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July is National Ice Cream Month!

By Kristie Popa

In the summer of 1984, President Ronald Reagan declared July as National Ice Cream month. The proclamation stated “Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food.” Many Americans would agree that that statement still holds true today.

Some may wonder why he chose July, but I would dare to guess that it is because of the rising temps that July is so notoriously known for. Its peak summer heats leave many looking for ways to cool off. What better way to cool off than by eating ice cream?

Ice cream not only helps cool you off, it provides other benefits as well. Ice cream is known for putting a smile on one’s face. It can literally activate the feel-good parts of our brain, allowing us to feel happy. Ice cream is also a great source of calcium, vitamins A & D, riboflavin, and phosphorus. Consuming ice cream can help strengthen our bones.

An amazing thing about ice cream is that there are so many different flavors to choose from. Not only are there many different flavors, but there are different ways that it can be made and served. Everyone can enjoy this creamy desert in a way that satisfies their particular palate.

Some of the popular ice cream flavors include: vanilla, chocolate, mint chocolate chip, cookie dough, birthday cake, strawberry, and butter pecan.

Some ways that ice cream is made: hand dipped, soft served, no churn and homemade.

Some ways that ice cream can be served: in a bowl, in a cone, as a sundae, in soda, on top of cookies, cakes or brownies, or beneath fruit, nuts or other toppings.

Making homemade ice cream with your family and friends is a great way to spend a hot July afternoon. Below is a simple and fun recipe.

Home Made Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe:
½ c. half and half
1 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 Sandwich + 1 Gallon Ziploc bag
3 cups crushed ice
1/3 c. rock salt

Directions:
Put half and half, sugar, and vanilla in the smaller Ziploc bag. Make sure it is tightly closed!
Put ice and salt in the larger bag.
Add the filled small bag to the large bag. Seal the large bag.
Squeeze bag until ice cream is thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
Remove small bag, unseal, and eat with a spoon.

You can top with seasonal fruits to give your ice cream a bit more flair and increase its nutritional value. Cherries, raspberries, and melons are a few of the fruits that are in season during the month of July.

 

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