National Ice Cream Month!

Mooove on over dairy month, it’s time for National Ice Cream Month. National Ice Cream month was designated in July 1984 by Ronald Regan. Although, the history of ice cream dates clear back to fourth century B.C., Kudos to President Regan for giving ice cream the title it surely has deserved for centuries. In the U.S., before 1800 ice cream consumption was rare and enjoyed largely by the upper class. As technology improved, especially in the areas of mechanization and refrigeration, the production of ice cream increased, allowing everyone to enjoy a scoop. The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) states that the U.S. now produces over 1.6 billion gallons of ice cream a year. More than 10% of all milk produced goes to make ice cream, taking 12 pounds of milk for each gallon of ice cream made.

Ohio ranks 8th in the U.S. for ice cream production. The ice cream made right here in Ohio can fit anyone’s palate and pocket book. Toft’s, Velvet, and Smith’s fill the shelves in local groceries. Ice cream shops such as Jeni’s and Graeters are popping up in neighborhoods across the state. Ayars’, Young’s and Hartzler’s delicious ice cream treats are available right on the farm.

Bonnie Ayars, from Ayars Family Farm Ice Cream has been making ice cream with her husband John, and son Lucas since 2010. Lucas helps provide the muscle during ice cream production in this family business. The ice cream business started as a way to connect consumers across the fence with the farm and cows they were seeing. Their ice cream recipe box contains 28 flavors, which are made throughout the year in small batches of 32 pints or less per batch, depending on the flavor. Potential new flavors are taste tested by tasting as many as six different ice creams to see how they want their new flavor to taste. I’d love to be on that panel, wouldn’t you? Once they create a new flavor, lucky neighbors and friends get to taste and evaluate. White Chocolate Raspberry is one of their most popular flavors.

Ayars Family Ice Cream makes around 500 pints of ice cream a month. Ice creams are named after cows, which Bonnie states just seemed like the natural thing to do to include the cows in their ice cream venture. What makes their ice cream different? It is 100% Guernsey milk, it has less air so it melts slower and it’s more about the ice cream and less about the fixings added to it. Bonnie loves finding and sharing the joy of agriculture from the farm to consumers. What better way than with ice cream? They share their ice cream in single servings during school farm tours in April, May and in the fall. Pints are available in local establishments as well as a few retail farm markets, stores and a country club outside the local community. Special order single servings are also becoming popular for weddings and other celebrations.

She connects her love of cows and their products in all aspects of her life. Ice cream has even found its way into her initial dairy judging class at the Ohio State University. Students give their first round of oral reasons, using flavors of ice cream.

What’s the hot new thing in the world of ice cream? It’s always about the exciting flavors being created. IDFA states America’s top five favorite flavors are vanilla, chocolate, cookie ‘n cream, strawberry and mint chocolate chip. Ice cream and flavor creation has even crossed the fence into the world of education. My husband Paul assists the chemistry teacher at our local high school, in making liquid nitrogen ice cream. Students learn all about the chemical properties of liquid N as well as to think outside the box to mix flavors to create a chemical reaction that tingles the taste buds and pleases the senses. One of the best flavors was “The breakfast of champions”— a maple syrup, pancake batter with bacon ice cream. The worst one to date in eight years was this year with barbecue sauce and bananas, which had to be thrown out.

Watching your waistline and your health? Don’t blacklist ice cream. WebMD states “It’s not always about the lowest fat grams. Ice Creams around 120 calories for a half cup with four grams of fat or less, three grams or less of saturated fat, no more than 10 milligrams of cholesterol and less than 15 grams of sugar are great choices.” Edy’s Loaded Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup, Cherry Chocolate Chip and Raspberry Chip Royale, Breyer’s Smooth & Dreamy Vanilla Bean, Rocky Road, Chocolate and Weight Watchers Giant Chocolate Cookies & Cream and Mint Fudge round out WebMD’ top favorite ice cream treats.

Ice cream rocks this world, in moderation of course. No matter what fence ice cream is crossing, it’s sure to make a sweet difference. Be sure to celebrate National Ice Cream Month with a big healthy scoop! I can’t wait for mine.

Eat well and healthy,



Peach Ice Cream

George Washington loved ice cream and sharing it with his friends. This is from his recipe collection.

3 pounds fresh ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, thinly sliced
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided, plus more as needed
3 cups heavy cream
3 cups half-and-half


1. Stir together the peaches and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Set aside, stirring occasionally, to dissolve the sugar.

2. Scald the cream (bring just below the boiling point), remove from the heat, and add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, stirring to dissolve. Blend in the half-and-half.

3. Coarsely mash the peaches, either by hand or in a food processor, and then combine with the cream and half-and-half, stirring well. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

4. When ready to freeze, stir the mixture and add more sugar, if desired. Freeze in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s directions.


Brownie Oreo Ice Cream Bars

1 package brownie mix + ingredients called for

24 Oreos + 3 for topping

1 container (12.8 ounces) hot fudge topping

1 container (48 ounces) cookies and cream ice cream

1 container (8 ounces) whipped topping, completely thawed


  1. Prepare the brownies according to package directions. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray and bake the brownies according to package directions.
  2. Remove and allow the brownies to cool completely.
  3. Top evenly with Oreos.
  4. Warm the hot fudge for 30 seconds and then pour and smooth the hot fudge evenly over the brownies.
  5. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes and remove the ice cream to soften a bit at this time.
  6. Scoop large amounts of ice cream over the hot fudge. Evenly scoop out the entire container of ice cream over the hot fudge layer.
  7. Smooth the ice cream down using a metal spatula until it is even.
  8. Spread the whipped topping evenly over the ice cream and, if desired, garnish with three crushed up Oreos (no need to remove the filling).
  9. Cover and return to the freezer to fully harden.
  10. Allow to sit out for a few minutes before slicing.



Avocado ice cream

May 2015 I had an avocado ice cream without dairy than I love. I found this one and am anxious to try it.

12 ounces avocado flesh, about 3 medium specimens-worth

1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup heavy cream


Halve the avocados, remove pits and use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh.

Place avocado, lemon juice, milk and sugar in blender carafe and puree until smooth.*

Reduce blender speed to low and slowly add the cream.

Chill the mixture in an air-tight container until it reaches 40 degrees F or below, 4 to 6 hours.

Process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. This mixture sets up very fast, so count on it only 5 to 10 minutes to process to soft-serve consistency.

Serve immediately or harden in freezer for 3 to 4 hours for a firmer texture.

Alton Brown’s Notes*Yes, you can use a food processor in a pinch, but you’ll have to scrape down the sides a lot and it will take longer. Just sayin’Yield: 1 quart

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours

A malted vanilla ice cream is loaded with chunks of peanut brittle and milk chocolate.

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