fahrenheit so I suggest using it out of the kettle when it reaches around 120 – 130 degrees Fahrenheit at the most.
How to Make
Step 1: Pour the lemonade drink mix into a Creami pint container.
Step 2: Pour hot water from the tap or an electric kettle set to 120-140 °F into the Creami pint.
Step 3: Stir until completely dissolved (approximately 2-3 minutes should suffice) and place the Creami pint in your freezer.
Step 4: Take out the Creami pint from your freezer after 24 hours and place it into the outer bowl. If there is a bump in the middle, slice it down to create a flat surface (so Ninja Creami can mix better).
Step 5: Install the Creami paddle into the outer bowl lid, place the lid on the outer bowl and lock into place according to the instructions in the Creami manual. Select the Sorbet program.
Step 6: When the Creami program finishes, open the outer bowl and observe the results. If it’s powdery in appearance, then add a teaspoon of water, put the container back into the Creami and select the re-spin program.
Step 7: You may need to repeat the previous re-spin step multiple times (I typically have to do it 2 – 3 times) until it has the appropriate texture. In my experience a hollow center in the middle like shown in the photo below is the tell tale sign it’s ready.