Cooling Down with Frosty Treats

With summer’s heat comes the joy of going to the beach, building sand castles and swimming. Or staying cool by running through a sprinkler. Frozen treats are another great way to cool down. They are also fun and easy to make at home!

Homemade frozen treats are far better than those that are store-bought.

• They contain less sugar, artificial flavours and food colouring. And it’s easy to make them completely sugar-free by using 100% fruit juice.

• Homemade treats are zero-waste and affordable.

• You don’t have to have a popsicle maker or an ice cream machine. Though both of those are helpful, there are other options for making homemade frozen treats.

Best of all, homemade frozen treats are a fun and flavourful way to connect with your grandchildren!

Here are three basic recipes to get you started. Feel free to mix and match ingredients to create your own favourite blend.

1. Add edible flowers and mint leaves to popsicles. The results are beautiful. Perfect for your little gnomes and fairies.

2. Whole raspberries, strawberries and cherries make a fun addition to popsicles or ice cream. I recommend avoiding blueberries which freeze solid and aren’t as enjoyable.

3. Kids love mixing liquids. Give them a few different drinks and let them mix their own concoctions. Try brewed herbal teas, 100% fruit juice, yogurt or cream. Which combinations freeze the hardest? Which ones have the best flavour?

Fruit Juicesicles

The easiest homemade frozen treat is a fruit juice popsicle. If you don’t own a popsicle maker, then just use an ice cube tray. A cup full of flavourful ice cubes is pretty fun and perfect for taste-testing different combinations.

A few piece of whole fruits (strawberries, cherries, raspberries)

100% Fruit juice or fruit and vegetable juice blend

1. Wash and chop the fruit into small, bite-sized pieces. Place a few pieces in each popsicle container.

2. Pour in the juice and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Smoothie Creamsicles

Whenever we make smoothies for a snack, we always make a double-batch and freeze the extras as creamsicles. Again, if you don’t have a popsicle maker, just use an ice cube tray.

The best part about homemade creamsicles is that we get to add whatever we want to the smoothie. For a boost of protein add 2 tbsp of peanut butter. Adding 1 tbsp of cocoa powder will result in a chocolatey treat. You favourite smoothie is equally enjoyable as a creamsicle. Blueberry banana creamsicles are one of our favourites.

1 banana

1 cup of blueberries

1 cup of yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Pulse until everything is well-blended and smooth.

2. Pour into the popsicle maker and freeze for 3 hours, until frozen solid.

Honey Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

This frozen yogurt recipe includes a mix of whipping cream and yogurt, because straight frozen yogurt is incredibly icy. Sweetening it with honey not only avoids refined sugars, it also keeps this treat creamy and smooth.

If you want the flavour of frozen yogurt, but don’t have an ice cream maker, freeze the liquid in a 10-inch baking pan. After 1 hour beat in the ice chunks with a whisk. Place the pan back in the freezer and whisk again after 45 minutes. Freeze for a third time, and whisk after 30 minutes. The goal is to bring a bit of air into the liquid so it doesn’t freeze into a solid ice cube. For really creamy ice cream, whisk another few times. Otherwise, leave the frozen yogurt to freeze solid in the baking pan.

2 cups of yogurt

1 cup of whipping cream

½ cup of honey

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

1. Freeze your ice cream maker for at least 24 hours before making frozen yogurt.

2. Mix the yogurt and whipping cream together.

3. Next stir in the honey. This is a bit tricky because the honey needs to be really runny in order to fully mix into the dairy. I recommend measuring the honey into a glass container, then microwaving it for 20–40 seconds so that it is really liquidy. Whisk the whipping cream and yogurt while slowly dribbling in the honey so that it is fully combined.

4. Stir in the vanilla and salt.

5. Follow the instructions of your ice cream maker to churn the frozen yogurt. Transfer the frozen yogurt to a freezer container and freeze for at least 2 hours prior to serving.

Emillie Parrish
Emillie Parrishhttp://emillieparrish.com/
Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog fermentingforfoodies.com.

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