Looking to cool off this summer without sabotaging your arteries or your waistline? Beat the heat with 3 of my favorite frozen summer treats that will help you hydrate and refresh – all while paying homage to your sweet tooth yet still offering some serious nutrition credentials.
Instead of: Ice Cream Bar
Try this: Frozen Fruit Kebobs
For a gorgeous and good-for-you summer treat, thread a variety of banana chunks, blackberries, grapes, pineapple, kiwi slices and blueberries on sticks. Simply put them on a baking sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. For a farmer’s market trifecta, use a melon baller to scoop spheres of a variety of in-season melons, such as cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon, thread on a skewer and freeze.
Freezing fruit will help you savor your snack longer (it slows you down), and also locks in the vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants – nutrients that can degrade over time if they sit fresh in your fridge too long. It can also shave significant calories off a cup. Consider 1 cup of fruit has just 50-70 calories, while one cup of ice cream weighs in at 250-280 calories. Another plus? The fruit pack several grams of fiber while traditional ice cream has almost none.
Instead of: Gelato or Sorbet
Try this: Frozen Fruit Slush
I love these! This refreshing summer treat can help you stay hydrated, cool and nourished. Take about 2 cups of your favorite ripe fruit, such as kiwis, blackberries, mango, watermelon or blueberries, and puree in a food processor. You want the fruit to be at peak ripeness to get the best flavor. Freeze in 4 individual small cups. For gorgeous, dramatic color, you can even layer different purees into a container and then partially freeze to form a slush.
You can slurp in style while avoiding all of the added sugars that come in many commercial sorbets. Consider 1/2 cup of peach sorbet has 130 calories and 20 grams of sugar (much of it from added sugars), while 1/2 cup of homemade peach slush has about 65-80 calories and 10-15 grams of naturally occurring sugar from the fruit itself.
Instead of: A Milkshake (even a small one)
Try this: Kefir Pop or Low-Fat Frozen Greek Yogurt Drops
Crave something creamy to cool off? While a milkshake is tempting, many of my clients are shocked to learn that just a scant 1/2 cup packs almost 200 calories! Earlier this year I shared one of my favorite secrets – Greek yogurt drops – with Dr. Oz. Alternately, freeze kefir or Greek yogurt into children’s sized popsicle (about 4 oz.) containers for a probiotic and protein rich treat.
You’ll not only save considerable calories, but both Kefir and lowfat Greek Yogurt are rich sources of probiotics, which help keep your immune system strong and your digestive system healthy. Plus, this sweet treat packs some protein – 1/2 cup kefir has 4 grams, while 1/2 cup greek yogurt packs 13 grams.