Sweet treats for the start of summer
With school now out, these are those first magical days of summer, with so much time and fun stuff ahead — family trips, camping and swimming lessons, maybe going to a wedding. I hope your children enjoy lots of “downtime” during summer holidays. I recall a farm mom once telling me how, on the day school ended, so did everyone’s schedules. She wanted the lazy, hazy days of summer to really be that for her kids, so that meant an extra hour of sleep mornings, their days filled with playing their own made-up games, camping in the yard or building forts, swimming at the local lake, berry picking. If you ask me, that sounds like a pretty nice vacation! Oh, that we could all be (unscheduled, unhurried) kids on summer holiday again!
Here’s a couple frozen treats you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy, plus two delicious desserts made from the berries I hope you’ll all be making time to pick in the days ahead.
Frozen Smoothie Pops
A smoothie makes a nutritious snack any time. Here’s a frozen version that’s sure to be appreciated during a hot summer afternoon.
- Triple Berry Smoothie Pops:1 c. fresh or frozen strawberries1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries1 tbsp. sugar or liquid honey1 c. milk1/2 c. raspberry-flavoured yogurt
- Just Peachy Smoothie Pops:2 c. fresh, canned or frozen peaches or apricots, sliced2 tbsp. liquid honey or sugar1 c. milk1/2 c. peach yogurt or vanilla-flavoured yogurt
- Banana Pineapple Smoothie Pops:1 very ripe banana1 c. frozen or drained canned pineapple chunks1 to 2 tbsp. (15 to 30 ml) sugar or liquid honey1 c. milk1/2 c. vanilla-flavoured yogurt or plain yogurt
In a blender, combine fruit and honey or sugar and milk; purée until smooth. Add yogurt and pulse just until combined. Pour into ice-pop moulds and insert sticks, or pour into 1/3-cup paper cups. If using paper cups, freeze until partially firm then insert sticks, straws or plastic spoons. Freeze until solid, for two to four hours or up to two weeks.
Tip: If using paper cups, once the smoothies are frozen solid, transfer to an airtight container to make sure they don’t get freezer burn. Prep. time: 5 minutes. Freezing time: 2 to 4 hours.Yields: 8 to 12 pops.
Source: Dairy Farmers of Canada www.dairygoodness.ca
Frosty Yogurt Shakes
Here’s a frosty drink that makes a super-quick summer dessert.
- Berry Banana Shake:2 c. milk1 c. (2 scoops) vanilla frozen yogurt2 frozen bananas1 c. fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries
- Chocolate Almond Shake:2 c. chocolate milk1-1/2 c. (3 scoops) chocolate frozen yogurt1/2 c. ice cubes1/2 c. toasted almonds
- Creamsicle Shake:2 c. milk1 c. (2 scoops) vanilla frozen yogurt1 c. ice cubes1/3 c. frozen orange juice concentrate, undiluted
In blender, combine milk, frozen yogurt, frozen fruit or ice cubes and flavourings (as called for); purée until smooth. Pour into tall glasses.
Tip: If you don’t have frozen yogurt, freeze an equal amount of vanilla-flavoured yogurt in a plastic container, stirring occasionally, for about four hours or until firm. For the Chocolate Almond Shake, add 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup with yogurt. For a smoother texture in the Chocolate Almond Shake, substitute 1/4 cup almond butter for the whole almonds.
Prepare a Creamsicle Shake as Tropical Creamsicle, replacing ice cubes with 1 cup mixed frozen, chopped tropical fruit.
Prep. time: 5 minutes. Yields: 2 to 4 servings [1 milk product serving(s) per person].
Healthy Eating Tip: If you think you need eight glasses of water a day, think again! The water our body needs also comes from foods and other beverages. Milk, juice and water, even coffee and teas all count, as do “watery foods” like many fruits and veggies, yogurt and soup. These shakes provide hydration with the added bonus of vitamins, minerals and protein.
Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake
You’ll be out in the strawberry patches soon and I’m sure will appreciate a new recipe for a delicious frozen cheesecake, with a fresh strawberry and mint topping. The call for a little pepper is interesting — and optional of course.
- Crust:1-1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs1/4 c. butter, melted2 tbsp. sugar
- Frozen Cheese Filling:8 oz. (250 g) Canadian cream cheese, softened1/2 c. sugar8 c. strawberry ice cream
- Fresh Strawberries and Mint Topping:2 c. fresh strawberries, cubed1/4 c. fresh mint, chopped1/4 c. maple syrupFreshly ground pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine all crust ingredients. Press crust mixture into a springform pan and freeze for 30 minutes. In the bowl of a mixer, beat cream cheese with sugar for two minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Gradually add strawberry ice cream and mix well. Spread filling evenly on the crust. Freeze for three hours.
To prepare topping, combine strawberries with maple syrup, mint and pepper in a saucepan. Cook over low heat for five minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Unmould frozen cheesecake and serve in wedges with strawberry mint topping.
Prep. time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 5 minutes. Freezing time: 3 hours, 30 minutes. Yields: 8 to 10 servings.
Nothing says summer like a pail of saskatoons ready to be turned into a delicious steaming pie or other treats. Thanks to Diana May of Moosehorn for sending us this beautiful summer dessert recipe this week.
- Filling:4 c. fresh or frozen saskatoons1 heaping c. sugar2 tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 c. cold water
- Topping:1/2 c. flour3 tbsp. butter or margarine1/2 c. white sugar
- Base:1/2 c. butter or margarine1/3 c. brown sugar1/4 c. white sugar1 egg1 tsp. vanilla1-1/2 c. flour1 tsp. baking powderPinch of salt
Place saskatoons in a heavy saucepan with a little water, add sugar, bring to a boil, add cornstarch and water. Boil stirring frequently until thickened (not too thick). Cool while making base and topping.
Topping: Combine topping ingredients, mix to form crumbs, set aside.
Base: Cream butter, add sugars. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Add flour, baking powder and salt, mix well. Place dough into a greased 9×13-inch pan, flatten evenly. Spread with cooled filling, sprinkle with topping. Bake in 350 F oven for 30 minutes.
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