Summer brings with it baskets of seasonal fruits like mango, chikoo, grapes, watermelon, figs and papaya. These seasonal fruits rich in micronutrients that help build immunity and they also provide a healthy dose of dietary fibre.
Fruits are full of natural sugars, lending themselves nicely to a lot of sweet snacks and treats which can be made for kids without the addition of extra sugar. Frozen berries can also be used to make kid-friendly healthy recipes. Here are some recipe ideas for you.
Whenever you have extra bananas on hand, peel them and save in resealable bags in the freezer and nice cream is just a minute away. Slice a few frozen bananas and blend until smooth and creamy. This is the most basic version of nice cream. It is a canvas for getting as creative as you like with vanilla extract, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, peanut butter, frozen berries and a lot more. Use 5-6 bananas to make a small tub of nice cream to keep in the freezer. Scoop out in cups and add toppings depending on your kid’s liking.
Instant Mango Ice Cream
This is a recipe I discovered a few years ago, Frozen mango chunks make the most delicious ice cream with just one more ingredient - milk powder. Peel and dice 2-3 mangoes. Freeze them on a baking tray in a single layer for a few hours. For each cup of diced mango, add around 3 tbsp of milk powder. Blend frozen mango chunks with milk powder in a mixer jar until smooth and creamy. This will be like soft-serve ice cream. It can be frozen in a tub for more solid texture. The same can be made with either papaya or chikoo.
Milk or juice-based popsicles are always a favourite with the kids. For milk-based popsicles, add pureed fruits like mango, chikoo or papaya to milk and pour in moulds to be frozen. It is easy to make tricoloured popsicles by making three different fruit purées. Add one fruit purées to the mould to fill it up to one third the capacity. Freeze for at least 30-45 minutes. Then add the next fruit puree, freeze similarly and then the third puree for the final freezing. On unmoulding, you will have nicely demarcated layers in three different colours that the kids are bound to love. One layer can also be made using puréed bananas in milk for a contrasting white colour.
Juice or fruit-infused yoghurt can also be used similarly to make colourful popsicles. Finely cubed fruit or berries can be added to the mixture poured in the mould for bits of texture. Date purée mixed with cocoa and vanilla in milk, chilled thoroughly can be used to make chocolate-flavoured dessert popsicles. Pure grape juice and watermelon juice are other options to make simple juice-based stick ices that are perfect for summer.
Commercially available fruit yoghurt has a very little percentage of real fruit and a higher percentage of sugar. Making it at home with perfectly ripe seasonal fruits is the best way to give children the goodness of whole foods minus the added sugar. Strain homemade yoghurt for 2-3 hours by placing in a muslin cloth over a sieve in the fridge. Make fruit purées of choice such as red grapes, mango or figs and stir in 3-4 tbsp of the purée into ½ cup of strained yoghurt. Sweeten with a touch of honey if required.
These delicious treats are not only healthy, they are attractive and extremely satisfying to have on a hot summer day. Try one of these recipes and share your experience in the comments below.
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