How do I make cream into butter for a science experiment without using dairy?

My son's Kindergarten class is studying States of Matter, and I am in charge of the cooking curriculum that I would prefer ties into this subject. I have numerous ideas for projects, but this one in particular that I grew up doing is really stumping me. I remember shaking cream in a jar for a while, and we would pass it around to all of our friends, and in the end we had butter. Unfortunately, we have allergies to gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, nuts, and peanuts in our class, so I'd really love a similar experiment we could do that's essentially allergy-free! This project would be taking a liquid into a solid. Thanks!

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jsdunbar
jsdunbar October 4, 2012

What comes to mind is using liquid nitrogen to turn water into ice. If there is a juice everyone can drink, each child could get a frozen juice cube that started as a bit of juice in a paper cup.

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HalfPint
HalfPint October 4, 2012

How about making Jello? Liquid to solid, for sure.

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Benny
Benny October 4, 2012

One of my all-time favorites as a kid is the Cornstarch mixture. Hard when struck, liquidy when barely touched.

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mensaque
mensaque October 4, 2012

Sorry jsdunbar,but handling liquid nitrogen around kids sounds dangerous.Realy dangerous!I would go with Benny's idea.Sounds fun!

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Reiney
Reiney October 4, 2012

Shame about the eggs allergy - there are all kinds of party tricks one can do with them. (Starting with mayonnaise!) And gluten - showing off gluten strands after soaking dough water is also cool.

But anyway, my mind keeps going towards emulsions. You could make a vinaigrette out of mustard / oil / vinegar and show how that can thicken and bind from the lecithin in mustard? ("Oooh, salad..." say all the kids) Not exactly liquid to solid or vice versa, but maybe there's some other application/tie-in there.

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Quinciferous
Quinciferous October 6, 2012

What about making popsicles? That involves a true change of state (which cream to butter isn't, I don't think), and you could make them out of fruits and juices without allergy-inducing ingredients. Kids could eat them the next day or later in the day if you made them small enough. You could do ice-cube-tray popsicles with little sticks stuck in them to minimize special equipment.

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Quinciferous
Quinciferous October 6, 2012

Or another one that's fun is ice cream in a coffee can -- you could definitely do it with coconut milk. You can use any vegan or dairy ice cream recipe you like, but here is the basic freezing method: http://crafts.kaboose.com/ice-cream-in-a-can-or-kick-the-can.html

This is the only way I'll make ice cream with kids!

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Nancy
Nancy April 16, 2018

Found this old thread by chance.
Anne-Michelle - what did you eventually do?
If the kids didn't have to eat the outcome, you could do four demos of liquid to solid, one each by chill, churning, chemical, heat (for water, cream, gelatin, eggs) to show that not all liquids react the same.

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