Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wellness Wednesday -Cool summer treats that cure the urge to splurge!

Everyone loves cool treats when it is hot out and somehow the vacation mode summer brings also brings the urge to splurge.  While an occasional ice cream cone or frothy pina colada is OK, it isn't great on a more frequent basis.   My kids want cool treats on a daily basis so here are some healthier options..

Frozen fruit kabobs-
Skewer chunks of bananas, melon, grapes, berries, pineapple chunks, peaches and other fruits onto kebab sticks and freeze.

Frozen fruit chunks-
Freeze chunks of fruit like slices of peaches. pineapple slices, bananas, berries, grapes and melons on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and once frozen transfer to a zip lock freezer bag.

Frozen banana bars-
Cut bananas in half on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and drizzle with all natural  chocolate syrup and nut pieces.  For fuller coverage dip into chocolate syrup and roll in nuts.  Freeze then individually wrap and transfer to a freezer zip lock bag.
Norpro Ice Pop Maker

Norpro Ice Pop Maker from Amazon ($17.69)

Fruit juice popsicles-
Make your own popsicles with out the artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup, and any of the other added junk.  Use any combination of fruit juices and fruit pieces.  Try an orange juice with pineapple chunk combo, or homemade lemonade with raspberry pop. Homemade green tea with peach pop?  The possibilities are endless... I am wishing I had this book.  It looks so fun!

Cool + Sweet + Refreshing = Pops!

This innovative book gives the ice pop a flavor makeover, providing more than 100 recipes and variations for irresistible concoctions you’ve never tasted before. You’ll also learn fancy
techniques for making whimsical pops that look as fun as they taste. Kids will enjoy the juicy pops and flip over the soda fountain and pudding pops. Grown-up kids will dig the energy-boosting coffee, tea, and healthy energy pops and delight in the sophisticated cocktail pops. And for the do-it-yourselfers, this book provides instructions for making your own pop molds from recycled housewares and even silicone. When it comes to pops, the possibilities are endless—and so much fun!

Yogurt pops-
Use your popsicle molds for yogurt pops.  Use plain unsweetened yogurt and add your own natural sweeteners like stevia or xyilitol etc (Still not sure what to use?  See my previous post on natural sweeteners here.)  then add frozen fruit chunks or puree it all in the blender.  For the blended option throw yogurt and fruit or fruits of choice in the blender with a small amount of juice.  Just enough juice to make the blending easier and then pour into molds.

Coffee and tea pops-
Mix up a double strength version of your favorite tea or coffee beverage and add natural sweetener and a shot of soy or regular milk then pour into molds.  Try floating some frozen berries in the tea version or other fruit and add a few chocolate chips to your coffee pops. Or add a little all natural chocolate syrup to your coffee pop before pouring into molds.

Homemade pudding pops- 
Making homemade pudding pops is not that hard and you get to skip all the added sugars, chemicals etc and can tailor them to your personal taste.  Even though these are definetly a sugary treat you won't want to have every day they are a satisfying lower fat, lower calorie alternative to ice cream.  Here is a recipe from taste of home that would work and I also like that it can be made as a mix and stored ahead of time.

Pudding mix:

  • 2 3/4 cup non-fat dry milk powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar ( you can reduce if you want)
  • 3/4 cups cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt

  • pudding
  • 2 1/4 cups milk or water
  • 1 egg beaten well 
  • 1 Tbs butter or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Combine the pudding mix ingredients and store in an air tight To make the pudding combine 1/4 cups milk or water and mix in a pan on the stove.  Bring to boil stirring occasionally and boil for one minute.  Remove it from the heat and stir in a small amount to the egg.  Return it all to the pan.  Cook and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat add butter or coconut oil and vanilla.Mix well cover and chill 2-3 hours before mixing with milk.  For popsicles just pour into molds and freeze.

Fresh Lemons - Microsoft Clip Art
Lemon Sorbet

1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1 egg white

Stir water wine and sugar in saucepan till melted.  Boil for 10 minutes, then lower the heat.  Now simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.  remove from heat and cool.  Now add the lemon juice.  Stir well.  Pour into a container and freeze until firm but not solid.
While waiting for mix to freeze beat egg white till firm. The beaten egg white prevents large ice crystals from forming.
Transfer all the frozen mix to a bowl and beat with a fork, now mix in the beaten egg white.
Freeze the sorbet till firm but mix often to prevent it from turning into a block of ice.

Of course no list would be complete with out a few smoothie recipes. 

Pina Colada Smoothie Recipe 

1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup coconut milk
1 frozen bannana sliced
1/4 cup ice cubes
2 tsp honey

Blend till smooth.

My favorite berry smoothie recipe
1 cup orange juice (sometimes I water it down to save on calories or switch it out for tazo passion tea made very strong with stevia for sweetner)
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup yogurt (plain no growth hormones)
1/2 frozen banana ( I keep these on hand when bananas go on sale and break them in half and freeze on a cookie sheet then transfer to zip lock bag).
a few pieces of ice.
Blend in blender.  If it needs more liquid just add a little more juice.  This one can easily be changed by switching up the fruits and juices used.  You can freeze juice in your ice cube tray if you feel the ice is watering it down.

Now go have some summer fun and enjoy these healthier treats guilt free.  Just be sure to choose the healthiest ones more often and eat those filled with more sugar sparingly.

Have a few ideas of your own?  Let me know in the comments! I love to hear from you all!


No comments: