Is Snow Ice Cream Really Safe To Eat?

With all the industrial toxins and chemicals humans spew into the atmosphere, it's a sensible question to ponder whether it's wise to consume something unfiltered or untreated that falls from the sky. For people living in colder climates, a winter storm can provide a complimentary ingredient for crafting your snow ice cream, but does eating snow pose a health risk?

Before you scoop up those frosty flakes to be used as the base for building a sweet sundae, consider the advice Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News' health and nutrition editor, dispensed to Today Food. Snow ice cream can be safe to eat, but it must be made with freshly fallen, clean snow that has been untouched by plows and isn't discolored. If snow has been accumulating for an hour or more, it's a good rule of thumb to gather the top, freshest layer of powder.

Fernstrom further recommends that you reserve snow ice cream for special occasions and refrain from adopting it as a frequent dessert option since there is always the possibility the snow collected could contain at least trace amounts of contaminants. However, whipping up a little fresh snow confection every once in a while should be perfectly safe because it's such minute levels.

Making snow ice cream

You're dependent on the right weather conditions to bring you the main ingredient in snow ice cream; once Mother Nature has delivered on her end of the bargain, there are plenty of different recipe options available to try.

We offer up our own quick, easy recipe on how to make snow ice cream in just five minutes requiring only four ingredients: The aforementioned snow, condensed milk, a pinch of salt, and a dash of vanilla extract. Delish's version sweetens the bowl even further, adding sugar instead of salt. Happy Hooligan's rendition on snow ice cream trims the ingredient list down to three, mixing in condensed milk and a teaspoon of vanilla with the snow. It's then up to you to decide whether to garnish yours with chocolate syrup, cherries, sprinkles, nuts, or other additional toppings.

Choose your favorite recipe, and remember that snow ice cream prepared using freshly fallen, clean snow can be safe to eat in small quantities. Hopefully, it goes without saying though that you should steer clear of ice cream made from yellow snow.