The sticky hot days of summer have officially arrived, which means it’s time to seek out all opportunities to stay nice and cool. That might mean hot afternoons spent in the pool or at the splash pad. Or maybe it’s hunkering down in the cool basement for a movie marathon. Or maybe it’s finding a welcomed shady tree to enjoy an ice cold frozen treat under.
When it comes to homemade frozen treats to enjoy during these scorchingly hot days, I love simple things like frozen grapes or even those sugary Otter Pops. But, I’m always looking for great, new frozen ideas. Any desserts that don’t heat up the kitchen, too, are always a great idea this time of year. Here are my favorite recipes for creamy, fruity and chocolaty treats. For more, visit our Cheap Summer Fun board on Pinterest.
Frozen fruit fun
Fresh fruit is one of the best parts of summertime. Now is the time to snatch up pints of berries, baskets of cherries, bags of grapes and bushels of peaches along with perfectly ripe cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon. All that fruit is so delicious, but when your family gets tired of fruit salad, it’s time to find some frozen fun ways to serve up that fruit goodness. Popsicles and smoothies are a great option and easy to customize, too.
Try making this Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bark for a great frosty treat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix 1 large container of plain yogurt with 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Pour onto the baking sheet and spread until event. Sprinkle with 2 cups of chopped fruit like berries, kiwi, peaches, grapes, cantaloupe and more. Add mini chocolate chips, too. Freeze 3-4 hours until solid. Slice and enjoy.
Ice cream or froyo runs are always a great idea after a long day at the pool or a great way to cool off on a hot summer night. Whether you prefer your ice cream in the form of a soft serve cone, a double scoop in a waffle cone, in a bowl with your favorite mixing or whirled up into a thick, chunky shake, ice cream is a perfect hot summer night cure. When you’ve got the time and fresh ingredients, homemade ice cream is always a great option.
Try this easy Strawberry Ice Cream. In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Mash the mixture. Mix in 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup half and half and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Stir until combined. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instruction. Freeze in airtight container for 3-4 hours.
Chocolate lovers’ favorites
Frozen, chocolate-dipped bananas were always a favorite summertime treat when I was a kid. In fact, anything dipped in chocolate and frozen is always a delicious way to beat the heat during the summer. Fudgsicles, boxes of frozen Junior Mints or Peppermint Patties, chocolate ice cream sandwiches, or even just a handful of frozen chocolate chips are a perfect summer sweet treat.
Whip up this Oreo Frozen Dessert. Crush 12 Oreo cookies and mix half of them with 1/4 cup melted butter. Press into a 9-by-9 pan. Cool. Whip 1 cup heavy cream to stiff peaks. In a new bowl, cream 8 ounces softened cream cheese and 3 tablespoons sugar. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Fold in whipped cream and then add 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk. Mix in remaining Oreos. Spread over cookie base, top with more Oreos and freeze.
— Jennifer Durrant