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How to keep your kitchen cool

The last thing any of us feel like doing is standing over a hot cooker when it's hot outside. So we thought we’d give you some inspiration for the weekend with no cooking snacks to keep your kitchen cool!

If you’ve got kids, why not get them involved. This is a great way to keep them entertained on their summer holidays and with most of the ideas you can then sit back and supervise.  Here are five ideas to get your started.

Home-made icy poles

These can be as simple as fruit juice frozen into some icy pole moulds with some pretty chunks of fruit added – or as complex as marbled yoghurt and pureed berries with chopped hazelnuts to garnish. The sky (or your Pinterest or Instagram feed) is the limit! Who doesn’t love an icy pole to cool you down!

Trail mix

What’s not to love about trail mix with the combination of sweet, salty, crunchy and chewy! Your trail mix might have any combination of healthy or treat foods. Think raisins, cranberries, dried apricots, nuts, seeds, rice crackers, popcorn, pretzels, yoghurt covered sultanas, shaped breakfast cereal, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips and much, much more. It’s probably best to use a recipe to guide you rather than end up with the contents of your pantry in one giant bowl. Once your kids have mixed up your trail mix, you could scoop out a cup, bowl or bag-full for everyone and watch your favourite family movie!

 

Get creative with fruit

Why not try some fruit sculptures.  If your knife skills aren’t quite a match for a watermelon shark, you can keep things really simple. Cut some slices of different types of melon or soft fruits for your kids then set them to work with shaped cookie cutters and see what they can create. If perfectly sized cubes are more your style, your kids can use them as building blocks to structure their own snack or you could help them skewer them into fruity kabobs.

Cheese plate for kids

Skip the blue cheese and stuffed jalapenos and create a cheese plate that kids will get excited about. Use a cookie cutter for some shaped cheddar slices. Sprinkle nuts, seeds or dried fruit in patterns. You could even use a piping bag (or zip-loc bag with a corner snipped off) to pipe cream cheese or dips on top of crackers or vegie slices for some great-looking savoury snacks.

Bliss balls

Technically, to make bliss balls you’ll probably need to use a food processor for a few seconds but they are ultimately “no-cook” snacks. There’s no limit to the number of recipes you can try – ranging from delicious vegan “lamington” balls with dates, cacao and coconut to simple-but-tasty condensed milk and Weetbix versions. There are even recipes available to mimic your favourite chocolate treats – including Mars Bars, Cherry Ripe and Tim Tams! Check your favourite food blog or recipe site for inspiration.