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Chill Out with Summer Treats that Beat the Heat

By Sherry Brooks ecomii.com
August 9, 2011
File under: Drinks, Healthy Eating, Vegan

With much of the country suffering under a blanket of triple-digit temperatures, some icy, homemade, low-cal treats can bring welcome relief for the whole family.

1) Smoothies

If you don’t want to use juice or young coconut water as your base, make a creamy “paste” by blending a few tablespoons of filtered water with any kind of raw nuts.  This base contains its protein and heart-healthy fat, which provides long-lasting energy.

Now add frozen fruit and a banana, adding a touch of water if it is too thick to qualify as a beverage. Bananas add natural sweetness. Keep sliced frozen bananas on hand in bags or containers; it’s a great way to preserve ripe bananas and really convenient, too. Choose agave, stevia or a dash of cinnamon for wholesome and flavor-enhancing additions.

2) Popsicles

Save money, avoid processed sugar and have fun making your own frozen desserts.  Invest in plastic Popsicle molds or small disposable cups and Popsicle sticks. This is a great use for leftover smoothies from the blender. You can create a great frozen treat with juice and fruit and for an interesting twist on a frozen pop blend orange juice, mango and a touch of chili powder.

Here’s the secret for obtaining an end product that is not as rock-solid as an ice cube . . . . pour a dash of something alcoholic into your liquid mixture before filling the molds.   It could be white wine, Prosecco, Grand Marnier. . . whatever you have on hand.   This causes the final product to come out in a lovely, more manageable consistency.

3) All-Natural “Soft Serve”

Take a cup or two of those frozen banana chunks mentioned above and blend them into a low calorie, 100 percent natural raw “soft serve” with a bit of almond, soy or other non-dairy milk.

Mix-ins can be stirred in at the end.   We like to make “chocolate chip cookie dough” chunks by mixing coconut oil, tahini, vanilla, agave and just a touch of salt, with lots of ground raw cashews. Then stir in chocolate chips or cocoa nibs before placing in a wide flat covered container by the tablespoonful in the refrigerator to firm up.

4) Lemon Water

Keep mason jars with filtered water and a lemon slice and in the refrigerator for an affordable and environmentally friendly way to keep the crowd hydrated in the heat of summer.

5) Tips to keep the house cool

If the mornings are at all cool, open windows to trap the cool air and then close the windows as the day becomes warmer.   Remember to point all your blinds and shutter slats up to reduce the amount of hot sun coming into the house.

Sherry Brooks is a healthy, happy and trim “Frugalista” living the lean and green life near Malibu in sunny southern California. Follow Sherry on Twitter

 
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