No matter what the occasion -- a child's birthday party, an elegant dinner or a casual family get-together -- ice cream is a wonderful treat that adds to the celebration. It can be served at the end of the meal, as a snack or even as the main attraction at parties. It's no wonder that this popular and delicious dairy food deserves a month of special recognition. And in July, nothing turns down the sweltering heat like ice cream.
Today's on-the-go families are opting for simple dining ideas. The less time spent in the kitchen, the better. Ice cream is an easy and delicious solution. Over 90 percent of all households in the United States enjoy ice cream, and related frozen treats. Old favorites such as sundaes, root beer floats, banana splits, milkshakes, pie a-la-mode, and ice cream cones are among the most popular and simplest choices. However, serving ideas for ice cream are only as limited as your imagination!
There's more good news about ice cream. It can be part of a healthy eating plan. There are many varieties available, including light and low-fat versions. Not only does ice cream have great flavor, it provides nutrients such as calcium and protein, ranking it high on the nutrient ladder compared to empty calorie desserts.
Take time this month to enjoy National Ice Cream Month. Raise a frosty milkshake, ice cream cone or try one of the following recipes to celebrate the great taste of ice cream this July -- or anytime during the summer.
2 cups (1 pint) vanilla ice cream, softened
1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate
1 carton (6 ounces) low-fat orange yogurt
6 5-ounce paper cups
6 wooden sticks
Cooking Directions: In a large bowl, mix softened ice cream, juice concentrate and yogurt, stirring until thoroughly blended. Pour into paper cups. Cover each cup with foil. Make a slit in foil with knife and insert stick into orange mixture. Freeze until hard (about 6 hours). Remove foil and paper cups to serve. Makes 6 servings
Calories : 175; Total Fat: 5 g; Calcium: 10% Daily Value; Protein: 5 g
Sky High Ice Cream Pie
For the pie shell:
3 egg whites (room temperature)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 baked 9-inch pie shell
For the pie filling:
6 cups ice cream (lemon, vanilla or other flavor)
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1 1/2 cup strawberry ice cream sauce (optional)
For the pie shell:
Heat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. To make meringue, beat egg whites, lemon extract, cream of tartar and salt in a large bowl until soft peaks form.* Gradually add sugar, beating at high speed, until stiff peaks form. Spread meringue in pie shell, building up the sides. Bake until lightly browned and crisp, 60-70 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
For the pie filling:
At serving time, scoop ice cream into pie shell and sprinkle with berries. (If desired, serve with strawberry sauce on the side.) Makes 8 servings.
Calories : 550; Total Fat: 19 g; Calcium: 10% Daily Value; Protein: 6g
Squeeze Freeze Ice Cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk*
1 tablespoon salt
Ice, crushed or cubes
1 small re-sealable plastic bag
1 large re-sealable plastic bag
Put sugar, vanilla and milk in small plastic bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and seal properly. Put salt in large plastic bag. Place the small bag into the large plastic bag with the salt in it. Add 18-20 ice cubes or crushed ice to large bag. Remove as much air as possible from the large bag and seal properly. Knead the bag for approximately 10 minutes. When a soft ice cream is formed, use a spoon to eat the ice cream from the bag.
*It is important to use whole milk. Other types take too long to freeze. Salt is also very important. Without salt, the ice cream will not freeze.
Calories : 140; Total Fat: 4g; Calcium: 10% Daily Value; Protein: 4g
For more information on the health benefits of dairy, visit www.stldairycouncil.org or contact Kelly Maher with St. Louis District Dairy Council: call (314)-835-9668, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.