July is National Ice Cream Month, so celebrate with these tips and recipes from alive.
In 1984 former president Ronald Reagan declared July National Ice Cream Month—a month to be celebrated with "appropriate ceremonies and activities,” as he put it. Well, sir, if you insist.
Sure, National Ice Cream Month originated in the United States, but I think we could learn something from our southern neighbours by adopting this awesome holiday as well. According to sources, 90 percent of us love this sweet, creamy, and refreshing summer treat. Now that’s something worth celebrating.
Now you may be thinking, “Ice cream—that’s not a healthy alive treat.” But actually, it can be. Of course there are several things to look for when purchasing ice cream to ensure you’re getting something that’s good for your body. And if you’re feeling up to the challenge, we’ve got several recipes for tasty, healthy ice cream (and other frozen treats).
Buying ice cream
The following tips will help you wade through the hundreds of ice cream options, so you can leave with something that’s not only cool and satisfying, but also good for your body.
Nix the preservatives
Be sure to check the ingredients list. Real ice cream should be made with minimal ingredients, including dairy, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Of course, chocolate ice cream and other flavours will include additional ingredients. However, it’s the ingredients that are hard to pronounce that you definitely want to avoid.
Mind the nutritional content
Check the sugar and fat content of the different brands and pay close attention to the suggested serving size (especially when it comes time to serving up that delectable bowl of ice cream!). Ideally, a 1/2 cup (125 mL) serving of ice cream should have fewer than 120 calories, 4 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, and 15 g of sugar. That said, indulging a little here and there is okay, so if your favourite all-natural ice cream doesn’t fit these guidelines, don’t worry—just be mindful.
With lactose intolerance being quite common (as much as 75 percent of the world’s population has some degree of intolerance), and many people choosing vegan options in lieu of animal-based products, there has been a huge increase in the number of dairy-free options. From soy and almond to rice and coconut milk-based ice creams, there is sure to be an option perfect for your dietary needs and taste buds. Bonus: these options are often lower in saturated fats, as they are free of milk and cream.
Atrazine, a dangerous pesticide, is present on the corn often fed to factory-farmed cows and chickens. When this pesticide is ingested, it accumulates in the fat stores of animals. Traces of this chemical can later be found in meat as well as ice cream ingredients, eggs and dairy. To reduce your exposure, purchase organic ice cream whenever possible.
Making your own cool treats
By making your own ice cream and other frozen treats, you can control the quality of ingredients as well as the amount of sugar and fat that goes into them. The following recipes will get you started.
Keep an eye out for the August 2012 issue of alive for a spotlight on frozen summer treats!