3 Cool Summertime Treats

By Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD

When the weather heats up at our house, I am always inspired to make frozen treats. My family’s favorite is my homemade peanut butter ice cream, but they also enjoy a variety of popsicles too. This weekend, with the weather in my area of the country heating up quickly, we decided to try something new and the outcome was delicious!

Milkshakes are one of those things that I love, but I just don’t enjoy often. To be honest, they’re usually too sweet and I can’t drink the whole thing. And while sweet treats definitely have their place, I also don’t want to overdo it. Enter this not-too-sweet Vanilla Peanut Milk-Shake! By using honey, the shake is sweet, but not cloyingly. The heavy cream and whipped cream are optional and can be left out if you want it to be vegan, but they really add a creaminess that you might miss otherwise.

Vanilla Peanut Milk-Shake

2 2/3 cup Elmhurst Original Milked Peanuts

1/3 cup Emhurst Original Milked Peanuts

1 Tbs plus 1 ½ teaspoons honey

½ tsp vanilla

¼ cup heavy cream (optional)

Whipped cream (optional)

Chopped peanuts (optional)

Freeze 2 2/3 cups Original Milked Peanuts in ice cubes for 2-4 hours or until completely frozen. Add the frozen cubes of Milked Peanuts to a high-powered blender and add next few ingredients, milked peanuts through vanilla. Pulse to break up ice cubes and begin to pulse and blend to a slushy consistency. Don’t overbend or it may melt too quickly. Divide between two glasses and top with whipped cream and chopped peanuts, if you choose.

 

Like milkshakes, popsicles are always a hit with my 4-year old. My favorite growing up were definitely the fudge variety. Because it has a rich, chocolaty flavor, I decided to give the chocolate peanut milk from Elmhurst a try to recreate my childhood favorite, only slightly healthier and with a peanut butter twist. These pops were out of this world – chocolaty and creamy with a surprise element from the cereal! You can leave those out if you don’t have any on hand or if you’re not sure about cereal in your popsicles, but they add an interesting texture.

Triple Peanut Banana Fudgesicle

1 ½ cups chocolate peanut milk

1 medium banana

2 Tbs smooth peanut butter

¼ cup chocolate peanut butter Cheerios cereal

In a blender, combine all ingredients, except cereal, until smooth. Divide the cereal between 6 popsicle molds. Pour peanut milk mixture over the cereal into the molds. Add the sticks and pop in the freezer for at least 4 hours before enjoying.

 

And of course, it wouldn’t be summer without ice cream. In my family, chocolate ice cream is the favorite, so I set out to create a rich, creamy, deeply chocolate ice cream using chocolate peanut milk. Although it took several tries, I think this one is absolutely worth the effort! The bonus is that it’s completely dairy free and vegan!

Chocolate Peanut Milk Ice Cream

1 ¾ cup chocolate peanut milk

1 can full-fat coconut milk

½ cup sugar

2 Tbs cocoa

2 Tbs brown rice syrup (or light corn syrup)

1 tsp vanilla

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the chocolate peanut milk and coconut milk over medium-low heat. Slowly add in the sugar and cocoa, whisking to blend completely. Continue to heat to a simmer and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add brown rice syrup and vanilla, whisking well. Allow to cool slightly, then pour into a glass container and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Next, pour the chilled mixture into a prepared ice cream machine and churn until soft-serve consistency (no longer liquid). Transfer the ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 6 hours. When ready to enjoy, allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before scooping into cones or cups.

 

All of these recipes are sure to provide a welcome treat for your family and friends this summer. They’re also super flexible, so try exchanging the original peanut milk with the chocolate for a chocolaty milkshake; replace the cereal in the pops with mini-chocolate chips and chopped peanuts; or try adding a pinch of Maldon salt to the chocolate ice cream to enhance the flavor even more – you really can’t go wrong. Happy summer!

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