Summer drinks with blur beach on background

These Fabulous Frozen Summer Treats are Cool—and Cheap!

In these sizzling days of summer, it’s tempting to load up the freezer with pricey frozen treats. Or to duck into a coffee shop or juice bar to grab one of those decadent blended coffee chillers. Or a fruit smoothie. But the big price tags can make even the creamiest concoction or slushiest treat hard to swallow.

Summer drinks with blur beach on background

Thankfully, giving up your favorite summer treats isn’t your only option. With these simple recipes using ordinary ingredients—and lots of ice!— you can have great summertime treats at home for just quarters, not dollars. 

Easy Strawberry Lime Slush

strawberry limeade

  • 12 frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice (about two limes)
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 large ice cubes
Place strawberries, soda, lime juice, and sugar in blender and blend thoroughly. Add ice and continue blending until you reach the desired consistency. Wow … so refreshing! Yield: 1 large or 2 medium-sized drinks. Get fancy: Rim glasses with sugar (or salt), garnish with fresh basil.

Wendy’s Chocolate Frosty

  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup milk (low fat OK)
  • 1/2 cup Nestle’s Quik powdered mix

Allow ice cream to soften in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Mix all ingredients in a blender. Do Wendy’s version one-step better by adding your favorite topping like sprinkles, crumbled cookies, whipped cream, or other yummy options. Yield: 4 servings.

Note: Nestle’s Quik available in any grocery, supermarket or if you prefer, online.

Whipped Frozen Lemonade

whipped lemonade

Whipped frozen lemonade is a refreshing treat that’s like a creamy milkshake combined with tangy lemonade. You only need four ingredients and a blender to make it.

Lemon Simple Syrup

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • zest of 1 lemon


  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk*
  • 2 1/2 cups ice cubes

*You can substitute light coconut milk instead of full-fat, but it won’t be as rich and creamy.


Step 1. To make simple syrup: Heat sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add lemon zest, then take it off the heat. Cover and let it steep for 1 hour. After that, strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding the zest. You’ll have extra syrup, so you can refrigerate it for up to 1 week.

Step 2. To prepare whipped lemonade: Add 1/2 cup simple syrup, lemon juice, coconut milk and ice to a blender. Blend until the ice is crushed and the mixture is slushy. Divide between four 8-ounce glasses and serve immediately.

Banana Berry Freeze

Place all of the ingredients, except the whipped cream, in a blender and process on high speed for 10-15 seconds until smooth. Pour into two wine glasses and garnish with whipped cream. Yield: 2 servings

*available in most supermarkets, online

Berry Banana Smoothies

  • 1 cup reduced-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 medium ripe banana, peeled, cut into chunks, and frozen
  • 1/4 cup each frozen unsweetened strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and or blackberries
  • 1 cup fat-free milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Cover and process until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately. Yield: 3 servings.

Starbucks Frappuccino

Iced frappochino coffee in a tall glass with syrup and whipped cream

  • 3 ounces hot espresso (or super strong coffee)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (low-fat is OK)
  • 1 tablespoon dry pectin*
  • 1 cup ice
  • whipped cream (optional)

If you do not have an espresso maker, brew double-strength coffee by doubling the amount of grinds (Starbucks uses Italian roast). Stir the sugar into the hot espresso. Allow to cool.

Stir the milk and pectin into the espresso mixture until dissolved. Fill a glass with ice and pour the mixture over. Or pour the ingredients plus ice into the blender and process on “frappe” for 30 to 45 seconds.

Top with whipped cream and your choice of garnish (cinnamon, chocolate sprinkles, etc.) Yield: Four 6-ounce servings.

*Look for dry pectin (used in home canning to thicken jams and jellies) in grocery stores or online

Frozen Fruit Salad

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen strawberries, thawed

Dissolve sugar in the water. Add orange juice, lemonade, bananas, crushed pineapple with juice, strawberries, and mix well. Pour into 9×13 inch glass pan. Freeze until solid. When ready to serve, let it sit out for about 5 minutes before attempting to cut. Serves 6 to 8.

Easy Frozen Fruit Squares

  • 3 peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 3 cups orange juice

Place fruit in baking pan 8 x 8 x 2 baking dish. Pour orange juice over fruit. Cover with aluminum foil and freeze. To serve, cut into squares. So refreshing! Yield: 9 squares.



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1 reply
  1. Anita D. says:

    The berry banana smoothies are the best. Another option is homemade popsicles: dissolve one 3 oz. package strawberry gelatin, one package of unsweetened strawberry (or lemon) Kool-aid mix, and 3/4 cup of sugar. Add two cups of cold water and mix well. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.


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