May27
Posted in: Cooking & Recipes

Chilled Out Summer Foods

Chilled foods and icy cold drinks  just scream summer, don’t they? If you’re ready to make your own summer treats, we’re here to help you gear up and get inspired.

Homemade Ice Cream

Gear up:  There are a bunch of great options for making your own ice cream. You can use an ice cream maker (here’s the scoop on right one for you), or take the fun outdoors and play a game of catch while you mix up some treats with a trendy ice cream making ball.  A healthier, dairy-free option is a Yonanas machine: Just pop frozen bananas or other fruit in to make a creamy ice cream alternative. No matter how you make your ice cream, serve sundaes in pretty parfait glasses to make them more special.

Get inspired: Most ice cream makers come with an instruction booklet to get you started on basic flavors.  Once you’ve mastered those get creative and add crushed cookies, candies, fresh fruit, coconut, and nuts to concoct your own unique flavor combination. Your Yonanas machine is perfect to make our  white chocolate macadamia ice cream sandwiches.

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Gear up: Ice cream sandwiches are easy to make whether you have an ice cream maker or not. If you’re making the ice cream, you’ll need your ice-cream making equipment. Without one, you can just sandwich your favorite ice cream between large fresh-baked or store-bought cookies. You can also use ice cream sandwich molds to make them into cute shapes for your little ones.

Get inspired: Get creative with ice cream mixings and quirky flavor combinations. Check out our roundup of nine unique ice cream sandwiches with everything from Brownie Mudslide to Raspberry Coconut and Birthday Cake Ice Cream Sandwiches for fun twists on the classic.

Ice Pops

Gear up: Ice pops are a snap to make at home and a great activity to do with the kiddies. Simply freeze fruit purees and juices in small paper or plastic cups with cardboard sticks or straws, or check out our selection of ice pop making kits.

Get inspired: Try combining fruits such as watermelon and lime or strawberry and kiwi for more exotic pops. Layer a mix of flavors for a beautiful striped effect, and try adding minced herbs like basil or mint for a sophisticated touch. 

Smoothies, Slushies, and Soups

Gear up: While you’re at it, keep your blender at the ready! Toss in fresh or frozen fruit to make rich and thick yogurt smoothies or add juice to make slushies — get creative. If space is at a premium, pick up an immersion blender to puree right in a bowl or cup…you’ll use it all year long for everything from soups to sauces.

Get Inspired: Chilled dishes aren’t just treats, they’re a healthy option for any meal of the day.  For a nutritious and refreshing breakfast on the go, try our blueberry banana flax super smoothie.  Or whip up our farmer’s market gazpacho for a light summer meal or starter at your next party.

Cocktails

Gear up: For maximum enjoyment of refreshing summer cocktails and beverages, keep them chilled as long as possible–use insulated, nonbreakable drinkware for backyard entertaining. Have fun with reusable ice cubes or ice cubes molded into cute shapes like skulls and crossbones. To avoid diluting drinks, freeze some of the actual drink mixture into cubes instead of water: lemonade, iced tea, fruit punch, juices, and other mixers all work well. If you’re serving drinks in a pretty beverage dispenser or punchbowl for a party, freeze up supersized cubes in small plastic storage containers to slow melting.

Get Inspired:  Try our frozen mock watermelon mojitos, or whip up margaritas, daiquiris, or piña coladas.

What’s your favorite “chill out” summer treat?

Julie Hartigan

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is a recovering engineer turned chef. She develops recipes and writes about cooking, entertaining, and health for Bed Bath & Beyond, WeightWatchers, FitPregnancy, and others, looking for the spot "where Healthy meets Happy." Julie shares a small urban condo with her 2 little girls, 2 chubby guinea pigs, and 1 very patient husband. You can find her on Twitter @cookingwjulie.

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