National Ice Cream Day is a holiday that celebrates one of the most popular frozen desserts in the world. It is celebrated every **third Sunday of July** in the United States, which means it falls on **July 16, 2023** this year. The holiday was established by President Ronald Reagan in 1984, who also declared July as National Ice Cream Month⁴⁶. He wanted to commemorate a treat enjoyed by over 90 percent of the US population.

There are many ways to celebrate National Ice Cream Day at home or outside. Here are some ideas:

– Order your favorite ice cream from a dessert delivery service or visit a local ice cream shop. You might find some deals and free ice cream on this day.
– Make your own ice cream with an ice cream maker or try some easy recipes that don’t require a machine.
– Experiment with different flavors and toppings, or create your own ice cream sundae, float, sandwich, or cake.
– Learn about the history and science of ice cream, or watch some movies or shows that feature ice cream scenes.
– Share your ice cream creations and memories on social media with the hashtag #NationalIceCreamDay.
– Enjoy your ice cream with your family, friends, or pets (but make sure it’s safe for them).

The number of calories in a scoop of ice cream depends on the size, flavor, and brand of the ice cream. According to various sources¹²³⁴⁵, the average calories in a scoop of ice cream are:

– **57 calories** for 1 oz (28 g)
– **88 calories** for 1 small scoop/dip (49 g)
– **133 calories** for 1 medium scoop/dip (72 g)
– **179 calories** for 1 large scoop/dip (97 g)
– **267 calories** for 1 cup (132 g)

These values are based on plain vanilla ice cream, which has 46% fat, 47% carbs, and 7% protein. Other flavors and ingredients may have more or less calories. For example, chocolate ice cream has 156 calories per medium scoop, while butter pecan ice cream has 280 calories per medium scoop¹. You can check the nutrition facts on the product packaging or online for more accurate information.

To burn off the calories from eating ice cream, you need to do some physical activity that will increase your heart rate and metabolism. The amount and type of activity will depend on how much ice cream you ate, your weight, your fitness level, and other factors. Here are some examples of how long it would take to burn off the calories from a medium scoop (133 calories) of vanilla ice cream¹:

– **Jogging**: 10 minutes
– **Walking**: 25 minutes
– **Cycling**: 15 minutes
– **Swimming**: 12 minutes
– **Dancing**: 20 minutes

Of course, these are only estimates and may vary for different individuals. You can use a calorie calculator to find out how many calories you burn for different activities based on your personal data. Alternatively, you can wear a fitness tracker or use an app to monitor your calorie expenditure.

However, keep in mind that exercise alone is not enough to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. You also need to pay attention to your overall diet and lifestyle. Eating ice cream occasionally is fine, but it should not be a regular part of your diet. Ice cream is high in sugar, fat, and calories, and low in nutrients. It can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems if consumed too often or in large amounts²³.

Therefore, it is better to limit your intake of ice cream and other sugary or fatty foods, and choose healthier alternatives such as fresh fruits, yogurt, or sorbet. You can also make your own ice cream with low-fat milk, natural sweeteners, and fruits or nuts for extra flavor and nutrition. This way, you can enjoy a frozen treat without feeling guilty or having to work too hard to burn it off.

 

Some healthy ice cream toppings that can add flavor, texture, and nutrition to your frozen treat are:

– **Fresh or frozen fruits**: Fruits are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, and can add natural sweetness and color to your ice cream. You can use berries, bananas, peaches, cherries, mangoes, or any fruit you like. You can also make fruit sauces or compotes by cooking fruits with a little water and sugar until they are soft and syrupy¹².
– **Nuts and seeds**: Nuts and seeds are good sources of healthy fats, protein, and minerals, and can add crunch and nuttiness to your ice cream. You can use almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or any nuts or seeds you like. You can also toast them lightly for more flavor²³.
– **Nut butters**: Nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter can add creaminess and richness to your ice cream. They are also high in healthy fats and protein. You can drizzle them over your ice cream or make a homemade magic shell by mixing them with coconut oil.
– **Honey or maple syrup**: Honey and maple syrup are natural sweeteners that can add flavor and moisture to your ice cream. They are also rich in antioxidants and minerals. You can use them plain or mix them with other ingredients such as cinnamon, vanilla, or lemon juice.
– **Olive oil and balsamic vinegar**: Olive oil and balsamic vinegar may sound like an unusual combination for ice cream, but they can actually create a delicious contrast of flavors. Olive oil is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, while balsamic vinegar is low in calories and has a sweet and tangy taste. You can drizzle them over your ice cream or reduce them to a thick glaze.

There are many ways to make your own healthy ice cream at home, using natural ingredients and less sugar and fat than regular ice cream. Here are some tips and examples of healthy homemade ice cream recipes:

– **Use frozen bananas as a base**: Frozen bananas have a creamy texture and a natural sweetness that make them perfect for blending into ice cream. You can add other fruits, nut butters, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, or any flavorings you like to create different variations. You don’t even need an ice cream maker, just a blender or food processor.
– **Use coconut milk or cream as a base**: Coconut milk or cream is rich in healthy fats and has a mild flavor that works well with many ice cream recipes. You can combine it with other non-dairy milks, sweeteners, and flavorings, and churn it in an ice cream maker or freeze it in a container and stir it occasionally.
– **Use yogurt as a base**: Yogurt is high in protein and probiotics, and can add a tangy flavor to your ice cream. You can use plain or flavored yogurt, or make your own by straining regular yogurt until it’s thick and creamy. You can mix it with fruits, honey, vanilla, or other ingredients, and freeze it in an ice cream maker or in popsicle molds¹³.
– **Use protein powder as an ingredient**: Protein powder can boost the protein content of your ice cream and also add flavor and sweetness. You can use any type of protein powder you like, such as whey, casein, soy, pea, or hemp. You can mix it with milk, water, or non-dairy milk, and add fruits, nuts, chocolate chips, or other mix-ins. You can freeze it in an ice cream maker or in a freezer-safe container²³.

Here are some examples of healthy homemade ice cream recipes that you can try:

– **Healthy Vanilla Ice Cream**: This recipe uses coconut milk, eggs, vanilla bean, stevia, and xylitol to make a smooth and creamy vanilla ice cream that is sugar-free, low-carb, high-protein, and keto-friendly.
– **Healthy Chocolate Ice Cream**: This recipe uses frozen bananas, cocoa powder, almond butter, almond milk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup to make a rich and decadent chocolate ice cream that is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free.
– **Healthy Strawberry Ice Cream**: This recipe uses frozen strawberries, yogurt, honey, lemon juice, and vanilla extract to make a refreshing and fruity strawberry ice cream that is gluten-free and low in fat.
– **Healthy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream**: This recipe uses frozen bananas, spinach, mint leaves, peppermint extract, stevia, dark chocolate chips, and almond milk to make a green and minty ice cream that is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and high in antioxidants.