Special to The Sun
From a sprint through the sprinkler to the first sip of an ice-cold lemonade, there are few things more satisfying than a refreshing cool-down on a hot day. To offer cool relief from the summer heat, the experts in the McCormick Kitchens have created a new collection of easy-to-make frozen treats in a rainbow of colors and flavors using McCormick Extracts, Food Color and fresh seasonal fruit.
“Most people already have all the ingredients they need to make frozen treats right at home,” said Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “Creating frozen fruit pops and shaved ice is a fun summertime activity for kids and adults alike that can take shape in any flavor and color combination you can imagine. Popular seasonal flavors like cotton candy, strawberry lemonade and blue raspberry will have everyone gathering around the freezer.”
Frozen Fruit Pops: These customizable and easy-to-grab snacks are as fun to eat as they are to make. Plus, with nutrient-packed ingredients such as fresh pineapple or strawberries, parents will feel good serving these hand-crafted treats to children.
• This recipe is as simple as adding fruit and complementary flavors to a blender. Then, pour into popsicle molds and freeze until set. Have fun with a variety of combinations for everyone in the family. Make Strawberry Lemonade pops with frozen strawberries and lemon extract or explore adult flavors such as Piña Colada by pairing pineapple chunks and juice with coconut extract for a momentary tropical escape.
• Tip: Try using 3- or 4-ounce paper cups if you don’t have popsicle molds. Cover each cup in foil and insert a wooden pop stick through the top to create a handle.
Blend up a little extra and freeze in ice cube trays to give summertime beverages a refreshing flavor twist. For example, combine fresh watermelon with strawberry extract to create watermelon cooler cubes to brighten up sparkling water or clear soda. Raspberry and peach cubes are a simple way to turn ordinary iced tea into unique summer refreshments.
Easy Fruity Shaved Ice: Cool down with a frosty blast from the past that uses five or less ingredients. With flavors like Crushed Orange and Strawberry Cotton Candy, shaved ice is perfect anytime. Top shaved ice with homemade syrups in inventive flavor combinations. Add a few drops of food color to complement the taste – such as pairing red and yellow food color with orange extract. Or have fun and vary the color to mimic the vibrant shades of summer. Blue food color and raspberry extract make a playful combination.
• Tip: If you don’t have a shaved ice maker, crush ice to a snowy texture in your blender or by wrapping a plastic bag of ice in a kitchen towel and smashing it with a rolling pin or mallet. This can be a fun project for children so long as they have adult supervision.
• Tip: Arrange a DIY shaved ice station at your next summer gathering for a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Fill a large vessel with shaved ice and set out squeeze bottles filled with different flavored syrups so guests can mix and match to their heart’s content.
For more delicious ideas to keep cool this summer, visit McCormick.com, the “Beat the Summer Heat” board at Pinterest.com/McCormickSpices or Facebook.com/McCormickSpice. Look for McCormick Food Colors and Extracts in the spice aisle of supermarkets and mass merchandisers nationwide.