Unique Options to Celebrate National Ice Cream Day in Austin

Ice cream tacos, root beer granita, and a movement for change

At this point in 2020 anything that safely cools us off in this monotonous heat, offers temporary reprieve from the weight of simultaneous crises, and does it all with a customizable tasty treat is cause for celebration. Turns out, Sunday, July 19 is National Ice Cream Day, and that absolutely fits the bill.

Ice Cream Taco Kits are a collaboration between Nadamoo! and Siete Family Foods (Courtesy of Sunshine Sachs)

Two Austin-based super brands – NadaMoo! and Siete Family Foods – are collaborating on a special edition Ice Cream Taco Kit ($40; feeds up to 12) to enjoy at home. Even better, all of the products in the kit are dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan. It’s a delightfully inclusive treat that includes a box of 12 Siete’s taco shells, 4 pints of customer’s choice NadaMoo!, chocolate chips from Enjoy Life Foods, a recipe card, and of course, sprinkles. Thirteen flavor options include chocolate peanut butter, Marshmallow Stardust, caramel cold brew, and birthday cake cookie dough; extra special edition items include a festive taco holder and spoons.

Pre-orders for the kits are open on the Nadamoo's Square site and the kits will be available for pick-up starting Sunday, July 19 at the NadaMoo! Scoop Shop (1701 S. Lamar Blvd.), 12pm-10pm daily (while supplies last).

Speaking of vegan ice cream, Luv Fats ice cream is made with avocado and coconut milk by owner Chi Ndika. Her very popular, very delicious dessert is available by the scoop and by the pint at Texas Farmers’ Markets, The Bee Grocery, and Mozart Coffee (it’s best to pre-order as she sells out just about every time), and comes in a variety of creative seasonal flavors, from soy sauce to butter pecan to Kenyan chai. Ndika just launched a GoFundMe page to help crowdsource funds for a new batch freezer, which she needs to keep up production demands.

Luv Fats, a Black-owned local business, recently collaborated with Ice Cream for Change, a national community of ice cream makers committed to social change and civic action. Beginning on National Ice Cream Day, the group is asking the ice cream community – like Luv Fats – to donate a percentage of sales to groups that support dismantling racial injustice to “Freeze Out Racism.” According to their website: “From dismantling racial injustice to fighting climate change, our goal is to use the power of ice cream as a force for good by helping to raise money and awareness for organizations who are driving solutions and making real-world impact across the globe.” The participation toolkit is available on their website.

And if you’re more of the “let’s work with what we’ve got at home” type, Ariana Quant, head pastry chef for all Hai Hospitality concepts (including Austin's Uchi, Uchiko, and LORO), elevates traditional ice cream options. Quant even employs her seasonal ingredient ethos in her ice cream recipes and this summer at Uchiko she developed three unique ice cream dishes: caramelized pineapple ice cream served with coconut crumble (think coconut macaroon); Bourbon ice cream with blueberry compote and caramel corn; and white peach sorbet with apricots in a tart white wine syrup.

Uchiko is open for curbside pickup orders, but Quant also suggests dressing up your favorite store-bought ice cream with a few tricks:

● Pour a shot of espresso on top of vanilla, chocolate, or butter pecan-flavored ice cream to make an Affogato. (For kids, try ginger ale over rainbow sherbet.)

● Crush some salted kettle chips onto vanilla or chocolate ice cream.

● Instead of a root beer float, try a root beer granita – a semi-frozen dessert in the neighborhood of sorbet and Italian ice – with her recipe below. Top with your favorite vanilla ice cream (or make some with her recipe) and drizzle with chocolate sauce for a twist on the soda shop classic Black Cow.

Ariana Quant, head pastry chef of all Hai Hospitality locations (Photo By Clare Hogan)

Root Beer Granita

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 12 oz bottles of your favorite root beer

”Start by making a simple syrup by bringing your sugar and water to a boil. Cool down slightly before adding soda. Pour into a shallow glass pan. Carefully put in the freezer and allow to freeze overnight. Before serving, scrape granita by using a fork, working from the top to the bottom. Pro tip: throw your ice cream dish in the freezer beforehand so you have a chilled bowl to eat from. Your sundae won't melt as fast.”

Classic Vanilla Ice Cream

6 cups whole milk
3 cups cream
2 vanilla bean
15 egg yolks
2 1/4cups sugar
¼ tsp salt

”Scald together milk, cream and vanilla bean in a medium size pot. Pull off the heat and allow to steep for 30 min for vanilla to infuse. In a KitchenAid, using whisk attachment, whip together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Return pot to simmer. Whisk in aerated eggs. Continue whisking until 172°F is reached. Strain mixture through fine mesh strainer and ice batch until cool. Allow to mature overnight. If you have an immersion blender, blend before spinning your ice cream. If not, give it a good whisk. Churn your ice cream according to your ice cream machine's directions. This recipe lends itself well for dry infusions, like teas, dry spices, even orange zest, as well as extracts like peppermint or almond. For inclusions, churn ice cream, then fold in your toppings like candy pieces, cookies, or jams. Play around to find your favorite combination.”

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