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Jenna and her kids made snow ice cream. Here's how to prepare it safely

Snow ice cream can be a sweet snack to have here and there — if you follow the right steps.
Shaved Ice
Is ice cream made of snow safe to eat?Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Ice cream in the middle of a blizzard? It worked for Jenna Bush Hager.

Last February on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna, she told Hoda that she and her kids made snow ice cream during the blizzard that slammed her home in New York City.

Jenna said she scooped up some snow and placed it in a Tupperware container. Then, they added almond milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. She also said you can add condensed milk, noting they didn’t do that because they didn’t have any.

“It tasted almost like a snow cone,” she said of the finished product.

Of course, this treat is made with snow, which isn't always the cleanest ingredient. So, is it safe to eat? Well, that depends on what kind of snow you’re using.

“Even if it looks clean, if it's been plowed or shoveled somehow and stacked up, you want to skip it, you want to get fresh snow that's coming down,” Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News' health and nutrition editor, told TODAY Food.

“It always has to be fresh, though. Meaning freshly fallen, and it goes without saying, no snow plows, either anything that's plowed or on the side, even if it looks OK, skip that. And of course, skip anything that is not snowy white, anything that's discolored at all.”

“If it's falling for an hour or more, collect the snow after that because that will tend to be the cleanest snow,” she added.

Fernstrom also said it makes a nice treat on occasion, as long as the proper steps are taken.

“For most people, a little bit of this a single time now and then is not going to be a problem," she said. "Can you guarantee any snow will be contaminant free? No, but the levels will be so tiny, some research shows that it doesn't exceed any of the levels for anything else that you find anything in the atmosphere. And so that's a good thing.”

Fernstrom also commended Jenna on how she collected the snow.

“It was great,” she said. “Jenna is on her roof with fresh snow, it's not anywhere else. It hasn't bounced off a building or landed places. So she picked a really good spot, the cleanest snow she can find on her roof that's freshly fallen. So that's a good guideline to follow.”