The really warm days of summer make me think of the old saying, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” It’s hard to resist the temptation to stay cool with a tasty, frozen treat. While ice cream is a much-loved favorite of adults and kids, it is usually loaded with added sugars and sometimes fat. Homemade frozen snacks are a healthier option when you’re craving something sweet.
Healthy Frozen Treats
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that individuals consume an eating pattern low in added sugars and saturated fats. The sugars that create the sweet taste of fruit are naturally occurring, instead of added.
With a little creativity, you can make endless varieties of nutritious frozen treats by using 100 percent fruit juice, fresh or frozen fruit and low-fat yogurt. The tasty creations can be made using popsicle molds, ice cube trays, or small paper cups. Whether you’re young or young at heart, it’s easy to enjoy a tasty, healthy frozen treat.
Tips for Preparing Homemade Frozen Treats
- Wash green grapes and blend with watermelon cubes. Pour into popsicle molds.
- Make a frozen banana pop by dipping a banana in strawberry yogurt, roll in chopped pretzels and freeze on a shallow pan lined with parchment paper.
- Spread thawed, fat-free whipped topping between two reduced-fat chocolate graham crackers and freeze.
- Blend 1 cup ripe strawberries with 1 cup orange juice. Pour into small paper cups, cover with plastic wrap, and poke with a wooden stick through the plastic. Freeze until solid.
- Blend bananas in a blender until they go creamy and custardy, like soft-serve ice cream. Serve in a small bowl. Store in the freezer.
- Peel a kiwi and cut it into 4 thick slices. Push a wooden stick into each slice and freeze on a lined, small pan for 2 hours.
- Using popsicle molds, freeze large chunks of fruit in white grape juice for about 6 hours.
The following recipes are MyPlate savvy and easy to serve anytime.
Courtesy of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
Other items needed:
- Place all smoothie ingredients in a blender and blend until just smooth.
- Place 16 paper cups on a baking tray. Pour smoothie into paper cups. Place tray in freezer and freeze until slushy, about 20 minutes.
- Remove tray from freezer and insert one wooden stick into the center of each cup.
- Return to freezer and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
- Tear away paper cup and place on plate.
Nutrition Facts: Per Popsicle - Calories: 70, Fat: .5g, Carbohydrates: 14g, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Protein: 2g, Sodium: 20mg. Serves 16.
Frozen Banana Pops
Courtesy of the University of Illinois Extension
- In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey, cinnamon and vanilla.
- Peel bananas and cut in half, crosswise, making 4 banana halves.
- Insert each craft stick into the end (cut side) of each banana half.
- Dip the banana in the yogurt mixture and then roll in chopped nuts.
- Lay the bananas on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least 45 minutes.
Nutrition Facts: Per Banana Pop - Calories: 220, Fat: 10g, Carbohydrates: 25g, Fiber: 4g, Protein: 12g, Sodium: 20mg. Serves 4.
- Michigan State University Extension. Healthy Frozen Snacks. 2014.
- Michigan State University Extension. Child Tested and Approved Healthy Popsicles. 2015.
- North Dakota State University Extension, Stutsman County. Make Homemade Frozen Treats to Beat the Summer Heat. 2011.
- University of Illinois Extension. Livingston, McLean and Woodford Counties. Frozen Pops, Too Good to Stop! 2014.