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Five Summertime Treats for Kids
It is currently 95 degrees in Iowa, and I feel like I'm melting. The temperature could be worse (hello relatives in Kansas!) but mid-nineties is hot enough for me! The kids and I splashed around at the spray ground this morning, which definitely helps everyone cool off, but now it's just hot, hot, hot. This got me thinking about ideas for cool, refreshing treats that we can make during these toasty afternoons.
I asked my mom what her favorite childhood summertime treat was, and she reminisced about going for ice cream at the Spring Valley Tastee Freeze with her family. I've also been there a few times as a child, and hearing it mentioned again makes me feel nostalgic, and yearn to take my kids there. We also talked about banana splits, which is making me hungry for one as I type! Bananas, cherries, fudge, and whipped cream; it's just so good! We will definitely have a banana split day before summer is over. I am always a fan of classic summer treats like ice cream and popsicles, but here are five additional suggestions for treats with a healthier spin!
1. Banana Ice Cream
Bananas can be a surprising substitute for real ice cream! We were gifted a Yonanas Banana Ice Cream Maker, but you can still easily make banana ice cream without the machine. Simply peel a banana and freeze it. Then when you're ready for a treat, take it out and simply let it thaw until you're able to mash it with a fork (but it should still be cold and slightly frozen). Yum! Just remember to peel the banana before you freeze it! I made this mistake once and it was a mess to try to peel the banana while frozen. My kids currently think banana ice cream is the same as real ice cream, but I know they will catch on to me someday!
According to the Paleta Girls website, "Paletas are Mexican fresh-fruit ices, traditionally made with all natural ingredients." There are a large variety of paleta recipes on the internet. Last summer, I made cucumber paletas for my kids. I had so many cucumbers harvested from my garden and needed ways to use them (even after giving a bunch away!) I came across a pineapple, cucumber, and lime paleta recipe, and we made them everyday until the cucumbers were gone. If cucumbers aren't your thing, no worries! There are many, many different combinations of fresh fruit paletas that you can discover and try.
3. Healthy "Orange Julius"
I love a real Orange Julius, but know they are loaded with sugar! Here's a link for a healthier alternative, shared from the blog Happy Go Lucky.
We haven't had the chance to try this yet, but it looks delicious! I'll update this post after we've tried it (which will be soon!)
4. Watermelon Slices
To me, nothing says summer like a big, juicy, watermelon! Biting into a slice, feeling the juice drip through your fingers, and tasting the cold, refreshing sweet flavor just reminds me of picnics, lightning bugs, and fireworks. It just screams summertime! Don't just enjoy this treat sporadically at picnics and BBQ's. Pull the watermelon slices out of the fridge anytime you want a nice cool treat. My kids love it! I know some folks love their watermelon with salt, but we just stick with unsalted.
5. Ice Milk
This is a nice alternative to ice cream, as suggested to me by my mom. For several summers, she's been making ice milk in her ice cream machine. It's much lighter and not creamy like ice cream, but it has a delicious vanilla flavor, and it's a perfect way to cool off. Here's a link, shared from Food.com that has directions on making ice milk with or without an ice cream machine.
I would decrease the amount of sugar in this recipe because I don't like it overly sweet, but according to the reviews, many people like it as is!
What are your favorite summertime treats? What is your favorite summer treat from your childhood? Happy snacking, and stay cool!