There is no better way to beat this incredible July heat wave than with a cone or a bowl of everyone’s favorite super cool treat – ice cream. It doesn’t matter what flavor you pick, there is just something about the sweet and creamy treat that seems to cool us down no matter how hot it gets. This month is National Ice Cream month and we think you should take as many opportunities as you can to celebrate the amazing Arizona dairy farmers that work hard to provide the top quality ingredients that make each scoop of ice cream better than the last. Here are some fun, creative, and simply delicious ways to pay homage to the dairy treat everyone loves to eat this month.
1. Feast on New Flavors
One of the best things about ice cream is that you can flavor it almost any way that can be imagined. Believe it or not there is actually ice cream flavored like bacon, birthday cake, and even beer. This means that you have an almost endless array of flavors from which to choose. Make it a point to step outside your regular comfort zone this month and try a different flavor ice cream every day. You may not find any that replace your all time favorite but you are sure to discover a whole handful of new flavors you love to keep in the freezer.
2. Make it Yourself
Since the majority of the ice cream we buy is scooped and eaten at home, it is clear that we have no problem taking a D.I.Y. approach to our cones and bowls. Challenge yourself this month to take that attitude a step further and make your own ice cream from scratch. Check local dairy farms, farmer’s markets, and even your grocery stores refrigerator for the freshest local milk so you can make the freshest ice cream imaginable. Get creative with your flavors and see if you can invent one no one else has thought of yet.
3. Shop Around
There are a ton of great places to get fantastic frozen treats throughout the state so don’t stick too close to home or you might miss out on some fabulous flavors or unique offerings. Check out some of these great local shops that the friends of the Arizona Farm Bureau have recommended over the years.
- Apple Annie’s Orchard – homemade ice cream featuring seasonal fruit starting in mid-July – Willcox
- Coldstone Creamery – super-premium ice cream and sorbet, made fresh in every store, every day – Tucson, Phoenix, Yuma, Chandler, Gilbert, Casa Grande, Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, Sierra Vista
- The Hub – ice creamery –Tucson
- Paletas Betty – handmade Mexican ice and cream pops – Chandler and Tempe
- Shamrock Farms – organic dairy offering a variety of frozen treats – Phoenix
- Sweet Republic – high-end homemade ice cream – Scottsdale, Chandler, Phoenix, Tempe
- Udder Delights – Fresh-made ice cream from Superstition Farm Dairy – Gilbert
4. Stick with the Standards
There are always fancy new flavors of ice cream to try and it may be hard to remember the last time you had any of the five most frequently favorite flavors – vanilla, chocolate, cookies n cream, strawberry, or mint chocolate chip. Those are the flavors we love the most according to the International Dairy Foods Association. If you don’t remember the last time the ice cream in your bowl was both simple and delicious, it may be time to get back to basics and sample a few of the standard flavors.
5. Eat Outside of the Box
When it comes to frozen confections, we are lucky enough to have lots of options. This means that celebrating all things icy should be incredibly easy. If ice cream is your thing, definitely dive in but don’t forget about all the other treats that can help you cool down.
- Frozen Yogurt – If you are watching your waistline or just looking for a cold treat with few calories, frozen yogurt may be just what you need. These options have the texture and taste of traditional ice cream but provide a lower-fat alternative.
- Sherbet – If you are looking for something frozen and fruity, sherbet will give you what you want. Most sherbet only comes in fruit flavors and because it contains a lower percentage of milk fat, it is more icy and less creamy that traditional ice cream.
- Sorbet – If you need a dairy-free alternative, sorbet can give you all of the frozen fruit flavor you crave to get you cooled down.
This month beat the heat, eat something sweet, and support our hard working dairy farmers and local businesses by picking up a gallon or two of your family’s favorite frozen treat, ice cream.