Frozen strawberries are a versatile and useful addition to your freezer. Typically we go strawberry picking and freeze a portion of our haul, but we also purchase organic berries at Trader Joe’s. (they are much less expensive than anywhere else) With summer and the humid weather we get in our area, I’m always looking for ways to use them to cool off. So last week we did some experimentation and came up with two kid pleasing recipes to beat the summer heat.
Homemade Strawberry Lemonade
This is a refreshing and light on sugar version of strawberry lemonade that costs a fraction of what you’d pay at the store (and is much healthier!). You can adjust the lemon zing by adding more fresh lemon juice, make it fruitier, or add more sweetener. We’ve found this version to suit us the best though. In blender mix:
- juice from 3 lemons
- approx. 60 ounces filtered water (depends on the size of your pitcher)
- 10-12 frozen strawberries
- 2 tablespoons sweetener (or more to taste) dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water so sweetener is fully dissolved. (We prefer honey)
- cup of ice (optional)
Blend on high for a minute. Strain (to remove strawberry seeds and any remaining large pieces of pulp). I use a strainer with larger holes since I like a bit of pulp. Pour into carafe or pitcher and add a few more frozen strawberries as ‘ice’. Refrigerate until ready to drink. This stores well for about a week, though I promise you’ll drink it much faster than that!
Strawberry Banana Coconut Coolers
This dairy-free, vegan smoothie packs a lot of cool flavor without being syrupy sweet. It’s light and crisp-perfect for cooling off in the sun. The sweetness of the bananas and a touch of sweetener and vanilla are all you need to make this go from bland to perfection. You can try a mix of other fruits or berries, but I love the combo (and vitamin packed punch) of bananas and strawberries together. In blender mix:
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup papaya (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sweetener dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water. (We prefer honey.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut drink (I love So Delicious brand)
- 2 cups filtered water
Blend on high until well mixed. Serve immediately or freeze for ‘froyo’ or in popsicle molds.
What summertime drinks are your favorite to make and serve at home?