Staying Cool this Summer with Frozen Treats {Recipe Included!}

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Summers in DC are super hot and humid. This means we are always on the lookout for ways to keep cool which often includes enjoying frozen treats here and there.

As every discerning parent knows, the challenge with many frozen treats is they are often loaded with added sugar, artificial flavors, and colors and other questionable ingredients. Not to mention that many of them are milk-based which can be a problem for those of us who avoid dairy. 

Fortunately, the DC Metro area has a good selection of better-for-you frozen pops, ice creams, and gelatos to choose from. Plus, popsicles and ice creams can be prepared easily at home and the task of making them can become a fun activity for the whole family to enjoy!

Here are my top recommendations for pops and cones you can pick up from the 1) grocery store, 2) local shops, and 3) a recipe to try at home.

1. Frozen Treat Brands at Grocery Stores

Ruby Rockets Popsicles

Ruby Rockets is by far my favorite brand of frozen popsicles for my family.  I love these pops for several reasons. For one thing, they don’t add any sugar.  Instead, they use the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables.  Yup, you read that right! These pops include vegetables – another reason why I LOVE them. Plus, these colorful pops are all dairy- free and made from simple ingredients you can read and understand. Last but not least, they taste great! My family and I especially like the Far Out Fudge, but all the flavors have our family’s stamp of approval.

So Delicious Cashew Ice Cream

My family and I are in LOVE with this creamy, rich, dairy-free ice cream. In my search for ice creams made without milk, I’ve sampled many different brands, most of which didn’t meet the high taste, texture and ingredient standards I uphold for my family. But once I tasted So Delicious Cashew Ice Cream, I knew I’d found something tasty and special. The ingredients are simple, clean and carrageenan-free. You can choose from a variety of flavors, all of which are good, though our go-to is the vanilla which we serve topped with a generous serving of summer fruit from the farmer’s market.  Pure bliss!

2. Local Shops with Frozen Treats

Pleasant Pops

I remember when Pleasant Pops was just a stand at the farmer’s market.  Now they’ve grown to include two locations in the Washington DC area. While Pleasant Pops are not sugar-free (or even low sugar), I still recommend them because they are made mostly from fresh local fruits and vegetables with creative spices and herbs. Crafted in small batches at their Adams Morgan location, Pleasant Pops offers several delicious dairy-free options. They don’t add any questionable ingredients and they taste like they are made with lots of love. Plus, the staff has always been super friendly to me and any kids with me.

Pitango Gelato

This kid-friendly establishment has several locations in the DMV area.  I love them because they use fresh and often local ingredients and offer plenty of decadent dairy-free options. My son and I recently enjoyed a combo of lemon and chocolate sorbet, which was delicious. Compared to some other gelatos and sorbet stores, I find Pitango to be sweet enough without being too sugary.

3. Make Your Own Frozen Treat

Now let’s get to the really fun part – make your own! This cool and refreshing frozen treat comes together easily in your blender using common ingredients and is as good for you as it is delicious.

Ebeth‘s Lime Coconut Sorbet Recipe

Serves 6-8 (¼- ½ cup per serving)

Ingredients:

¼ cup filtered water

¼ cup well mixed full fat coconut milk

1 lime, skin removed, cut into 8 pieces

1 ripe avocado

3 tablespoons honey

2 cups ice

Method:

In a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec, combine ingredients in the order given.  Turn blender on low and gradually increase the speed to high.  Blend until creamy, cool, and smooth about 1 minute.  You may need to scrape the sides to get all the ingredients incorporated.  Ladle ¼ to ½ cup into serving bowls and serve immediately.  Save leftovers in a glass container in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Do you have a favorite place to get an ice cream, gelato, popsicle, or yogurt? Or have a favorite frozen treat recipe? Please share them in the comments!

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Ebeth Johnson is mindful eating & well-life mentor for women who are ready to live deliciously. As a mom, professional chef, plant-based nutritionist and mindful eating coach, Ebeth marries her love of food, cooking, wellness, and mindfulness while supporting women and their families to incorporate nourishing foods and nurturing lifestyle practices into daily life. Ebeth was raised in DC and returned here (after a 15-year stint in the Big Apple) when her child Cayenne was born. When she's not in the kitchen, at the grocery store or DuPont farmers’ market you'll find her roller skating, reading, watching HGTV, making handcrafted beaded jewelry or briskly walking wherever she needs to go. One of her favorite meals is perfectly scrambled eggs with whole wheat toast, sliced avocado and a green salad. She could do without shopping for clothes and shoes.