Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Keeping Cool

We have finally been getting some "real summer" around here.  The days are hot and sticky, and we are finding ourselves spending a lot of time at splash parks and pools.  Last summer, we would have definitely been going through our fair share of freezer pops and other brightly-colored popsicles.  Now, with our diet and lifestyle changes, we have had to seek out alternatives to the freezer treats filled with high fructose corn syrup and chemical food dyes.  Here's a peek into some of our favorite frozen treats this summer.
1.  Banana "Ice Cream" - This one has been bouncing around Pinterest for a while now.  You simply take some very ripe bananas, slice them up, and freeze them.  When they are frozen solid, put them in your food processor and run it.  At first, it will just look like thousands of tiny granules of banana, but as you keep running the processor, it will turn into a creamy substance that has the same texture as ice cream.  It tastes great just as it is, or you can blend in a little cocoa powder or peanut butter for a different flavor.  This has been a fantastic treat for Little Sprout, who is teething like mad.

2.  Frozen Watermelon Cubes - This one happened to us by accident.  We bought a huge watermelon for a picnic and couldn't finish it all.  The Nerd decided to cut up the rest into cubes and put them in the freezer, thinking they would work well in smoothies.  And they do!  But the Beast and I love eating them frozen - a cold and very hydrating treat.  So so good - I'm snacking on some now while I type this post!

3.  Other Frozen Fruit - Blueberries and grapes are fantastic snacks when frozen.  We also like to munch on frozen mango slices.  But ask my kids what their favorite frozen thing is?  Peas.  Yes, you read that right.  I buy big bags of frozen peas at Costco, and my kids love to snack on them.  Who knew?

4.  Yogurt Popsicles - You can get popsicle molds anywhere.  I even found them at the dollar store.  I fill mine with organic vanilla yogurt, sometimes adding cocoa powder to make fudgsicles.  Lemon yogurt makes the best popsicles, in my opinion.

Our church's VBS gives out freezer pops to all the kids when they leave each evening.  It was a little hard on the Beast especially the first night to say no to the bright blue pops and wait until we got home for his treat.  But the rest of the week, he remembered the yummy popsicles waiting in the freezer at home and was able to pass on the freezer pops without a problem.  (Well, except the fact that he had to announce to everyone in a loud voice that the freezer pops had yucky food coloring in them.  We are still working on manners and tact.)

I am glad to have found so many delicious frozen treats that the kids genuinely enjoy.  Very occasionally, we allow them to have some Tillamook chocolate peanut butter ice cream.  It's all natural and perfectly find to have in moderation, but we kind of like keeping it to ourselves.  ;)

It looks like we'll have no trouble staying cool this August!

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