The hottest days of the summer are here and everyone’s searching for something to cool them down. Surprise your taste buds and give yourself a chill moment by enjoying these foods that are remarkably wonderful when frozen.
Who knew avocados could be a cool, creamy treat? Halve a ripe avocado, remove the pit and scoop each half out of the skin. Slice the halves into 3-4 slices each. Sprinkle them lightly with lemon juice to prevent browning. Freeze them on a plate, so they don’t touch. When they’re frozen (give it half an hour to an hour), remove them and sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper, chili powder or a dusting of cocoa powder. The avocado is creamy and smooth like ice cream and feels fantastic in the heat.
Watermelon is made for the freezer. Buy several small watermelons and rinse and dry the outside. Cut each in half and cover with plastic wrap. Pop them into the freezer for a couple of hours. Serve each watermelon bowl with a spoon. It tastes like sorbet or granita as you scoop it directly from the frozen shell. Make it into a sundae with a drizzle of chocolate sauce. This method is also a great way of using up watermelon that has gotten mushy and overripe. Once frozen, it’s delicious again.
True to its name, iceberg can be frozen and it won’t blacken like other lettuce. Wash your head of lettuce then slice it into wedges. Place the wedges on a baking sheet covered in parchment (so the lettuce won’t stick to the sheet) and freeze for 45 minutes. Serve it as a classic wedge salad with bleu cheese dressing or get a little crazy with goat cheese, bacon, vinaigrette and cherry tomatoes or any other salad fixings that appeal to you. If you want it to stay cold, put your salad plates in the freezer before plating. The satisfying crunch of the frozen lettuce makes this a treat instead of just another salad.
Frozen grapes are a like a tiny popsicle with no guilt. Wash the grapes and remove them from their stems. Spread them out on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour. You can store
frozen grapes in a bag in the freezer and just reach in and grab one whenever you need a
refreshing treat. They’re great with cheese or just for eating straight out of the bag while you’re sitting on the porch trying to catch a breeze. They will also travel well frozen in your cooler for your picnic.
The next time you have a little leftover wine or bubbly, pour it into an ice cube tray and put it in the freezer. Wine cubes are perfect if you’re making a pitcher of sangria and if you’re opening another bottle of the same kind of wine you can use a few in your glass to make your drink extra cold. Champagne ice cubes work well in a glass of orange juice for a refreshing brunch drink on a hot morning.
Ever wonder why ice cream with brownies in it is so good? When you freeze them, brownies get really chewy and develop a deep fudgy flavor. Bake up a pan of brownies (or buy some) and cut into small cubes (no bigger than 2 inches). Place them on a plate or baking sheet and freeze for an hour. These bite-size pieces are perfect for keeping in the freezer when you need a cold, chocolately pick-me-up.
Some of your favorite cookies are even better when you eat them frozen on a hot day. Oreos, Milanos, Girl Scout Thin Mints or even whoopee pies are to die for when they’re ice cold. The chocolate or cream fillings get harder when frozen. Freeze them right in the package. Once you open a package, seal it in a zip top plastic bag to preserve freshness. Freezing cookies helps them last longer, so no pressure about them going stale in the pantry, although they likely will be gone sooner than you planned once you taste how amazing they are frozen.