Chef Mary and a Group of Lucky Campers Enjoy Healthy Frozen Treats

This summer was made a little sweeter by the return of the Healthy Snack Bus. Now in its third summer, the offerings just keep getting better and better.  We thought we’d share some of the recipes here for you to try to make at home since we’ve had so many requests from happy campers and counselors alike! All recipe ingredient amounts have been been reduced in volume (The snack bus delivers to 600 campers weekly!) for home use.

One of the original snacks that came from my imagination is the “Pineapple Cool-Downa.” It is a creamy, sweet delight that has campers running!

Pineapple Cool-Downa

1 banana
An equal amount of pineapple–fresh is best but canned works too!
Coconut milk to taste

Put the banana in a blender and blend until smooth. Measure out the banana puree in a measuring cup or put it in a glass and note how much banana mixture you have. Then add chunks of pineapple to the blender and whirl until smooth (A few chunks here and there add texture–it doesn’t have to be completely smooth!). Add an equal amount of pineapple puree to the measuring cup or glass of banana. The ration should be 1:1. Add a few tablespoons of coconut milk to the mixture and whirl it all in the blender a third time. Add more coconut milk if you like the that tropical flavor.

Now, pour the mixture into an ice-cube tray, cover with foil, and poke toothpicks through the foil to serve as “Popsicle® sticks” once the mixture is frozen. Freeze until solid. Remove foil, pop out frozen treats and enjoy, using the toothpick as a handle.

Apple-Grape Pops

100% Pure Apple Juice
Seedless Grapes

Wash grapes to remove any residue. Lay grapes in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, add a few grapes to the bottom of each cube in an ice-cube tray. Add apple juice to each cube and repeat the same process of covering the tray with foil and toothpicks (as written in the previous recipe). Freeze and then pop them out of the tray and enjoy!

Watermelon-Basil Pops

Seedless Watermelon, Cubed
Fresh Basil

Here’s where you use that trusty blender again to whirl some cubes of watermelon until you get a puree. Remove the watermelon puree to a bowl and whirl the basil leaves with a little water to make a slurry. You will have to eye the portions depending on how much watermelon you use and how basil-y (Is that a word?) you want the finished product to taste. Trust your instincts on this. Combine all and–you guessed it–repeat the foil and toothpick drill with an ice cube tray and freeze. This is quintessential summer fare that is refreshing and light.

All of these recipes can be easily replicated at home and may be made with any type of juice and/or fruit you’d like to use–and these recipes are vegan too! Try white grape juice (to avoid stains from purple juice) and frozen grapes for an extra punch of double-grape pops. This summer we had watermelon with pineapple sage and mint. The 4th session of camp is trying out pineapple-orange pops with blueberries. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination and you’ll have a healthy, delicious snack that has no artificial ingredients that will quench anyone’s thirst on a hot summer day.