Naughty & Nice Cream

This is the first in a new series of posts called Jersey Shore Date Nights. Stay tuned for posts about date night happenings right here at the Jersey Shore. Hope it provides some Date Night-spiration even if you don’t live locally. 
I grew up nearby and now permanently live at the Jersey Shore. I often have to remind myself I live somewhere where people vacation. Teaching SUP yoga and lessons often reminds me of this fact when I meet people who live near no body of water. We have beaches, restaurants, festivals, and music that causes this already active community to come alive even more once Memorial Day Weekend hits. And what summertime date would be complete without ice cream???

As a child of the 80s and 90s, I fell victim to the Frozen Yogurt craze. I would beg my parents take me to TCBY instead of Baskin Robbins because I believed it was “better” for me. Because frozen yogurt piled high with Reeses Pieces and Heath topping is clearly better than a scoop or two of flavored ice cream. Thankfully Seinfeld brought light to our suspicions around “fat-free yogurt” promoting weight loss.


My friends introduced me to the wonders of Ben & Jerry’s in high school. It’s a sundae in a container! A typical Friday night before we had licenses was walking to the nearest 7-11 and each of us pick out a flavor before heading over to Blockbuster to rent that night’s movie. Needless to say it took longer for 6 girls to agree on a 90s teen flick than each of us pick out a B&J pint. Of course the thought of putting away a half-eaten container was just silly. Thank goodness for hours of cheerleading in high school to combat those calories!

In college, I was introduced to a new world of ice cream. Penn State is famous for its creamery. Not nice creamonly did my friends Ben & Jerry learn to make ice cream at Penn State, but Mr Rodgers even came and did a segment about making ice cream. Yes, it’s been featured on Food Network too, but seriously, Mr Rodgers was way more exciting. Penn State creamery ice cream is unlike anything you’ve ever had, mainly because it’s made from milk, cream, and sugar. The way ice cream is supposed to be made. The rumor at school was that the ice cream can only be sold on campus because “the FDA won’t approve the fat content”. Truth is, the creamery wants to maintain the integrity of their ice cream by not adding preservatives for longer shelf life. Now whenever I go back for a visit, Mr E and I get a few containers packed in ice for the 4+ hour car ride home. Seriously, if you ever get a chance to be at the greatest university in the world, don’t miss out on their ice cream.


I’ve learned to appreciate real ice cream again in my old age. It needs to be homemade. It needs to be local. It needs to be scooped by a local high school kid saving up for college. And it needs to be a treat. Which means I very rarely buy ice cream to keep at home and would prefer the whole experience of going out for ice cream. Sunday night ice cream trips were an early dating tradition for Mr E and myself. And still continue 12 years later! A pint of Ben & Jerry’s in my fridge simply doesn’t hold a candle to getting ice cream at the Jersey Shore. I raise my kids cup portion of ice cream to a few amazing Jersey Shore spots.

Mandy & Mr E Top Ice Cream Spots at the Jersey Shore:

  • Hoffmans (Point Pleasant, Spring Lake, Little Silver, and Long Branch) – the OG homemade ice cream shop. Their Fudge Mint Cookie is award-winning!
  • Cookman Creamery (Asbury Park) – a relative newcomer to the Jersey Shore ice cream scene, their unique flavors and large vegan selection make it a hit among hipsters, yogis, and Mr E and myself. Thunder Road is a fave in our house.
  • Beach Plum (Bradley Beach) – great local ice cream shack making the classics and doing them well. Pralines & Cream is my go-to.
  • Ryan’s Ice Cream (Shrewsbury) – my mom continues to drive 30 minutes each way with coolers full of ice packs to get containers of their Black Raspberry Chocolate Bombe
(Sorry Kohr’s fans. Soft ice cream just isn’t the same. Even if it does taste like a Creamsicle.)
Since trips to those spots are a treat, there are other ways to satisfy the sweet tooth in the summer without overdoing on sugar and cream. That’s where “Nice Creams” come into play. These are fruit-based frozen treats that have the consistency of ice cream while promoting intake of fresh fruit. Genius! And the best part if you don’t need to buy a fancy machine that turns a banana into a frozen bowl of ice cream. A blender, food processor, or even good old fashioned fork can do the trick along with a freezer.

Check out these Nice Cream recipes created by fellow dietitians, and tell me what you think:


Vegan Blueberry Banana Soft Serve from Halsa Nutrition

Image from Halsa Nutrition
Image from Liz’s Healthy Kitchen

Peanut Buttery

Creamy Chocolate Peanut Butter “Ice Cream” from Better is the New Perfect

Peanut Butter Banana “Ice Cream” Sandwiches from How to Eat

Image from Amy Gorin Nutrition
Image from Food, Pleasure & Health



Are you an ice cream fan as well?

Where is your go-to spot?

Do you do Ice Cream Date Nights?

Give these Nice Cream recipes a shot and leave some love for myself as well as the creators! 

DISCLAIMER: All opinions are my own and are not influenced or biased by any third parties. I am not compensated for mentioning any specific brands or retailers on this blog. 

nice cream pinterest

14 thoughts on “Naughty & Nice Cream

  1. I want all of these RIGHT NOW! 😉 We are big ice cream and fro yo fans in our house. Do you ever go to those fro yo places where you can add all the toppings? Man, those places are deceiving. I load up on toppings then get up to the counter and it’s like “OK, that’ll be $27 for your yogurt” 😉

    1. Chrissy – I’ve actually NEVER been to a Pinkberry or Top It type fro-yo place. For me it’s all about the quality of the ice cream, and I’ve never heard anyone rave about the ice cream/fro yo at those places. Plus I equate the DIY toppings to when I go to the salad bar at Whole Foods – I try to casually try a little of everything and then go into sticker shock when I get rung up (“I didn’t think it was THAT much stuff…”)

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