I can’t help it. I’m thinking of summer.
And summer is coming, like an ice cream truck’s bell several blocks away. With my senses, I can feel, smell, and taste it already. It’s like when my babe first starts babbling and then suddenly she’s out with “mama” and “dada.”
Warm, hot summer.
I’m ready for iced coffee and outdoor meals the same way my kids are ready for the final school bell. Along with summer sleepovers, soaking rays by any body of water, and sand in every place imaginable comes the essential summer iced treats. Tired of all the sugar filled summer ices and washing Red #40 out of my kid’s clothes, I want something natural, preservative free, sweet, and refreshing. I pulled out some old recipes and added some new ones. These are going to be our go-tos this summer.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
This works with any other fruit as well (blueberries, raspberries, cherries, etc), but my kids are wild for strawberries. Take 1 cup of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt and add chopped strawberries. Scoop the yogurt into a waffle cone cup or recycled yogurt containers. Then place in the freezer for 2-3 hours and enjoy. My kids love these, especially when they are in the waffle cones because they get the real ice cream feel. Check out: Adventures of a Gluten Free mom for good sugar free/gluten free waffle cone recipe. You can even add sprinkles or coconut for special effect.
I reused two yogurt containers. I filled them half way with organic unsweetened preservative free applesauce (from Trader Joe’s, where else?) and froze them for about 2-3 hours. Then, voila! I have apple sauce ices. My kids loved scraping the apple ice out of them. They freeze to a nice consistency. There are also many variations. They can be watered down for even less sugar or cinnamon or spices can be added for an Autumn treat. Like making homemade baby food, any puree with work similarily. Pear or prune purees have the same desired effect: kids love to eat them.
Coconut Water Popsicles
My kids usually don’t like coconut water, regardless of how much I try. Yet, something magical happens for them when food is frozen. They will eat coconut water popsicles. Coconut Water, usually Zico brand, mixed with some fruit juice (pineapple, mango, or orange) and placed popsicle molds overnight make a treat my kids love. Crate & Barrel, Williams-Sonoma and Amazon have great brands of popsicle molds. My son doesn’t like chucks in his popsicles, but my daughter will eat them with pieces of frozen fruit mixed in, usually pineapple or mango. These molds will also work with Greek yogurt, soy yogurt, goat’s milk yogurt and even whole milk. These also make great “adult” popsicles using coconut water, shredded coconut, and lime with or without raspberries or mint. Yum.
We hope these summer treat ideas are helpful for you and your family.