Summer Hard Shell Treats

Summer Hard Shell Treats

Flip flops, shorts, and long days by the water go great with a cold summer treat.  Even better, when it can be healthy!  As a kid, I loved getting my ice cream cone dipped into a sweet shell.  Now that I have mastered it in my own home, I like to freeze bananas and scoops of ice cream for a light snack that won’t bog me down in this hot hot weather!



2 qt cleaned and quartered strawberries

1 pineapple cleaned and rough cut

1 bag melting chocolate chips (for this, I used Ghirardelli sep-sweet chips)

3 yellow bananas

1 pt of vanilla bean Ice cream

Popcycle sticks

4.5 cups coconut oil  – its best if melted.  I put a new container outside for an hour and it turned to liquid!  NO need to microwave or heat up!

Step One

Peel and cut bananas in half.  Carefully insert a popsicle stick into the cut side sep enough that it will not fall off when held.

Freeze for a minimal of an hour before dipping.

Using a scoop, scoop Ice cream onto parchment paper and freeze for an hour.  After an hour in the freezer, insert popsicle stick all the way through.  Place back into freezer for another hour or overnight.

Step 2

In a Vitamix or a powerful blender, blend strawberries until pureed.  Pour into mason jar and add equal parts of liquid coconut oil and shake.

In a Vitamix or a powerful blender, blend pineapple until pureed.  Pour into mason jar and add equal parts of liquid coconut oil and shake.

In a microwavable bowl, melt chocolate in microwave at 30 second increments, staring in-between each increment.  Pour into a mason jar and add 1/4 c coconut oil to one bag of melted chocolate.  Cover and shake.

The reason for adding equal parts of coconut oil to the strawberry and pineapple mix is there is zero fat in both.  The shell part comes from the coconut oil hitting something cold and setting.  Thus needing more fat to set properly.

The chocolate needs minimal coconut oil because it has a high fat content and  does not require as much coconut oil.

Step Three

When bananas and Ice cream are set, carefully dip into appropriate flavors.  Place back onto parchment paper.  For the Strawberry and pineapple, I dipped multiple times in-between setting.

After dipping, place back into freezer for 30 minutes to completely set.

I added lime zest onto the pineapple dips.  If adding any toppings like nuts, salt or zests, do it quickly before it hardens into a shell.


*Remember to post your treats and tag @jenncancook to each one!

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Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto

I love this dish because its simple to make and incredibly versatile! Try this VEGETARIAN (with VEGAN options) first, tell me what you think and then make it your own! Don’t forget to tag @jenncancook in your posts!

Skill Level: easy

Time: 35 min

Yield: 1.5 quart

Super simple mise en place (French for “everything in place”) This is super important when cooking but especially in this dish because it requires CONSTANT stirring.

1 c asparagus; washed and 1″ cut
2c mushroom (choose your favorite); washed and sliced
4c vegetable stock
1c arborio rice
4T butter; unsalted (VEGAN OPTION: high quality extra virgin olive oil)
1/2c fresh parmesan cheese (VEGAN OPTION: nutritional yeast)
2T cooking oil (not pictured)
Kosher salt – to taste (not pictured)

*Arborio Rice – this is short grain rice with a high starch content and can be found in your local grocery store.

1. In a medium size stock pot, heat up the stock. Careful not to bring to a boil, it will reduce the liquid needed for the dish.
2. In a large saute pan, being to a medium high heat (7 out of 10) adding the oil and mushrooms. Brown on one side then flip over. Add a little salt after the flip.
3. As the mushrooms are cooking, taste the stock for salt content. (I use unsalted stock to control flavor and salt content)
4. Remove the mushrooms after cooked – keep liquid in pan.

1. Saute the asparagus just until it turns bright green – DO NOT overcook. It should be crunchy at this stage!
2. Add a little salt for flavor
3. When done, remove and keep the liquid in pan
4. Be sure stock is still warm and not boiling!
1. With the seasoned liquid and oil still in the sauce pan, add all the rice and stir until liquid is all absorbed
This is called parching the rice
2. Turn heat DOWN to medium low (4 out of 10)
3. Constantly stir
1. Add 1/2c of warm stock to the rice
2. Constantly sir

My friend and Chef, Stephanie Paganini taught me to make this dish. She said it was awesome for a guest or a child who is wanting to help.. The only step is to literally stir! Smart woman!

The reason for having the heat on medium low is for the rice to slowly absorb the stock, too high and it absorbs to fast ending up with a crunchy core… yup, gross!

When the liquid is absorbed, add another 1/2c of stock and STIR STIR STIR repeating the process until its all used up.

The starches will begin to release showing off a beautiful texture
1. When all the liquid is absorbed remove from heat
2. Add mushroom and asparagus and stir
3. Add butter one cube at a time until melts (VEGAN OPTION – Add small amount of Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

My favorite part of ANY DISH is adding the cheese! Throw it all in and stir! (VEGAN OPTION add nutritional yeast)

Now its time to adjust seasoning. The cheese adds salt to the dish. If seasoning is done before the cheese is added it may be too salty, which would be a huge bummer.

Taste and adjust and taste again!