July 23 is National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, an unofficial holiday to celebrate one of the most loved flavors of ice cream in the world: vanilla! But did you know that vanilla has a long and rich history? Vanilla is actually a spice that is derived from an orchid plant and which root word “vainilla” means “little pod.” It was later cultivated by the Aztecs and by the mid-19th century, Mexico was the main producer of vanilla in the world, which traded with Europe in 1500 to bring vanilla to more western countries. According to National Geographic, vanillais in fact the second most expensive spice in the world next to saffron because production of the spice is very labor-intensive. Vanilla is also the only fruit bearing member of the orchid family. Britannica reported that fresh vanilla fruits or beans have no aroma because the aroma is actually a result of enzymatic action during curing. Now that you know some vanilla trivia, make sure to share with your friends and loved ones. In the meantime, here are some recipes and gift ideas for vanilla ice cream lovers.
Fun Vanilla Recipes
Malted Vanilla Ice Cream with Chocolate-Covered Pretzels
Recipe by FiveandSpice, Food52
This indulgent recipe, which the author describes as “basically a malted version of Cook’s Illustrated’s vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate covered pretzel nubbins swirled in,” calls for salted pretzel sticks, heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. It’s perfect for whipping up something sweet for any family gathering or holiday. Grab the recipe at Food52.
Pear Vanilla Sorbet
Recipe by GabSimoneLouise, photo by James Ransom, Food52
Perfect for summer, this sherbet recipe calls for just five ingredients: pears, sugar, vanilla beans, lemon juice, and some water. It’s a super simple sherbet to make and is delightful to serve to your guests throughout summer. Grab the recipe at Food52.
Vanilla Bourbon Shake
Recipe by Chris Cote, Food52
Bourbon vanilla is a delightful alcoholic drink that’s enjoyed by those who love notes of vanilla. This recipe calls for a bottle of bourbon and some vanilla beans if you’re looking to create vanilla infused bourbon, and some dark creme de cacao, black raspberry liqueur, cocoa powder or nutmeg and some half and half if you’re looking to make vanilla bourbon shake. Grab the recipe at Food52.
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Chocolate Ganache
Recipe by La Tavola Marche, Food52
Take your dessert stylings to another level with this panna cotta with ganache, which is sure to impress even the most discerning vanilla lovers out there. All you need is some gelatin, milk, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla bean, dark chocolate, and heavy cream. Grab the recipe at Food52.
Vanilla Toasted Coconut Cashew Butter
Recipe by The Suburban Soapbox, Food52
Create your own unique butter spread with coconut flakes, cashews, and vanilla bean paste. This creamy treat is sure to surprise and please loved ones. Great with bread! Grab the recipe at Food52.
Gifts and Ideas for Ice Cream Lovers
1. Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt ICE-21P1 Ice Cream Maker, White
Ice cream lovers who enjoy making their own ice cream will delight in the Cuisinart 1.5 Quart Frozen Yogurt ICE-21P1 Ice Cream Maker, a great choice for beginners! This ice cream maker features a new patent-pending mixing paddle that makes frozen desserts in 20 minutes or less. It features a large capacity that can make up to 1.5 quarts and a double insulated freezer bowl that eliminates the need for ice! It also comes equipped with an easy lock transparent lid with a large spout that makes it easy to add ingredients, mess-free. It also contains a heavy duty motor that’s strong enough to produce ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet and frozen drinks, as well as non-slip rubber feat to keep it stationary during use. This Cuisinart ice cream maker has an overall customer rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Absolutely love this ice cream maker! Very easy to use and fun to make my own recipes. I use recipes from an old ice cream maker that are low fat/low sugar to keep the calories in check. Works great! Ordered another for a gift.” Lynn M.
2. The Perfect Scoop, Revised and Updated: 200 Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, Gelatos, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz
Explore hundreds of new ice cream flavors with this revised and updated edition of the best-selling ice cream book, which features a fresh design and all-new photography. This comprehensive collection of recipes will let you and your family enjoy creating homemade ice creams, sorbets, gelatos, granitas, and accompaniments created by New York Times best-selling cookbook author and blogger David Lebovitz. Discover an array of classic and sophisticated flavors such as classic chocolate peanut butter, s’mores, lavender honey, and Labneh ice cream with pistachio-sesame brittle. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars by readers on Amazon.
Promising review: “Interesting and delicious recipes. Liked it so much, I gave it as a gift after making the first recipe. There are many sorbet recipes, too, which means I will use the book throughout the summer as fruits ripen. A must have.” Sue M.
3. Centervs Human-Shaped Ice Cream Scoop
Meet this charming little ice cream scoop from Centervs, which features an ergonomic design that will allow you to glide through the frozen treat without any messes. The humanoid scoop is made from sturdy stainless steel that won’t bend or break easily and odorless food-grade silicone on the handle for a perfectly solid and comfortable grip while scooping. This scooper is dishwasher safe and is great as a gift for ice cream lovers or anyone who wants to add more fun to the kitchen or dining table. This giftable item has an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Cute item, arrived rapidly and is really funny looking and well built. I recommend it!” Noa M-R
4. Melissa & Doug Wooden Scoop and Serve Ice Cream Counter Play Food and Accessories
Ice cream loving parents and kids can bond over this 28-piece wooden ice cream play set which features scoop that fits into a hole on top of the scoops to lift, stack, and release the scoops, as well as a wooden ice cream counter, eight ice cream scoops, six toppings, two cones, cup, tongs, wooden spoon, and six pretend dollar 1 bills. This playtime set will spark the imagination of kids of all ages because it comes with a reusable menu so kids can take orders, pay with play money, and serve cold sweet treats for summer. It’s a great gift for parents with young kids who totally adore ice cream. Engage your kids’ minds and creativity with this giftable play set. This set from an award-winning children’s toy brand has an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Our five year old and three year old granddaughters were with us for five days and played with the Ice Cream Shop endlessly. They took orders…the more complicated the better…..and kept the various components in the case in perfect order. I mention this because when there is a place for everything, children like to keep everything in its place.” Carmen P. Santos
5. Hudson Baby Unisex Baby Cotton Sleeveless Bodysuits
Featuring adorable ice cream themed prints, this set of HUdson Baby bodysuits are perfect for ice cream loving parents. Hudson Baby offers cotton bodysuits that feature adorable prints, embroideries, stripes and solids that all feature a comfortable base layer that’s great for pairing with pants, shorts, and more. It’s also super comfortable and cozy to wear for your little one. Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Super cute onesies. Bought size 0-3 month for my newborn daughter who was born in the summer time. She was 6lbs 10oz so they were a little big but glad she will be able to wear them a couple times before growing out of them!” Tori B.
More Gifts for Ice Cream Lovers
1. WizardPins Happy Smiling Ice Cream Cone Enamel Pin
Put a smile on your vanilla ice cream loving friend with this trendy pin that’s fun and lighthearted. This masterfully crafted and vibrant enamel die struck lapel pin comes in the shape of a happy little vanilla soft serve ice cream cone, which is crafted with the utmost attention to detail. Each pin is diestruck from jeweler’s metal and hand-filled with bold enamel colors and is constructed from the finest base metals for a lasting design. It’s great to attach to denim jackets, bags, and more. Rated 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
2. Lex Altern Couple Cases Best Friend Chocolate Vanilla Ice-CreamProtective TPU Cover
If you and your bestie both love ice cream, then this pair of phone cases are for you These clear matching couple or best friend phone cases are functional and form fitted with an array of mobile phones. It features a unique colorful print that is long-lasting and resistant to yellowing. These cases are compatible with the Apple iPhones 12 to 6, Google Pixel phones, Samsung Galaxy Note phones, and more. Rated 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
3. Beachland Ice Cream Beach Towel
Can’t get enough of summer? Then go for this Beachland Ice Cream Beach Towel, which is made with 100% cotton but is light and thin making it great for travel. It is made with sun resistant fiber reactive print so the ice cream motifs stay vibrant throughout use. It’s great for the beach, pool, and other outdoor activities because it’s light to carry and absorbent on the reverse side to dry you quickly. Features thin and soft velous on the front and loop terry on the reverse. Rated 3.9 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Great towel. Vibrant colors, exactly as advertised, very absorbent and fluffy. They have also been through the washer and dryer twice and still look great.” Juan Amador
4. DIDK Women’s Cute Cartoon Print Tee and Shorts Pajama Set in Ice Cream Pink
Drift off and dream of ice cream with this shorts pajama set from DIDK, which is made of 95% polyester and 5% spandex. This tee and shorts pajama set features a round neck, short sleeves, and pull on closure. With stretchy fabric, this set is comfortable to wear at home and during bedtime. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Promising review: “Super soft and the shorts are stretchy! It would be nice as a gift too!” Yasmine
5. Wynwood Studio Food and Cuisine Wall Art Canvas Prints ‘Ice Cream You Scream’ Home Décor
Ice cream lovers will enjoy having this whimsical home decor, which is designed and made in the US by real artists and expert interior designers to bring you the perfect kitchen wall decor. Add a touch of delight to your kitchen or home with this canvas print that features stunning, vivid and ultra-sharp colors on its exclusive acid-free, textured canvas giclée. This wall art canvas is stretched over a sustainable wood frame for museum worthy display. Measures 36 x 24 inches. Rated 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
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