August 19, 2022

Nyman: Celebrate National Ice Cream Month

Looking for a tasty way to beat the summer heat? Look no further, as July happens to be National Ice Cream Month.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan deemed ice cream to be “the perfect dessert” and declared a month-long celebration of the delicious dairy treat.

Ice cream is celebrated as a perfect companion to tackle summer heat. Whether it’s an ice cream sundae after a long day at the pool, an ice cream sandwich at a ball game, or a few scoops in a bowl after a day in the office, the options to celebrate Ice Cream Month are endless.

Did you know the average American consumes 23 pounds of the dairy dessert each year?

Ice cream has evolved over the years and includes many different treats and flavors, making it hard to choose just one.

The classic tried-and-true vanilla flavor still holds the top spot when it comes to consumers’ favorite flavor. Vanilla ice cream’s ability to be incorporated into a variety of sweet treats and desserts gives it an advantage in versatility.

Rounding out the top five are chocolate, cookies and cream, mint chocolate chip, and cookie dough.

However, new varieties show up regularly in the ice cream case, and refreshing tastes and textures capture the attention and taste buds of consumers. These include trendy flavors and ingredients, such as honey blueberry lavender, matcha and even ginger.

The pure enjoyment of ice cream is not the only benefit of the frozen treat. Because ice cream’s main ingredient is milk, it has a place in a healthy diet.

Milk contains calcium, protein and essential vitamins and minerals that support the body and its functions.

Although ice cream’s nutrients are found in less abundant amounts than those in milk, cheese and yogurt, they do give ice cream a slight nutritious edge when compared with other desserts.

There is something for everyone when it comes to fitting ice cream into a healthy diet. Low-fat and low-sugar versions are available, so consumers can realistically meet their individual nutrition goals.

Be sure to check the nutrition label to see how this treat can be incorporated into your eating plan.

St. Louis District Dairy Council encourages everyone to take the time to celebrate Ice Cream Month.

Whether visiting a local shop to try a new flavor, heading to the grocery store to grab ingredients for ice cream sundae night, or keeping it simple with a delightful milkshake, the possibilities are endless for enjoying the frozen treat.

Be sure to follow the St. Louis Dairy Council on Instagram and Facebook @ STLDairyCouncil to get the scoop on special days this July Ice Cream Month.

Ice Cream Dessert Tacos

Enjoy celebrating National Ice Cream Month with ice cream dessert tacos. This dairy treat is not only delicious, but easy to make and personalize by adding your favorite flavors, toppings and creativity.

Servings: 6

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups milk

2 large eggs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

6 scoops Neapolitan ice cream

1 tablespoon salted butter

Toppings: Chocolate syrup, crushed nuts, fresh strawberries, whipped cream

Procedure

For taco shells: Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and kosher salt together in a bowl. Using the whisk, make a well in the center. Pour milk into the well and crack the eggs into milk.

Pour melted butter into the mixture. Starting in the center, whisk all ingredients together, moving towards the outside of the bowl, until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not overbeat; the batter will contain lumps. Add milk for desired consistency; batter shouldn’t be overly thick for thin shells. The batter can be refrigerated for up to one hour.

Heat large non-stick griddle or skillet, preferably cast-iron, over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add salted butter to the skillet. Turn heat to medium low and ladle 1/3 cup batter into skillet. If using a large skillet or a griddle, repeat once or twice, taking care not to overcrowd the cooking surface. After bubbles rise to surface and bottoms brown — about 2 to 4 minutes — turn pancakes over. When both sides are light brown, remove from heat and drape pancakes on wire cooling rack to form a taco shell. Completely cool on rack.

For taco filling: Spoon Neapolitan ice cream into taco shells. Top with strawberries, drizzle with chocolate syrup and whipped cream and sprinkle with nuts.

Note: Substitute your ice cream flavor of choice and favorite toppings, if desired.

Monica Nyman

Monica Nyman

Monica Nyman is a senior educator and registered dietitian with St Louis District Dairy Council. For more information on the health benefits of dairy, visit www.stldairycouncil.org.