Summertime, the season of ice cream in all its glorious forms – soft serve, gelato, from the truck, in a cone or a cup, on a stick, or sandwiched between two delicious cookies. There are endless ways to enjoy that perfect-for-a-hot-summer-day treat. But(!) we can’t indulge every day. So on those same days when you need a healthy alternative that is cold and delicious and hits the spot, try the following DIY treats!
- Pops: there are so many great molds on the market, many of them made from silicone which is longer lasting, doesn’t leach, and is easier on the environment. And the recipes are endless. Break out the blender and start with whatever fresh fruit you have (we’re partial to watermelon and strawberries!), then add coconut water or fresh fruit juice, and finish with mint, lime, honey, or agave. And if you don’t have one of the new molds, you can definitely go old school with ice cube trays and popsicle sticks. The cubes sit a little wonky on their sticks but they taste just as good! Freeze at least six hours, and for best results, freeze overnight!
- Frozen Grapes: be sure you wash them well and take them off of their vines before popping them in the freezer. If you use our Ziptucks for this, you’ll have a handy snack to take with you wherever you go!
- Smoothies: Again, break out the blender and start with whatever fresh fruit you have (here we love bananas, blueberries and apples, but you can actually use anything). You’ll need a liquid element and can use coconut water again, or coconut milk, almond milk, fresh fruit juice, hemp milk, oat milk, whatever you’re keen on, really. If your kids need a protein boost, you can add almond butter (it pairs nicely with bananas and apples)! And if it’s hard to get them to eat their vegetables, you can disguise them in a smoothie and get them to drink their vegetables (that handful of spinach and kale goes a long way)!
- Banana “Ice Cream” or Frozen Bananas: Who knew that freezing a banana could result in delicious bliss? To make banana ice cream peel and cut a few bananas into quarters lengthwise, put them in an airtight container and freezer them for at least 6 hours, then blend them until smooth. Eat immediately! For frozen bananas, just peel and cut them in half, then insert a popsicle stick into the cut end. Again freeze in an airtight container for at least 6 hours. (If there are no nut allergies in your house, you can top your banana ice cream with/roll the bananas on sticks in crushed salted peanuts – the salty-sweet combo is really something.)