Pick a Healthy Summer Treat 

When temperatures are soaring, nothing beats a nice, cool treat. But scouting out something sweet and icy doesn’t mean you have to settle for a dessert like a boring ice cream sandwich or fudge popsicle from a box found at your grocery store.

There are plenty of easy recipes for healthy summer treats. Many of these can be made ahead, and most can be made with ingredients that are probably already in your refrigerator or freezer.

Here are some suggestions for cool treats on hot days. 

Frozen fruit. If you’re a fruit lover, these are the simplest sweet treats. They come together with minimal effort and are ready after just a few hours in the freezer. Once they are completely frozen, pull them out and enjoy. They’ll cool you down and you will be glad knowing you’re eating healthy foods that pack a lot of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Sure, you can buy pre-frozen packages of fruit from the store, but summer is also the season when fresh fruits are easily available at your local farmers market or roadside farm stand. 

To freeze fruit, you can slice them or leave them whole, depending on the type. Peel bananas, mango and melon. Hull strawberries. Lay the slices on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. If you’re freezing fruit like berries, which tend to roll around, contain them in a 9×13 or other rimmed pan. Fruits that freeze easily include: 

  • Blueberries 
  • Strawberries 
  • Blackberries 
  • Raspberries 
  • Bananas, sliced 
  • Pineapples, cut into chunks 
  • Peaches, sliced 
  • Red or green grapes (frozen as a cluster on the vine or separated) 
  • Sweet cherries (pitted) 
  • Mangoes 
  • Melons 

Fruit slushie. Want to make that frozen fruit even more fun? Whirl together one type or a combination of your favorites in a blender for a homemade slushie that you can eat with a spoon or drink with a straw. It’s a summertime favorite for kids. See more tips from superhealthykids.com. You will need: 

  • 2 cups frozen fruit 
  • ½ cup water 
  • Honey or a little chocolate syrup, depending on the type of fruit 
  • Blend and serve 

Yogurt bark. If you’re a yogurt lover, try this unique take on flat sheets of frozen yogurt. Start with your favorite kind of store-bought or homemade yogurt. If all you have is plain yogurt and you want it sweeter, whisk in a tablespoon of fruit jam or honey. Here’s how to make the bark: 

  • Place a sheet of parchment or waxed paper on a cookie sheet 
  • Spread out a thin layer of yogurt over the paper. (The thicker the layer, the longer the freezing time) 
  • Want fancy yogurt bark? Scatter on fresh berries, coconut, nuts, mini chocolate chips or sprinkles 
  • Freeze until the yogurt and toppings are solid 
  • Break apart and eat 
  • Store any leftovers in the freezer 

Chocolate-peanut butter frozen bananas. This recipe has a few steps, but the taste is completely worth the extra minutes it takes. Start with bananas that are just ripe and not too mushy. Find the instructions and more details on allreceipes.com at this link.

  • Cut bananas in half 
  • Insert a small skewer or popsicle stick into each half 
  • Place banana pieces on a wax paper-covered baking sheet 
  • Freeze for a couple hours, until solid 
  • Spread a layer of peanut or almond butter on each banana piece 
  • Freeze for another hour 
  • Melt a bag of chocolate chips in the microwave or over low heat in a saucepan 
  • Dip each frozen banana in the melted chocolate 
  • Return bananas to the freezer for another 90 minutes 

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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