Summer is glorious but fleeting, just like a creamy cone of vanilla ice cream, so it’s wise to be as prepared as possible when it finally hits. I have yet to do the math but one summer only a lots so many cups or cones of delicious ice cream so you’re going to want to make the most of it with a few awesome ice cream hacks.
First and foremost, don’t settle for any discount gallon of bottom shelf ice cream. Not during sacred summer. If it’s calories you’re worried about Halo Top seems to have cracked the low-in-cal high-in-taste ice cream riddle but otherwise look for something made with all-natural ingredients and no corn syrup…ever. Try out a local brand like Humphry Slocombe or Morgenstern’s if you can find it and if not spring for something Talenti, Ben & Jerry’s or Breyer’s.
Related Reading: The Best Brands of Dairy-Free Ice Cream You Can Buy This Summer
Now that you’ve got the good ice cream covered we still need some ice cream hacks to kick things up a Celcius degree or two. We’ve rounded up a dozen of the best ice cream hacks and tips we could find; from lessons in scooping to upgrading the basic pint. Because no interaction with the best dessert ever should be short of amazing, delicious, and totally worth the calories.
1. Experiment with New Ingredients to Wow Your Friends
New York City Chinatown’s Eggloo incorporates butterfly pea powder into its Earl Gray ice cream. When topped with lemon juice, the delicious dish transforms into a kaleidoscope of purples, pinks, and blues that give any unicorn-themed Instagram post a run for its money. You don’t have to alter the pH levels of your dessert to impress your friends, though.
Try these interesting ice cream flavors; assemble delicious ice cream cakes or ice cream sandwiches; or simply top your ice cream with unique ingredients like homemade Magic Shell, edible flowers, freeze-dried fruit, honeycomb, or chili oil to make a melting mash-up and truly memorable experience.
Crunchies Freeze Dried Fruit (6 pack), $28.94 from Amazon
Freeze-dried strawberries over vanilla ice cream: simple but divine.
2. Make Mason Jar Ice Cream
There are a surprising number of ways to make ice cream without an ice cream machine, but this is one of the most gloriously low-tech around. You only need four ingredients (though you can add as many other flavors and mix-ins as you want), and you get a bonus arm workout while you make it. See how to make mason jar ice cream.
Related Reading: Beat Summer Boredom with Edible Crafts for Kids
3. Run a Scooper Under Hot Water Prior to Scooping
Say goodbye to ice cream cramp hands forever. The metal will increase in temperature and, in turn, melt the ice cream as it comes into contact with it. It may seem like common sense, but when’s the last time you’ve done this? Never, that’s when.
Zeroll Ice Cream Scoop, $19.95 from Sur La Table
Industry professionals prefer a thick solid scoop made from one piece of metal.
4. Start Scooping Around the Edges
Ice cream stays more frozen in the center where it’s less exposed to heat, so it’s easier to start from the outside and work your way in. That is unless you want to throw in an afternoon bicep exercise to make up for all the laying around on the beach eating ice cream you’ve done.
5. Try These Tricks to Avoid Freezer Burn
If you have unfinished ice cream in a cardboard container, trim the sides down so there’s less empty space (prime real estate for ice crystals to form) before you pop the lid back on. Or simply press a layer of wax paper on the surface of the ice cream before storing it in the freezer. For pints, you can also simply flip them upside down; since the ice cream will slide down to its base, air exposure will be limited. It’s not magic, it’s science, but to these tricks we still say “Voila!.”
Related Reading: 50 Kitchen & Food Hacks That Will Change Your Life
6. Slice Your Pints to Create Discs for Ice Cream Sandwiches
Or just buy one of Ben & Jerry’s innovative chocolate-dipped slices. Both options more than suffice in taking your binge to the next level.
7. Place a Jelly Bean or Marshmallow at the Bottom of Sugar Cones to Prevent Leaks
You also get an extra treat. A true win-win, if you ask us.
8. Slice a Pint Down the Middle to Create Two Makeshift Bowls
Congratulations. This is your reward for not having to do as many dishes leaving more time to eat ice cream.
9. Pre-Scoop Ice Cream Ahead of Time and Store in the Freezer
If you’re hoping to prevent meltdowns (literally) at your next children’s birthday party, this is the most effective solution. Simply pre-scoop ice your favorite ice cream onto wax paper and pop them in the freezer. (Cover with plastic wrap or more wax paper to prevent freezer burn.)
10. Make Ice Cream Bites
If you love single-serving, chocolate-covered ice cream bites but hate paying a premium for them at the store, turn a pint (or a gallon) into your own DIY treats. It’s more labor intensive but more cost effective, and honestly, not that hard. Get our Ice Cream Bites recipe to see how it’s done.
11. Finish an Almost-Empty Jar of Nutella or Peanut Butter with Ice Cream
Simply drop in a few scoops and get scraping. Nutella and peanut butter should never go to waste. In fact, we’re pretty sure it’s illegal.
Justin's Chocolate Hazelnut and Almond Butter, $14.98 from Amazon
Ummm, so I want to eat this with everything including ice cream.
12. Upgrade Your Splits for Summer
Banana split sundaes are an amazing ice cream upgrade that also make you feel kind of healthy, but how do you make it even better for summer? Grill the bananas first!