4 Inexpensive Summer Treats You Can Make at Home

By Kym Pham, Cheapism.com

Here's to lazy summer days: four cool, refreshing, and cheap summer treats you can make from the comfort of home.

Sparkling juice is a no-fuss summer treat.Sparkling juice is a no-fuss summer treat.Sparkling juice. With temperatures climbing to record highs, turn up the cool with a little sparkle in your juice. JoyfulHomemaking shares a simple recipe: Pour a container of your favorite juice concentrate into a pitcher and add as much chilled seltzer as you would regular water.

Related: Best inexpensive blenders

No-cooking chopped salad. We were inspired by SmittenKitchen's recipe for a chopped salad using feta cheese, lime, and fresh mint. The cooking blog instructs home chefs to mix 3 cups of chopped vegetables (suggestions include radishes, cucumbers, cooked but still crunchy green beans), 1/2 cup of crumbled feta, 2 sliced scallions, about 2 tablespoons of chopped mint, and 1/3 cup toasted sunflower seeds. Separately, whisk 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper; pour over vegetables.

Ice cream. AllRecipes offers a no-brainer recipe for vanilla ice cream, easily concocted with the help of any cheap ice cream maker. All you need is half-and-half (4 cups), sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces), and vanilla extract (2 tablespoons). Mix the ingredients together, pour into the container, and follow the instructions that go with your machine. Alternatively, mix the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and then add 2 cups of whipping cream; pour into a 2-quart container or a 9x5 baking pan, cover, and freeze for 6 hours.

Related: Ice cream maker reviews

Enjoy peaches while they're in season.Enjoy peaches while they're in season.

Juicy peaches. Stone fruit is sweet and plentiful right now and heat from a cheap outdoor grill only intensifies the flavors. About.com suggests brushing the peach halves with canola oil after pitting them and grill until you see telltale marks. Eat as is, toss them into a salad, or slather with homemade vanilla ice cream.

Add together all the above and you have yourself a cheap, quick, and easy summer meal.

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