The Sweet Science of Cool Treats

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and with it comes my boys’ request for frozen treats.  While you can certianly grab twin pops in your freezer section for a buck a bag, making your own cool summer treats can be a great opportunity for building basic science experiences with concepts like freezing , melting, and the broader concept of physical change.  In addition to that, creating these fun treats together builds confidence, good memories, and even some physical skills.  Oh, and they’re delicious!  Here are four fun and tasty treats to make this summer:

1 Hand Tossed or Kick-the-Can Ice Cream

Making your own ice cream is always fun and delicious, but did you know you can make it without the ice cream machine?  Try the Our Best Bites recipe for hand-tossed ice cream in a bag or Dian Thomas’ fun Kick-the-Can ice cream.  Both recipes take raw ingredients like whole milk, cream, and sugar and add a healthy dose of child-driven motion to churn the contents into a creamy delight.  These recipes are great for camping or picnics.  Simply take the ingredients on the go and make it on site.   I particularly love the tossed version’s easy-serve feature:  just snip the corner and squeeze.  It’s like having your own soft-serve machine!

Photo: Paul Williamson.

2 Popsicles 

Popsicles are a big favorite with my boys, but my homemade attempts seem to turn into little more than ice cubes after a few licks.  I’ve recently learned that the secret to great homemade popsicles is to use a little bit of a simple syrup like the on you can find in the recipe in this link toBabble’s Family Kitchen.  Make their alluring rainbow version shown here, or come up with your own juicy combination.  You can also try yogurt straight from the container or your own favorite smoothie recipe.  Both make wonderful creamy popsicles, and it’s a great way to use up leftovers!

Photo: Brooklyn Supper, Babble Family Kitchen.

3 Puddin’Head 

This creamy staple has found its way into many tasty desserts at our home.  One of which is as a filling for ice cream sandwiches.  Simply mix up the puddin’head, spread it between two graham crackers, and freeze on a tray.   (If you’re a fan of frozen pudding creaminess, Our Best Bites also has a post for Frozen Pudding Pops that makes me drool.)

Photo: My own.

4 – Fruit

You can also skip all the extra ingredients and go straight for Nature’s candy: fruit.   Try these banana bites from Ohdeedohor a choco-peanut buttery version from (never home) maker.   Or experiment with different frozen fruits in their pure form.  Spread your favorites like grapes (be sure to halve for children to prevent choking), mango cubes, pineapple tidbits, or your favorite berries on a tray and give them an hour in your freezer.  Eat them as-is or blend into an icy fruit treat!

Photo: Jackie Boucher, Ohdeedoh.

What’s your favorite frozen treat to enjoy with the kids you love and teach?

Read more about the benefits of cooking with children.

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14 Comments

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14 Responses to The Sweet Science of Cool Treats

  1. We are SOOOOOO doing the hand-tossed ice cream. What a great way to use some big energy! Thanks for the inspiration, Amanda!

  2. sam

    oh my kids will LOVE these!

  3. We like to make smoothies and then put them in dixie cups with popsicle sticks… especially green smoothies ~ with lots of spinach in them. With yummy fruit you can’t even taste the veggies…

    (I guess I must confess that my daughter thinks smoothies are ice cream, lol)

    I love those rainbow pops, we’re going to have to try those!

  4. Mmmmm, yummy. I shared this on my FB page :)

  5. Jill

    I just got two sets of popsicle molds for my birthday from my sister and was thinking how I could make pudding pops????- and here was the link to some great creamy recipes-Thanks for the timely inspiration!

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  8. Zina Harrington

    Another great popsicle trick is to mix juice concentrate with plain yogurt! One tub of yogurt to one container of concentrate. It makes awesome orange dreamsicle pops, wonderful lemon tart pops, fruit punch fun, etc. We sometimes throw in fresh raspberries in our lemon pops & our girls race to see who can get to the fruit first. It is a wonderful alternative to straight water/juice!

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