Freezers are a criminally underappreciated kitchen appliance. This is not to say they don’t get used regularly – everyone’s got a meal or two stored in there for a lazy day, a bag of peas and if you’re lucky, maybe a tub of Haagen Dazs. But in the hottest season, there are all manner of tasty treats that you can whip up without turning on the oven. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
There’s nothing more refreshing than an ice lolly during a Spring as hot as this, but rather than buying in, why not save money on a homemade alternative? It takes no time to prepare, and there’s no limit on the flavours you can try – from healthy juices and smoothies to more indulgent milkshakes and even cocktails. Simply choose your preferred flavour, fill up your moulds and wait a few hours. You can use glasses and lolly sticks as a substitute mould, or if you need to chill down immediately, just pop some frozen fruit in your drink as a more exotic ice cube.
If you’re on a health kick and looking for something lighter, according to BodyCoach Joe Wicks frozen bark is the way to go. Simply mix Greek yogurt with honey or maple syrup (use fat-free if you prefer), spread it over a baking parchment-lined tray, sprinkle with berries or the fruit of your choice, and leave in the freezer to set. You can then snap it into pieces and return to it whenever you are peckish, either after a workout or as a guilt-free midnight snack.
Frozen chocolate bananas
Frozen bananas are great not only as an ingredient for smoothies, but also as a delicious snack. Just freeze some ripe but firm bananas, coat them in the melted chocolate of your choice, sprinkle on a topping for some added texture and then put back in the freezer to set. Either enjoy fresh or store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a fortnight.
For a classier alternative to your afternoon coffee, upgrade to the classic Italian affogato. The dish is constructed from two contrasting elements: one shot of espresso to one scoop of vanilla ice-cream. But this minimalist concept packs huge flavours, offering a dark and creamy hit, and rather than waiting for your iced coffee to cool, you can have this ready in an instant.
Not only is frozen cheesecake a lot quicker to make than the baked variety, but it’s also lighter and more refreshing. There are all sorts of recipes out there, from BBC Good Food’s boozy Frozen Cheesecake with Baileys and Chocolate to Tesco Real Food’s fruity Frozen Yoghurt Cheesecake. You don’t even have to touch the hob – remember you can melt the butter for the base in the microwave to avoid turning your kitchen into a sauna.