There is nothing like ice cream on a hot summer day. No wonder that July received the title of National Ice Cream Month in North America. And that’s not all. The third Sunday of July is Ice Cream Day, and a week later, Vanilla Ice Cream Day. It sure is a lot of ice cream!
You don’t need to overindulge, but you certainly can savour some good quality ice cream once in a while. There is a lot of variety for you to choose from at most grocery stores or you can make your own.
As with any other food, always read the ingredients list when buying ice cream. Avoid:
- Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats)
- Margarine (except non-hydrogenated margarine)
- High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- Artificial colours
- Artificial flavours
- Artificial sweeteners
- Polysorbate 65
- Polysorbate 80
- Sodium benzoate
- rBGH (GMO hormone injected on dairy cows in the US, so look for product made with Canadian milk)
Surely, real ice cream has fat from milk and cream. If you are concerned about putting on weight, it is better to stick to just one scoop of the real thing than two scoops of low fat. The problem with low fat is that to compensate the loss of fat, manufacturers usually add more sugar and/or fillers and thickeners. The extra sugar that is not burnt is stored as fat.
For those suffering from intolerance or allergy to dairy, there are good non-dairy products, usually made out of coconut milk.
If you’d rather celebrate Vanilla Ice Cream day by making your own, try this recipe from one of my friends.
Vanilla Ice Cream
Time: 10 minutes | Yield: 8 people
- 3 cups whipping cream or full fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¾ cup maple syrup, or honey or agave syrup
- 4 egg yolks
- Place all ingredients (except vanilla) into a saucepan and mix.
- Heat the mixture on medium heat and turn off when it is about to boil. Transfer to a bowl. Add the vanilla, mix and chill.
- Once cold, it can be churned according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. When done, freeze it.
- If you don’t have a machine, you can still enjoy a delicious and cold homemade treat. The texture will be different though. In this case, heat the yolks and sweetener of your choice with 2 tbsp water and let cool. Whip the cream (or coconut milk) and mix in the egg yolk mixture. Add vanilla. Transfer to a container and freeze.