As the mercury creeps up, my taste buds pipe up for refreshing fruity, tart, and sweet cold treats! While there are plenty of cheap options at the grocery store (and some days, an Otter Pop is just what the doctor ordered), it can also be fun to use fresh, healthy ingredients, to just shake things up, or to engage your kids in the kitchen whipping up their snacks.
Recipes for 7 easy and cheap summer treats to beat the heat:
1. Smoothie pops. Smoothies can be as simple as throwing yogurt, juice, and frozen fruit in a blender. Or you can make a crazy healthy version using chia seeds, kale, or protein powders, Once you’ve mixed up your favorite recipe, pour it into a popsicle maker and freeze until set. Amazon sells ice pop molds for a surprising premium — this Ikea set, selling for $8.29 on Amazon, was only $1.99 at Ikea! You can likely get them at a dollar or discount store if you don’t have an Ikea near you.
2. Yogurt and fruit pops. Like smoothie pops, but even easier, as it doesn’t require use of a blender. Layer cut up fruit and yogurt in your popsicle molds and freeze until set. Alternatively, if you don’t have the molds yet (or want to make a large batch), use dixie cups and insert a popsicle stick (works with anything thick enough to hold the stick up until set). You can freeze the dixie cups on a tray, and when ready to eat, they just peel right off.
3. Jell-o shave ice. Tips from a Typical Mom has a recipe and pics for a sweet treat that uses just three ingredients (Jell-o, Sprite/7-Up, and water).
4. Watermelon limeade. Throw watermelon chunks in a blender and puree until smooth. You can strain the juice if you like, or keep the pulp. Mix in an equal portion of limeade and a few sprigs of mint (if you have it). Blend just until mixed and enjoy over ice or freeze in popsicle molds.
5. Frozen grapes or blueberries. Enjoy straight from the freezer on a hot day or use in place of ice in your favorite fruity drink.
6. Easy peasy homemade lemonade. For a quick treat by the glass, you can put 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh squeezed, or bottled) into 3/4 C water. Add sugar (or sugar substitute, such as artificial sweetener, honey, or agave) to taste; I recommend starting with 1-2 Tbsp sugar.
7. Yogurt cake-no-cake pops. For a fun party item or small treat, you can use a cake pop mold (such as this one on Amazon) to make yogurt pops in the freezer. Simply put the top and bottom halves of the cake pop tray together prior to filling. Put your yogurt into a plastic quart or freezer bag and snip off a tiny corner (or use cake icing tips) to insert into each cake pop hole. Insert a cake pop stick into each hole when done, and after freezing, you can serve plain or roll them in sprinkles immediately prior to serving. Make sure to use yogurt without fruit chunks (unless you blend it first) because they will not fit through the cake pop maker holes.