Ice cream for breakfast: the trend that makes breakfast sweeter

LOS ANGELES — It’s probably the best news you’ll hear this summer: Yes, you can eat ice cream for breakfast. It’s no longer just an impossible childhood dream. A scientific study, some social media attention and a clever new kitchen appliance have turned everyone’s favorite summer dessert into a breakfast trend that’s delighting kids and adults alike.

This trend gained attention a few years ago, when a Japanese study found that people who ate ice cream immediately after waking up showed signs of reduced stress and increased alertness.

Ice cream lovers around the world were very interested in this information, even though news agencies were unable to verify the study or its results. Still, fans of the frozen treat found the rumors interesting enough to change their morning meal.

Then, in 2021, the Ninja Creami ice cream maker hit the market and instantly became a social media darling. This blender-sized appliance claims to quickly transform just about anything into creamy, smooth frozen custard.

Add your frozen ingredients—from milk, cream and sugar to fruit, dairy-free milk alternatives, natural sweeteners, no- or low-calorie sweeteners, protein powder, flavor extract, chocolate, nut butter and more—press a button and watch it transform into ice cream before your eyes.

The gentle influence of social networks

Next up is TikTok. The platform has proven itself by transforming simple culinary preparations into global phenomena.

Try searching for “breakfast ice cream” on TikTok. You’ll get an endless stream of videos on how to make Ninja Creami concoctions ranging from rich and indulgent to low-carb, high-protein, sugar-free, and other healthy mixes fit for the most important meal of the day.

From unknown TikTok users to well-known social media influencers like Dylan Lamay and Alexis Frost, it seems like everyone on the internet is enjoying a bowl of sweet, creamy ice cream for breakfast. Even former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has openly shared her love of ice cream as she starts her day.

“I eat it for breakfast,” Nancy Pelosi told Ruthie Rogers on her podcast Ruthie’s Table 4. “It’s a great way to start the day. I don’t eat it every day, but I eat it often.” If celebrities like these are starting their day with a scoop of ice cream, you know it’s a trend that’s on the rise.

Sweet breakfasts are nothing new. In the United States, French toast and waffles are drizzled with maple syrup. In France, pastries like pain au chocolat are breakfast staples.

In Thailand, breakfast consists of sweet sticky rice drizzled with sweetened condensed milk, and in Japan, you’ll find fluffy, sweetened soufflé pancakes. So while ice cream for breakfast may seem revolutionary, it’s actually a delicious twist on a long-standing global tradition.

The market for breakfast-worthy frozen treats is booming

Luckily for ice cream lovers looking to indulge in a healthy yet indulgent breakfast, the supermarket freezer is full of options. You’ll find products that cut down on fat, calories, and sugar. Some offer significant doses of protein and other nutrients, and many are dairy-free and vegan.

Halo Top makes dairy-based ice creams that are low in calories and high in protein. Arctic Zero offers a similar product that is dairy-free. Famous for its rich yogurts and healthy overnight oats, Noosa now offers probiotic-enriched frozen yogurt ice creams.

Good for the mind

While the nutritional value of ice cream is up for debate, there’s no doubt that indulging in a favorite treat every now and then can have a big, even short-term, positive impact on your mood. According to Rupa Health, indulgences release feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that increase happiness and reduce stress levels. So that morning scoop of ice cream might be just the pick-me-up you need.

Rachel Engelhart, a registered dietitian and certified intuitive eating coach, tells The Healthy that she advises her clients to fill their plates with nutritious foods, but also to allow themselves to enjoy favorite treats like ice cream or chocolate in moderation.

“Many of my clients are hard on themselves and quite critical of their food choices, which has a negative impact on their mood,” she says. “Perfecting our day with a delicious coffee, a delicious dessert or one of our favourite restaurant meals is also an important way to have a positive impact on our mental health.”

The future of breakfast is now

The breakfast ice cream trend is shaking up the industry. Ice cream makers across the United States are creating new breakfast flavors to meet consumer demand.

Ample Hills Creamery offers a morning flavor in Paris: croissant-infused ice cream with raspberry jam swirls. Their lively Brooklyn flavor features coffee ice cream studded with cinnamon roll pieces and espresso caramel bits. San Francisco-based Humphry Slocombe, known for his cheeky naming style, doesn’t disappoint with a cornflakes and bourbon-infused flavor called Secret Breakfast.

Baskin Robbins recently launched a flavor called “Breakfast in Bed,” which features maple syrup and pancake ice cream mixed with fluffy pancake pieces and ribbons of blueberry compote. And supermarket brand Blue Bell’s “I Heart Cereal” flavor features fruity cereal-infused ice cream with confetti sprinkles and sugar-coated fruit cereal pieces.

If you’re looking to make your own ice cream for breakfast, the internet is full of recipes for classic custard-based ice cream, no-churn ice cream, and healthy Ninja Creami recipes.

The ice cream breakfast trend is gaining traction, but it’s clear that it’s not just a summer trend. With innovative devices like the Ninja Creami, the viral influence of social media, and a growing market for healthy frozen treats, our morning routines are undergoing a delicious transformation. So when breakfast time rolls around, why not indulge in a scoop of sweet, creamy, cold joy? After all, who says you can’t start with dessert?

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