I scream, you scream, we all scream for some seriously zany, delicious ways to enjoy ice cream. To celebrate National Ice Cream Month this July (and National Ice Cream Day on July 15th!), we put together a list of our favorite hacks, how-to’s, and tips for America’s favorite frozen dessert. And while ice cream isn’t always the healthiest option, sometimes it’s nice to have a treat when the weather gets hotter than hot (like right now). Read on for the must-know info on how to impress friends and taste buds alike, just don’t blame us for the inevitable brain freeze.
- Grill, baby, grill: Ice cream might not be the first item that comes to mind when cooking outdoors, but if you’re firing up the grill anyway, why not throw some ice cream on for good measure? Scoop a favorite flavor into two-inch balls and keep in the freezer for two hours. Coat each in egg and roll in shredded coconut (the more this step is repeated, the thicker the outer crust will be). Place these balls on metal skewers, freeze again until solid, and (finally!) cook for one to two minutes on each side. Enjoy for a one-of-a-kind treat.
- Bag that thang’ up: Stuck without an ice cream maker? All it takes to make your own is two ziploc bags, some ice, and kosher salt. Fill the smaller bag with a chilled ice cream base, then seal and place it inside a larger ziploc bag. Fill the space in between with two cups of ice and about half a cup of salt. Shake, rattle, and roll until the ice cream base is churned into a frozen treat.
- Kick the can: Using the same principle as the bag method above, trying making ice cream in a can. Fill a small coffee tin with ice cream base and seal tightly. Place inside a larger tin and fill the empty space halfway with ice and salt. Seal the larger container and kick the whole thing around for around 15 minutes or until the desired texture is achieved. (Or, try one of these cool contraptions!)
- One-ingredient ice cream: For a healthier (and easy) take on a homemade treat, try our recipe for one-ingredient ice cream (that’s right, one ingredient). Freeze overripe bananas and blend in a standard food processor for instant ice cream (feel free to add a little almond butter for extra flavor).
- Healthier sundaes: We know, ice cream isn't the best everyday food, but if you must indulge, why not top that scoop or sundae with some of Greatist's superfoods such as bananas, blueberries, or strawberries? For chocolate lovers, try making your own sauce using extra dark chocolate instead of using the sugar-loaded, store-bought kinds. Dark chocolate has way more antioxidants than milk chocolate, and it'll likely cut some the sugar content.
- Beat the heat: For spicy food lovers, ice cream might be a sweet savior. Because dairy products are basic, they help neutralize the stinging burn of spicy foods and hot peppers. Next time a friend chomp on some extra spicy wings, give them a spoonful of the frozen stuff instead of a glass of water. It might not be the best flavor combo, but they'll definitely be thanking you later.
What's your favorite way to enjoy a frozen treat? Let us know in the comments below.