Family Friendly Freezer Treats


July 12, 2017 | Food Lion
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Summer heat means your family needs to cool down, and frozen treats are a perfect way to do that. We're talking ice cream, Popsicles, and freezer fudge. Making them yourself is an option that is more healthy, less costly, and doesn't take much time at all!

Here's how to create unique frozen treats that make for better choices than neon green and blue ice pops but are just as festive—and you don't even need an ice cream maker for any of them!

Chocolate Frozen Bananas

Just a quick dip in melted chocolate and a pass through some crushed nuts and you have a treat that kids love—without them realizing they're eating a full serving of fruit. This idea is so simple, it's barely even a recipe!

Ingredients (makes 8 servings):

  • 4 ripe bananas, skins removed, sliced in half
  • 1 cup melted chocolate chips, or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts such as almonds or peanuts, optional
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit such as raisins or cranberries, optional

Instructions:

  1. Dip banana halves in chocolate, then in toppings.
  2. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and insert Popsicle sticks into the bottom of each half.
  3. Freeze until firm, about four hours, and store in an airtight freezer bag.

Hibiscus Tea Pops

Beautifully magenta in color, and refreshing in nature, this healthy tea is the perfect base for ice pops! Adding fresh, whole fruit gives flavor and texture, and is limited only by what fresh summer fruit your family enjoys.

Ingredients (makes 8 servings):

  • 4 cups brewed hibiscus tea
  • 1 cup chopped fresh fruit, such as melons, stone fruit, or berries
  • Sweetener to taste; use stevia, honey, or sugar

Instructions:

  1. Put 2 tbsp chopped fruit in each of eight Popsicle molds.
  2. Fill molds with tea and stir gently.
  3. Freeze for 2 hours without tops, then stir again to incorporate fruit throughout pop in case it has risen to the top. Place lids and sticks over tray and freeze until firm, about 8 hours.

Mixed Melon Granita

Perfect for kids but sophisticated enough for an adult dinner party, this icy treat is mostly fruit and has a vibrant melon flavor. You can choose cantaloupe, watermelon, or honeydew, and create a mix of colors yields the most exciting presentation. It doesn't involve the simple syrup most melon granita recipes do, making it both easier and healthier—not to mention it has more melon flavor!

Ingredients (makes 8 servings):

  • 2 cups cut honeydew
  • 2 cups cut cantaloupe
  • 2 cups cut watermelon
  • 3 tbsp honey, divided
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice, divided

Instructions:

  1. Blend each melon flesh on low speed with 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp honey. Lumps are okay!
  2. Pour each mixture into a shallow baking dish, one dish for each melon, and place in freezer.
  3. With a fork, scrape mixture every hour until frozen, which will take about 3 hours.

Frozen Yogurt Bark

All you have to do is sweeten Greek yogurt with a touch of honey, lay out on a lined cookie sheet, and freeze. If desired, you can add toppings like chopped fruit, nuts, or chocolate. This is a festive way to get more probiotics in your diet as you beat the heat, and kids can take part by decorating the bark with toppings before it goes into the freezer.

Ingredients (makes 8 servings):

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts, such as almonds or walnuts (almonds shown in photo), optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped fruit, such as berries or stone fruit (strawberries shown in photo), optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips, optional

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt and honey until well-incorporated.
  2. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and spread yogurt mix into a 1/4-inch thin layer on the sheet.
  3. Top as desired with fruit, nuts, and/or chocolate, then freeze until firm, about 4 hours. Break into pieces before serving and store in an airtight freezer bag.