Lower the cost of sundaes by making them at home

Homemade Sundaes

by Joanne Guidoccio


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Last weekend, I treated myself to a Dairy Queen banana split. I watched with great anticipation as the clerk carefully prepared my treat and tried not to gasp when she told me the price was $5.30 (CDN). I inquired about the other prices and discovered that, like everything else, Dairy Queen treats had risen in price.

I watched as carloads of families slowly progressed through the drive-through and mentally calculated the minimum and maximum amounts a family of four could easily spend. If they all selected peanut butter parfaits, the cost would be $21.20 (CDN). Four small dipped cones would ring in at $11.72 (CDN). These are not budget-shattering expenses, but could easily add up if summer temperatures soar and humidity levels become unbearable.

While there aren't too many substitutes for a DQ® Peanut Buster® Parfait, Buster® Bar or Blizzard®, it is possible to create reasonable facsimiles of DQ sundaes and banana splits at home. Invest in a set of sundae dishes and create your own cool delights. Involve each family member and encourage them to experiment with different ice cream flavours and toppings. Name each creation and whenever possible, incorporate the child's name into the treat. Alternatively, you could play with words, using alliteration and other literary techniques to come up with unique names.

If you have dietary concerns, substitute frozen yogurt, fresh fruits, and chopped nuts for the ice cream and toppings. Read the labels carefully, ensuring that the sundae or banana split has at least six grams of protein (the equivalent of one egg) and have the cool treat for breakfast or lunch during the dog days of summers. Extend the Make-Your-Own-Sundae theme to summer parties and get-togethers. Try some of my favorite homemade sundaes:

  • Oranges 'n' Sherbet: Place two scoops of orange sherbet in a dish, cover with orange juice, and decorate with slices of mandarin oranges.

  • Vanilla Vamp: Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a dish, cover with chocolate syrup, sprinkle with chopped nuts, and top with a maraschino cherry.

  • Coco Delight: Place one scoop of vanilla and one scoop of chocolate ice cream in a dish, cover with whipped cream, and sprinkle with toasted shredded coconut.

  • Maple Delight: Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a dish, cover with maple syrup, sprinkle with granola, and decorate with shredded coconut.

  • Caffeine Boost: Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a dish, cover with strong black coffee, top with whipped cream, and decorate with grated chocolate.

  • Strawberry Dream: Place two scoops of strawberry ice cream in a dish, cover with strawberry sauce, and top with whole fresh strawberries.

  • Fruity Vanilla: Place two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a dish and cover with fruit cocktail in syrup. Add whipped cream and top with a maraschino cherry.

  • Hawaiian Delight: Place two scoops of frozen vanilla yogurt in a dish and surround with pineapple and kiwi slices. Top with coconut.

  • Superfood Sundae: Place two scoops of frozen chocolate yogurt in a dish, surround with blueberries or blackberries, and top with ground flaxseed or chia seeds and chopped almonds.

  • Banana Split: Cut a banana in half lengthwise and place in a dish. Cover with any of the above sundae recipes.

For 31 years, Joanne Guidoccio taught mathematics, computer science, business and career education courses in secondary schools throughout Ontario. Her articles, book reviews, and short stories have been published in newspapers, magazines, and online. She has bachelor's degrees in mathematics and education and a Career Development Practitioner diploma. Visit her website at JoanneGuidoccio.com.

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