With the kids out of school and summer in full swing, we put together a few healthy frozen treats to cool everyone down on any hot summer day. These treats are easy to make and utilize natural sugars and healthy sweeteners. Enjoy!
Strawberry Watermelon Homemade Popsicles
Homemade pops are a favorite healthy treat on those hot summer afternoons. The key to any good ice pop is the mold. You can find a popsicle mold just about anywhere, but we love Nopro’s ten-pop mold (Amazon, Walmart, Target). The pops look store bought and are easy to remove. For the strawberry watermelon pops, you need two cups of strawberries, two cups of watermelon and one the juice of one lemon. Combine all three ingredients in a blender and blend until they are liquified. Fill the molds and freeze for four to six hours. And there you have it – a sweet summer treat with only natural sugars. This will make 10 pops.
Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bark
Here’s another frozen treat to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. You will need a sheet pan that can fit in your freezer. We suggest lining it with wax paper before you begin for easy cleanup. Grab a large container of your favorite plain yogurt and mix it with a tablespoon of vanilla. Pour the yogurt directly on to the pan, evening it out slightly with a knife or spoon. Add fruit directly to the yogurt. Get creative with your combinations! Blackberries, raspberries and strawberries make a good combo as does kiwi, pineapple, blueberries and strawberries. Freeze the bark as-is for four to six hours. Slice and enjoy! For a fun twist, add granola and raisins or used flavored yogurt.
Lemon Raspberry Sorbet
This easy sorbet recipe doesn’t even require an ice cream maker! Simply blend together one cup of frozen raspberries, one-half cup of water, and one-half tablespoon of lemon juice (add a bit more if you like it tart). As these are blending, slowly add up to one-third of a cup of raw honey. This will add a natural sweetness. Taste it regularly as it blends until you reach the desired flavor. Then freeze until the desired consistency is acquired. This only makes one serving but the recipe is easy to double (or triple!).
And there you have it: three quick, easy, and healthy desserts your whole family will love — even the picky eaters! Wondering what’s for dinner, now that dessert is covered? These frozen desserts are the perfect treat to complete a meal begun with one of our fully-prepared freezer meals or meal kits. The One Pan CBG (Chicken, Bacon, and Green Beans) meal kit and the Vegetarian Lasagna freezer meal are both staff family favorites.
Text by Amy Haupt
Despite its fictional origin, Thanksgiving remains an iconic American holiday. It brings families and friends across the country together for a shared meal. For cooks, the holiday also brings worry. What if the stuffing tastes too salty? Or what if the pumpkin pie ends up burnt (again)? And, of course, there are the leftovers: how many ways can you use turkey, anyway?
However, Thanksgiving is about far more than food. Yes, the holiday revolves around a meal. But what’s on the table isn’t as important as who’s siting around it. The Thanksgiving meal makes a sacred space for families and friends to reunite and break bread together. And in that communal space, traditions remind people of the real meaning behind the meal. Here are a few of our favorite Turkey Day traditions to try around your own table this Thanksgiving holiday:
· Playing a family flag football game. Divide everyone up into teams, perhaps by family so no one is left out. Then, use the backyard or public space to play your own flag football game. This will be a nice break between watching the Macy’s Day parade and all the Thanksgiving football games on T.V.
· Give back to the community on Thanksgiving morning. Before you serve your family, why not serve your community? You could volunteer to serve breakfast at a local homeless shelter. Or, you could deliver meals to the elderly. This allows you and your family to start off the day serving others. It is also a great lesson in gratitude.
· Encourage everyone to take a post-meal walk together. That way, family time can continue beyond dinner time. Plus, you can burn off a handful of the calories from those three delicious pieces of pie.
· Video call family members who cannot make the meal. That way, they will feel included despite the distance. Also, you’ll be able to remind them why you are thankful for them.
· Replace your best tablecloths with butcher paper. Then, encourage everyone to write down some things they are thankful for. You can include younger family members as well by encouraging them to draw what they’re thankful for. After the meal, have everyone share a few of theirs.
· Write everyone’s name down on a Popsicle stick or piece of paper and shuffle them in a bag. Don’t forget yourself! Then pass the bag around and have everyone pick out someone. Give them some time to think. Then have them say why they are thankful for the person whose name they drew. Everyone will feel grateful for those around the table and affirmed of their place in the family.
· Do Thanksgiving potluck style. Ask different family members bring different dishes. Then create a “cookbook” of everyone’s recipes. This a fun way to recognize the hard work that goes into a Thanksgiving meal. It’s also a great way to record and pass on favorite recipes to kids.
Gather everyone together and celebrate everything you all have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving season. These are valuable memories for all involved. Remembering all there is to be thankful for will lead to contentment in the rest of your year. And don’t forget the leftovers!
Text by Amy Haupt