When the summer heat hits, most of us make a bee-line to the fridge or freezer for something cold to snack on. Avoid an ice cream gut-ache with these healthy alternatives.
For Your Sweet Tooth:
Banana pops. Grab as many bananas as you’d like (I recommend the whole bunch!) and peel them. Then, bend to break them in half for a sensible portion. Put each on a piece of plastic wrap, and if you’d like, push a few mini chocolate chips or your favorite crushed nuts into the sides. Wrap them up and freeze for an hour. Easy as that!
Baby grape-sicles. Wash grapes, either green or red will work, and put them in a freezer bag. Freeze for at least one hour. They come out sweet like a popsicle, with all the benefits of fresh fruit! For an extra touch of sweetness, sprinkle on your favorite sugar-free drink mix or flavored gelatin.
Watermelon gems. Dice watermelon into ½ inch cubes and stick a toothpick in each chunk. For a fun twist, use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop to make watermelon balls. Freeze for 30 minutes on a plate and they are ready to enjoy.
Instant frozen fruit slushy. Who needs a blender? For a tasty snack in seconds, pour milk over frozen blueberries and grab a spoon. The milk gets slushy when it mixes with the cold berries, and it thaws them just enough to prevent brain freeze. Add enough milk to cover the berries in an 8 oz glass.
Hydrating in Style:
Cucumber mint water. Feel as cool as a cucumber in less than five minutes. Fill a pitcher with water and add as much thinly sliced cucumber as you like (think three to five slices per glass). Add one or two bunches of washed fresh mint if you have it, or a few mint herbal tea bags (½ a bag per glass). Cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor.
Iced coffee. I love how easy it is to make iced coffee with instant coffee, but you can use brewed coffee, too. By making it at home, you’ll save money and calories compared to the coffee shop variety. And, you can experiment with all kinds of different flavor combos. My favorite method: pour one teaspoon of instant coffee into ¼ cup of water and stir, then add ¾ cup of milk and a few ice cubes. Experiment with adding flavors you like, such as cinnamon, cocoa powder, nutmeg or sweeteners.
Tzatziki. Check out this Tzatziki recipe; it pairs great with pita chips and all kinds of veggies. Put your serving platter on top of a bowl of ice to keep it nice and cool in the hot sun.
Most of these recipes can be prepped in less than five minutes, and they’ll be ready to enjoy after a 30-minute bike ride, walk or outdoor game. Perfect timing, right?