Friday, March 02, 2012

D.I.Y.! 5 Easy and Kid-Approved Frozen Summer Treats

Guest Post by Nadia Jones

One of the best parts about feeling winter slowly fade away is knowing that summer break is right around the corner. That means more time for both you and the kids to hit the beach or pool, play in the sun, and, best of all, enjoy all the treats that come along with keeping cool! While most of us find it handy to grab a box of popsicles to keep around the house for those mid-day treats, it’s even more fun to make them yourself. You will usually come out with a healthier final product, and making frozen goodies is so fun that your kids might even want to join in the preparation. Check out these quick and easy summer treats that will have you and your kids vying for seconds in no time! (Remember to go out and buy a popsicle mold and some popsicle sticks in order to make any of these recipes.)

1. Easy Breezy Fudge Pops
Who doesn’t love a delicious fudgsicle? This is a very common recipe, and it’s likely that you’ve seen this done before. All you will need are a couple pantry staples and your popsicle mold.

Ingredients:
1 package chocolate fudge pudding
2 tbsp. sugar
3 c. milk

In a saucepan, combine the milk, pudding mix and sugar, and cook over medium heat. Remember to stir the mixture constantly until it begins to boil. Remove the pan from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, stirring twice. Put the pan in the freezer for around 30 minutes so the mixture has time to cool fully. After 30 minutes, spoon the mixture into your popsicle mold. Cover the mold with foil or plastic and stick the popsicle sticks into the cover. You may need to cut tiny slits wherever you want to place the popsicle sticks, if you use plastic. Put the mold in the freezer and let it sit until frozen.

2. Jello Pops
Same idea as the fudge pops above. Take a few classic ingredients that you might even have in your kitchen pantry already and create some delicious treats. Way cheaper than store-bought popsicles, too!

Ingredients:
1 pack Jell-O mix
1 c. sugar
1 pack Kool-Aid mix
2 c. boiling water
2 c. cold water

First boil 2 cups of water and stir in the Jell-O, sugar and Kool-Aid once it begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir until completely dissolved. Add cold water to cool the mixture and pour into your popsicle molds.

3. Frozen Watermelon Pops
This is a delicious and healthy recipe developed especially for kids! Go ahead and adjust the amount of sugar according to your tastes and the amount of sugar you want your kids consuming. The watermelon juice will be sweet on its own, so if your kids will approve, you can even eliminate the sugar completely.

Ingredients:
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c .water
3 c. watermelon Juice
2 tsp. lemon juice

Simmer the water over medium heat and add sugar, if desired. Remove the mixture from heat and add the watermelon and lemon juice. Once it has cooled a bit, fill your molds and freeze until it is firmer but still soft to the touch. Stick the popsicle sticks in and continue freezing until done.

4. Vanilla Ice Pops
This is a unique recipe that tastes as good as it sounds! It’s super easy to make, and your kids will love this one. Vanilla cream soda hits just the right spot in the delish frozen pop. You can leave the sugar out if you want to keep the kiddos from going stir crazy. (The vanilla cream soda will have plenty of sugar already.)

Ingredients:
1 20 oz. bottle vanilla cream soda
2 c. water
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk the cream soda in a bowl until it stops bubbling, and set aside for later. Over medium heat, combine the water and sugar and stir until dissolved. Pour the sugar and water mixture into the cream soda, stirring constantly. Let the mixture cool a bit, pour it into your mold, and you’re ready to go.

5. Frozen Bananas
This one is a tried and true classic, and is something your younger kids will absolutely love to watch or help you prepare. It involves melted chocolate, peanut butter, and nut coatings. What’s not to love? Grab some parent- and kid-sized aprons and get your hands a little dirty on a lazy summer afternoon.

Ingredients:
4 bananas, cut in half horizontally
1/3 c. peanut butter
1 8 oz. package semisweet baking chocolate, chopped
1/2 c. roasted peanuts, chopped
8 popsicle sticks

Set up some wax paper on a baking sheet. Stick one popsicle stick into the center of each banana half and place on the sheet. Freeze for about 2 hours, or until completely frozen. Take the bananas out of the freezer and cover them with a layer of peanut butter. Put them back in the freezer for 30-45 minutes so the peanut butter can harden. Place chopped nuts on a plate. Using a double boiler (full or makeshift) and melt the chocolate. Keep the water simmering and don’t let it get too hot. Stir the chocolate often to prevent burning. When the chocolate is melted, take out your bananas and dip them one at a time into the chocolate, using a spoon to cover any spots that aren’t dipped. Roll the bananas into the nuts to cover and then place them back on the wax paper. Freeze again until the chocolate is firm, about 1-2 hours.

Author Bio:
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.

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