No, you did not mis-read the title and yes, there is such a thing as National Ice Cream Day in the USA. The third Sunday in July was designated as National Ice Cream Day by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, also naming July as the the National Ice Cream month so if you’re in the US, you might be tempted to knock yourself out with all the deals and discounts by all the major ice cream chains.
However, since we’re The Wellness Insider, we’re going to be your voice of reason and tell you how you can have your ice cream and eat it with these healthier options. But of course, overeating the healthier option still means extra calories so do limit yourself to a scoop or two a week.
Banana Ice Cream
This is often called “nice cream” in the blog world and is also one of the vegan options for non-dairy ice creams. The basic concept is this: freeze some bananas and then blend them in a food processor till smooth before adding other fruit or nut butters to flavour it.
- Use very ripe bananas. You don’t want them evenly yellow but slightly brown. This overripe banana will be extra sweet and give a sweeter, almost caramel-like taste to your ice cream. Peel and slice them. Place them in a bag and freeze them.
- Once the bananas are fully frozen, put them into a food processor and blend them until you get it smooth and to a consistency that looks like soft serve ice cream. (Tip: if your blender has issues processing all the bananas, you can add ¼ cup of milk or nut milk to keep it vegan).
- Blend in your choice of flavoured fruit or nut butter.
- Place it back into the freezer for 30 minutes before scooping out and serve.
- Peanut butter or any nut butter
- Chocolate chip
- Add in a ¼ tsp of vanilla extract, 3 tbsp of cocoa powder and ½ cup of chocolate chips to every 3 frozen bananas used.
- Summer berries
- Pina Colada
- Add in ¼ cup coconut milk, ½ cup of frozen pineapple to every 3 frozen bananas used. Add in a splash of rum to make it alcoholic or shredded coconut if you want some bite.
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash
Most recipes will call for a simple sugar syrup to be added to fruit but our recipe will be using honey but feel free to substitute it with agave or any other sugar alternatives that you may prefer. Sorbets are as simple to make as the banana ice cream so get your blender out and freeze some berries!
- Freeze at least 2 cups of berries of your choice (you can even use watermelon and peach). If you’re using larger berries such as strawberries, you may want to cut them in half and remove the tops before freezing.
- Place the frozen berries in your food processor and blend till you get a slushy consistency.
- Slowly add in 1 tbsp of honey until you get a smooth sorbet. You may need to add in more honey if your berries happen to be very tart.
- Eat immediately or place it back in the freezer for 30 minutes before scooping and serving.
- Watermelon and mint
- Peach maple syrup (substitute the honey for maple syrup)
- Use 1 cup frozen oranges (cubed), 1 cup watermelon, 1 cup strawberries, sprig of mint and add in ¼ cup of red wine as well as 1 tbsp of honey
- Mixed berries
- Simply combine whatever fruits you like together and blend!
Photo by Christiann Koepke on Unsplash
Coconut Ice Cream
This is a good non-dairy option for those who are lactose intolerant but of course, some may say that coconut milk isn’t as healthy as cow’s milk but others will say that it is healthy due to its lack of hormones. If you want a lower fat version, do stick to the banana ice cream. Regardless of what you believe, coconut ice cream is definitely delicious and tastes as rich as the normal diary version. Moreover? You don’t need an ice cream machine to make this treat.
2 cups coconut milk
½ cup sweetener of choice (maple syrup/ honey/ agave/ brown sugar)
1½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of stevia or 1 additional tbsp of sweetener (optional)
- Stir all the ingredients into a bowl and pour them into ice cube trays. Freeze.
- Blend the frozen ice cubes in a food processor until smooth and has the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Add in sweetener if needed.
- Serve immediately or place it back in the freezer for 30 minutes before scooping out.
Similar to plain vanilla ice cream or plain banana ice cream, you can add in nut butters or chocolate and even kombucha to flavour your coconut ice cream. In fact, coconut ice cream is a better base than banana for flavours as it does not have as strong a flavour as banana.
Go ahead and try some of these recipes and let us know how they go! In the meanwhile, Happy Ice Cream Day!