“We ALL scream for ice cream!” Growing up in the 1980s, this was the anthem of summer. Kids all over the country would recite that chant. In fact, it was in that same glorious decade that President Ronald Regan declared July National Ice Cream Month. With Americans consuming more ice cream than any other country in the world, it’s only fitting that we have a month set aside to commemorate the decadent, dairy dessert!
At the LSU AgCenter Rapides Extension Office, we celebrated National Ice Cream month by teaching our TeenChef and KidChef campers how to make ice cream the old-fashioned way, hand-crank and all! They made classic, vanilla-flavored ice cream and learned how to create a healthier topping by mixing 2 cups of sliced strawberries with 1 cup of blueberries and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Campers were amazed by how the fruit and that tiny bit of sugar created its own “syrup.” They also learned that the ice cream and fruit combination was not only tasty but provided several health benefits of dairy, including calcium, vitamin D, protein and fiber.
The TeenChef and KidChef camps enable youth to explore culinary arts and learn about nutrition and food safety. In addition to making ice cream this summer, youth participants have learned how to make smoothies, fruit & yogurt parfaits, and other desserts that incorporate dairy. These skills they obtain from camp will benefit them well into adulthood.
Try your hand at making homemade ice cream this summer by following the fool-proof recipe below for “Ice Cream in a Bag” – no crank required.
Ice Cream in a Bag
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 zip top sandwich bag
- 1 zip top gallon bag
- 3 cups crushed ice
- 1/3 cup rock salt
- Put first three ingredients in the smaller bag and seal bag (make sure it is tightly closed). Put ice and rock salt in the larger bag and then add the filled small bag. Seal the large bag.
- Squeeze and knead the bag until ice cream is thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove small bag, unseal and eat with spoon.
For a quick and easy fresh fruit topping, slice 2 cups of strawberries, throw in a 1/2 cup of blueberries, and toss with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Mix well and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spoon 1/4 cup of this fruit mixture over your ice cream.
Quincy Vidrine is the LSU AgCenter Family & Consumer Sciences Regional Coordinator for the Central Region and the Area Nutrition Agent for Rapides and Grant Parishes. She began her career as a chef in the food service industry after completing her culinary studies at the John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La. She joined the LSU Agcenter in 2005 and has taught nutrition, food safety and healthy living to adult and youth audiences. Quincy conducts a monthly food demonstration on the KALB News Channel 5 Jambalaya Morning show and features Louisiana commodities, low-fat dairy, and healthy cooking tips and tricks. Quincy’s most popular programming is her KidChef and TeenChef nutrition and culinary summer camps.