Nothing says summertime quite like a nice cold scoop of ice cream. It’s the ultimate treat for those hot days! But you don’t have to head to the local shop to indulge. In recognition of National Ice Cream day on July 16th, we wanted to commemorate the day by providing some unconventional ice cream options to try this summer.

If you spend any time on social media these days you might have seen some interesting new ice cream trends and recipes, with unconventional ingredients like cottage cheese and ricotta. These recipes need to be tried to be believed. They provide a healthier alternative to typical ice cream, and you can even make them at home! In this blog we’ll give you the ‘scoop’ on these trends and include a recipe to try at home, as well as some ice cream shops to try out.

Something for Everyone

You’ve got lots of options when it comes to choosing an ice cream flavour. There are dairy free, nut free and gluten free options. A vast array of different flavours (both tried and true and less conventional), and a million ways to consume it (think ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, floats, rolled, cups, cones or by the pint). It’s truly the dessert that offers something for everyone.

If you’re a traditionalist, you’ll likely be tempted to play it safe when you indulge. That means an ice cream composed of heavy cream, whole milk and sugar as the basic ingredients. This is just the jumping-off point - from here you can add flavours and more ingredients to make your ice cream exactly what you want.

But ice cream really is for everyone, and that means there are a lot of options for those that have specific dietary restrictions or allergies. If you’re dairy-free, you can find a vegan ice cream made from a coconut or soy base. Gluten-free options are just that - gluten free, and many ice creams, including those from local shops, are peanut free and made in peanut-free facilities.

If you’re tired of the same old, there are a couple viral trends and recipes you could try out. These are dairy-friendly, so if you’re lactose intolerant you may need to find a vegan alternative!

Viral Cottage Cheese Ice Cream

Believe it or not, you can make ice cream with cottage cheese! This may sound bizarre, but if you think back to the basic ingredients that make up ice cream, using cottage cheese covers the main requirements. It provides an option for ‘healthier’ ice cream, if that’s what you’re after. Using cottage cheese gives you a protein boost too, as it’s a great source of protein. You can browse popular TikTok cottage cheese recipes here or try this one below.

Cottage Cheese Ice Cream (from Eating Bird Food)


▢ 2 cups (16 oz) full fat cottage cheese
▢ ¼ cup honey
▢ 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
▢ 2 Tablespoons chocolate chips


  1. Add cottage cheese, honey and peanut butter to a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Remove the lid from your processor and stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Pour mixture into a loaf pan and place in the freezer until hard (at least 4 hours).
  4. Dig in! Before you eat it, take it out of the freezer and let it temper for about 5 minutes to let it soften slightly for a better eating experience.

Options for variation

  • If you like coffee, try adding some espresso or instant coffee powder to the food processor.
  • For a fruity ice cream stir in your finely chopped fruit of choice.
  • For a smooth chocolate flavour, add in cacao powder instead of the peanut butter (or keep the PB and make it a combination for delicious reason!)
  • Like spice? Leave out the PB and stir in nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon for a fall-spiced ice cream.

Not interested in trying cottage cheese ice cream but still want to make your own? All you need are the basic ingredients and a food processor! You can find ideas for easy-to-follow ideas here.

Best Ice Cream Shops in Canada

Think outside the freezer aisle at the grocery store to celebrate national ice cream day! If an alternative recipe doesn’t interest you like the above options, and you’re not interested in making your own traditional recipe at home, try a scoop from your local ice cream shop. Here are some delicious options:

  1. Earnest Ice Cream, Vancouver BC
  2. Village Ice Cream, Calgary AB
  3. Dandy’s Ice Cream, Regina SK
  4. Fable Ice Cream, Saskatoon SK
  5. Chaeban Ice Cream, Winnipeg MB
  6. Bang Bang Ice Cream & Bakery, Toronto ON
  7. Dee Dee’s Ice Cream, Halifax NS

Whether you’re making it at home, trying an alternative flavour or a viral TikTok recipe, visiting an ice cream shop or reaching into the freezer for your favourite pint, we wish you a great and sweet national ice cream day!