By Jen Shragge
Being back in Southern Ontario I realize how much I truly missed long hot summers. Being a vegan in these long hot summers reminds me of how much I love ice cream and popsicles. While there are a plethora of conventional store bought options, I find them to be filled with artificial colours, loads of sugar and interesting ingredients I can’t even pronounce. My preference is to make the kids icy treats at home these days and there are tons of healthy vegan options to pick from.
My favourite go-to for an easy and super quick frozen treat is dark chocolate covered frozen bananas. All you need are some ripe (not too ripe, just a few freckles) bananas, some decent vegan chocolate and toppings of your choice. Our go-to toppings are sprinkles and coconut but I also love crushed peanuts and as a very rare treat, crushed Oreo cookies (Yes they are in fact vegan! Goes to show vegan does not mean healthy!).
Simply cut your bananas in half, stick a popsicle stick into them and cover in melted chocolate. Sprinkle with your toppings of choice and freeze for at least an hour.
We also love vegan creamsicles and vegan avocado fudgesicles. My favourite creamsicle recipe is this one:
- 1 Cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1 can of full-fat organic coconut milk (look for a can that says Bpa-free)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 Tsp pure vanilla extract
Add all ingredients to a blender and freeze in popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 3 hours. Easy peasy.
And our favourite vegan avocado fudgesicle are these:
- 2 just ripe avocados
- 1/2 cup of cacao powder
- 3/4 cup of non-dairy milk of your choice (I like cashew milk but any non-dairy milk works)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 Tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Add all ingredients to a blender and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze over night. Handy tip for getting these suckers out of the molds is to run them under hot water for about 20-30 seconds and they slide right out. This goes for any frozen treat in a mold.
I also have an ice cream maker that we use to make various frozen treats such as sorbet and vegan ice creams. There are so many great resources online for recipes and ideas such as findingvegan and superhealthykids. A healthier option can be as simple as pureed fruit frozen into a popsicle. They don’t have to be fancy to be delicious!
There is one last bonus to these yummy frozen treats in the summer heat. Children can get dehydrated pretty quickly in the summer and some are not great about taking in enough fluids throughout the day. Handing over a popsicle is an almost sure-fire way to get a little more fluid into your little ones. If you are like me and would rather your kids weren’t ingesting pure sugar and food colouring all summer, give some of these a try!
Do you have a favourite easy go-to summer treat?