It’s a scorcher! Beat the heat with healthy treats!
Summer time in the Central Valley means scorching temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, and sunshine that just won’t quit. When the thermometer heads north, we head to the freezer in search of a refreshing treat.
Can you remember devouring an ice cream cone in all its melting glory? Gobbling it up in search of refreshment as the sun’s rays seem to pierce right through you? Savoring each bite as the excess fat and sugar runs down the arm to the elbow, before dripping onto the asphalt with a sizzle.
Wait a minute. What was that about excess fat and sugar?
Unfortunately, not all refreshing treats are created equal. Frozen summer time staples like ice cream, though OK in moderation, can increase the amount of fat and sugar you’re consuming with little nutritional benefit.
Lucky for us, connoisseurs of summer time refreshments have tips and recipes to help us stay cool, the healthy way.
If it’s frozen treats you’re after, try:
Full of antioxidants and portable, frozen grapes make a great treat without a sticky mess.
Packed with vitamin C, cherries are an excellent summertime snack. Simply de-stem and rinse the cherries. Pit the cherries and spread on a tray. Place in the freezer until frozen. Store them in an air-tight container in the freezer until you are ready to pop a few to cool off.
Fruit Smoothies are a favorite! Blend ½ c. vanilla low-fat soy or regular yogurt, ½ cup of your favorite fresh berries, 2 ice cubes and 2 tsp. vanilla extract until smooth. Makes one cup.
Healthy ice cream
This recipe has tofu; it is healthy and safe for those who are lactose intolerant.
12 ounces frozen strawberries or frozen peaches
14 ounces soft silk tofu
1 cup of sugar
2 ounces of a healthy oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Assemble ingredients and blend in a food processor or blender.
2. Next, place the mixture in a plastic freezer zipper bag (one quart size) and seal.
3. Place the healthy ice cream bag in a gallon size plastic bag filled with a couple of tablespoons of salt and plenty of ice and shake for five minutes. You will cool off just shaking the bags!
Remember, when the temperature rises, choose wisely. Healthy alternatives to fatty, sugary, frozen treats are simple and delicious!
Wishing you a cool and healthy summer! For more healthy tips, click here.