National Ice Cream Month
July is full of all the wonderful things summer has to offer- cookouts, pool days, vacations, summer concerts, and delicious food and drink offerings. July also happens to be National Ice Cream Month, which comes at a perfect time, as ice cream is the ideal treat to cool us off and keep our taste buds happy.
With the nostalgic tunes of the neighborhood ice cream truck that lures us into their vast selection of treats, to the ice cream aisle in our nearby grocery store, we are faced with an overwhelming variety of the sweet indulgences to satisfy our cravings. With so many options out there, it’s easy to dig into a three-scoop ice cream cone with tons of sprinkles, and hot fudge atop that can provide enough sugar and calories to last all summer! As there are still several weekends left to squeeze into our swim suits or show off our hard work from the gym at the beach or pool, it’s worth the time to invest in a brand of ice cream or make your own recipe that won’t have you feeling like a beached whale. Read below for the best store-bought brands and homemade ice cream recipes.
Best Store-Bought Brands
- Yasso: With Greek yogurt as its base, Yasso bars and pints of ice cream offer delicious flavors with a hefty punch of protein to keep you full and satiated. Offering flavors such as Caramel-Pretzel Mania, Coffee Brownie Break, and Rolling in the Dough, to name a few, the most difficult part will be choosing between the array of delectable flavors. Pick up one of these pints at your closest supermarket when your next ice cream craving hits!
- Halo Top: Containing only 280-360 calories for an entire pint, Halo Top is a great option if you like to sit on the couch and polish off a container of ice cream. With flavors ranging from Birthday Cake to Candy Bar to Peanut Butter & Jelly to good old-fashioned Vanilla Bean, all cravings can be satisfied. Let these pints sit out for a bit to thaw to create a mouth-watering and creamy texture that will have you scraping every last morsel out of the container.
- Enlightened: Enlightened is another brand that provides lower-calorie, higher-protein varieties of ice cream pints and bars. This brand offers surprising flavors such as Movie Night, with buttered popcorn ice cream and caramel swirl, as well as a French Toast flavor, that could easily be eaten for breakfast on a lazy summer morning. Low in calories and sugar and high in protein and fiber, these pints result in a pick that is not just tasty but that will help to satisfy your body’s nutritional needs.
- So Delicious is a brand that offers flavors made from cashew, oat, coconut, almond, and soy milks for those that have a hard time digesting dairy. These dairy-free flavors such Bananas Foster, Dark Chocolate Truffle, and Caramel Apple Crumble will have even the most die-hard lactose-loving ice cream fans hooked. With such rich and creamy varieties, you won’t even know these are dairy-free.
Homemade Ice Cream Recipes
If you’d rather head into the kitchen to whip up a tasty and healthy ice cream treat, try one of the below recipes. You can always add additional ingredients and toppings to create your ideal summertime dessert!PB Banana “Nice Cream”: 2 Servings
- 2 large ripe bananas, sliced and frozen
- 2 Tablespoon peanut butter (no sugar or oil added)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Unsweetened almond milk (optional)
Transfer all ingredients to a very strong blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. This will take a few minutes and may require periodic pauses and adjustments. It’s very loud and intense since the bananas are frozen, similar to adding ice cubes to a blender. Within a few minutes, you should see a thick, creamy ice-creamy mixture in the blender. Feel free to add a little bit of almond milk tablespoon by tablespoon if needed to thin out the “nice cream.”
Creamy Chocolate-Avocado Ice Cream: 8 Servings
- 5 oz can full fat coconut milk
- 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup water
Add the avocado and coconut milk to a food processor or blender and pulse together. Add the remaining ingredients and blend in for about 2 minutes until smooth and incorporated, scraping down the bowl once.
With an Ice Cream Machine:
Place the above ice cream base into a freezer-safe container in the refrigerator for 2 hours to set up before freezing. Freeze the ice cream in the machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Without an Ice Cream Machine:
Place the ice cream base into a freezer-safe container and place in the freezer for 1 hour. Whisk every 20 minutes to avoid ice crystal formation for about 3-4 hours. The mixture should get thicker after each whisking, until it's firm enough to scoop.
To eat: serve immediately or keep it in the freezer until you’re ready to indulge. If saving for later, allow the ice cream to thaw for 5-10 minutes before scooping. Have fun and get creative with toppings, such as hot fudge, sprinkles, or crushed peanuts.