Feeding The Family: Cool Treats For Warm Days

father making a smoothie with his kidsSpring is in full swing, and the summer months are just around the corner. As warmer weather arrives, often a cool snack is exactly what hits the spot – for our children and for ourselves!

Take a look at these sweet, fruity, cool treats from La Leche League cookbooks. These recipes are so versatile, and many of the ingredients can easily be substituted for your family preferences.

This first recipe is perfect as berry season approaches. And, you wouldn’t be alone if you didn’t have “one very ripe banana” sitting on your kitchen counter waiting to be used!

Super Smoothie with Yogurt, Berries, and Bananas – Feed Yourself, Feed Your Family, p. 103 – makes one smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or a combination)
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.

Taste and add more sugar if desired.

Whole Foods for Kids to Cook is a collection of recipes from La Leche League members and their children. The recipes are designed so that young children can easily assist in the kitchen. And here’s another recipe that makes use of the ever-present banana! This snack is also just as tasty if you leave out the chopped nuts.

Frozen Nutty Banana and Carob Chunks – Whole Foods for Kids to Cook, p. 11 – makes two servings

  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 tablespoon carob powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup finely chopped almonds or other nuts
  • 1 large banana, cut into 10 to 12 chunks

Combine water, carob powder and honey in bowl with spoon; mix well.

Place almonds in small bowl.

Dip banana chunks into carob sauce and then into nuts using fork and spoon.

Arrange on waxed paper-lined tray.

Freeze for 2 to 3 hours or until firm.

Store in covered container in freezer.

Are tropical flavors a favorite in your house? This recipe may have a few extra steps depending on how you choose to prepare it (there are two different methods described below), but making your own sherbet may be just the motivation your family needs to try it out.

 Fresh Pineapple Sherbet – Whole Foods For The Whole Family, p. 241 – 12 servings

  • 1 ripe pineapple, rinsed, dried
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • ½ C. unsweetened shredded coconut

Remove top from pineapple; cut lengthwise into quarters. Cut fruit from peel, remove core and chop. Place in blender. Scrape the remaining pulp and squeeze any juice from shell into blender. Process until smooth. Spoon into shallow freezer tray. Freeze until partially firm. Process strawberries until smooth. Fold into pineapple mixture with coconut. Freeze until firm. Cut into squares and serve or process in food processor to make slushy sherbet.

Optional: Garnish with ground walnuts, almonds or pecans.

May substitute various fruit combinations for strawberries: 2 C. peeled orange sections or orange juice; 1 to 2 C. oranges or juice plus ¼ C. rhubarb and chopped apples, plums, cherries, nectarines, apricots, mangos or papaya. May omit coconut in preferred.

If you are in a hurry, the fruits can be blended together right away. A fluffier sherbet will result if the mixture is blended again when partially firm.

Please send your story ideas to Amy at [email protected].

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