THE BLOG
07/25/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

My 5 Favorite Easy Chillin' Summer Treats

Here in Pennsylvania, we have had torrential rain for 40 days and 40 nights, and it's hard to believe that summer will ever come. But when it does, I'll be ready with these 5 easy summer treats to keep my kids and myself nice and cool.

1. Frozen grapes on a stick. Get a bamboo skewer and stick some good grapes (not the yucky ones) on it, and put everything in the freezer. This is an especially good idea when you are kind of sick of eating grapes but you still have half a bag left, and don't know what to do with them, and don't want them to go to waste. Just be careful no one pokes an eye out with the skewers while eating them.

2. Fresh lemon soda. You can make this with premade organic lemonade, or you can make your own lemonade first. But the real trick is to dilute the lemonade with club soda or sparkling water (and ice) to make a thirst-quenching and highly refreshing beverage that's not too sweet.

3. Izze floats. Izze is one of the few brands of soda I occasionally buy for my kids, because they taste so good and have no added sugar--they are all sweetened with fruit juice. Plus the colors are really pretty. To make Izze floats, take a glass or mug of your favorite flavor (I like orange) and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen vanilla yogurt. Enjoy! (Izze was bought by PepsiCo In 2006. Hopefully they'll keep the sodas good and pure...please.)

4. Iced coffee or tea, with a paper straw! I can't tell you how many times I have made a nice glass of iced coffee and then spilled the drink down the front of my white shirt. Something about the way ice fuses together can cause diversion out the side of the glass and accidental spillage. Straws solve that problem, but they are usually plastic. I found a great source of good old-fashioned paper straws (Aardvark Paper Drinking Straws) that bring all the fun with none of the pollution.

5. A bag of frozen berries (preferably blue). As I described in a previous post, all you have to do is wash the berries, put them on a cookie tray, freeze them, and then move them to a bag or container to enjoy whenever you or your kids want something cold, sweet, and good (and good for you, too!).

For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com.