National Ice Cream Month is celebrated every year in the month of July since 1984. This year, National Ice Cream Day lands on Sunday, July 21. What better way to celebrate the occasion but with your own sundae?
But first, a scoop on this quirky holiday’s history. The celebrations originated by Joint resolution 298 in the United States Senate, sponsored by Senator Walter Dee Huddleston of Kentucky, and by Joint resolution 543 in the United States House of Representative, sponsored by Representative Kika de la Garza of Texas back in April and May of 1984. This resolution proclaimed that the month of July 1984 as “National Ice Cream Month” and July 15, 1984 as the first “National Ice Cream Day.” It was signed into public law by President Ronald Reagan on July 9, 1984 with Presidential Proclamation 5219. And we’ve been celebrating this holiday every July since!
While this occasion may have prosaic beginnings, we’re definitely thankful to President Reagan. Afterall, ice cream is a summertime (and anytime!) favorite of people for all ages. There are hundreds of ice creams flavors and toppings to choose from, and you can’t really go wrong with any of the combinations.
Most ice cream sundae toppings tend to be overindulgent and oversweet, from gummy bears, peanut butter cups, and multi-colored sprinkles. But there are healthier alternatives for your ice cream. Don’t be scared of the word “healthier.” These toppings are still quite decadent but have comparatively lower sugar, no chemicals or additives and zero artificial colors. Now that’s what we call “happy eating!”
1. Warm Up Fruit
Grill some ripe peach halves, sauté plums or bananas or roast strawberries. These take advantage of delicious, seasonal fruit and make for great ice cream toppings. We personally love the texture and temperature difference it adds to a sundae, which just ups the ante for your ice cream game.
2. Add Nuts
Speaking of texture, why not add some shredded coconuts or crunchy cocoa nibs to your bowl? Sunflower seeds, roasted slivered almonds and chopped up pistachios all add textural interest. Texture is incredible component of adding decadence without the guilt.
3. Add Something Savory
Extra virgin olive oil may not rank high (or at all) on your list of ice cream sundae toppings, but you should seriously try it! We particularly love drizzling some olive oil on vanilla ice cream. It adds a hint of savory complexity. Maybe even sprinkle a pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt. The savory-salty component of these toppings enhances the sweetness of the ice cream.
For some of us, a sundae calls for a drizzle of something truly indulgent. Making your own warm chocolate fudge with melted dark chocolate and a bit of cream. This definitely ticks the box for decadence. Honey is another great syrup. With either of these choices, a little goes a long way. And don’t forget that both dark chocolate and honey are rich with anti-oxidants. Now that’s a win-win.
At the end of the day, National Ice Cream Day is meant to be fun and frivolous occasion. Nix the guilt and just enjoy this event with your family and friends.
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