School is finished. Memorial weekend just passed. It is HOT outside. Summer is officially here! What goes best with a hot summer day? A cold refreshing drink. A nice glass of ice cold water is great, but I also enjoy lemonade or ice tea, or mixing those two and having an Arnold Palmer. Maybe you enjoy a cold beer or summery cocktail. What else goes great with a hot summer day? A nice cold treat like an icecream or a popsicle.
One of my favorite summer drinks is a Lemon-Berry Slush from Sonic. I looked up the nutrition facts on their website recently and a large slush is 430 calories with 112 grams of sugar. That amount of sugar is 4.5 days worth of the recommended value! I also really love a strawberry shake. A medium shake from McDonalds is 590 calories with 84 grams of sugar. For some of us, that amount of calories is as much or more than we eat at our meals. Many of these typical summer time treats are loaded with sugar and tons of calories!
It is hard to imagine summer without these items (Or without pools or water parks, but that’s another story). But what if you’re trying to keep your nutrition dialed in. What if you’ve been working really hard to fit into those summer shorts or you have a wedding to attend. Does that mean you can’t have any of the idyllic summer drinks or snacks that you love? Absolutely not!
So what can you do? Get creative and make some treats at home! Below are some recipes from Coach Sam and myself for some healthier, but delicious summer time treats.
Homemade Lemon-Berry Slush
- 100 grams strawberries – fresh or frozen
- 100 grams blueberries – fresh or frozen (you can use other berries too these are just what I usually have on hand)
- 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (I use the concentrate from the bottle, add more or less depending on how sour you like it)
- 1 tsp stevia
- ½ cup of water
Directions: Blend everything together, then add ice and blend again until it reaches the consistency you like. (I prefer to place all ingredients in a large insulated cup and use my immersion blender – super easy for cleanup!)
Homemade Strawberry Creamsicles (should make 6 and a little extra)
- 16 oz frozen strawberries
- 1 cup of canned coconut milk (full fat or lite)
- 2 tbsp honey
Directions: Put everything in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze. If you have extra, put into a small bowl or container and freeze.
Homemade Healthier Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream (Note- This will still have quite a few calories, so watch your portions, but the quality of ingredients are much healthier!)
- 1 14 oz . can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. Adjust the flavor to your taste, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Place in the freezer for 4-6 hours, or until firm. Enjoy!
Healthy Mocha Frappuccino (serves 2)
- 4 teaspoons espresso powder or 4 tsp instant coffee
- 3 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa powder (I use hersheys)
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 cups ice
Directions: Add to a blender the espresso powder, almond butter, cacao powder, honey, followed by the water and ice. Blend until the ice is crushed and everything is combined. Enjoy!
Gut Healthy bubbly- kombucha is rich in probiotics and is great for healthy digestion!
- One can of flavored carbonated water (La Croix, bubly, Albertsons off brand)
- One bottle of Kombucha (I like the Synergy brand, but you can use any. Just check the serving size and sugar content- some brands have TWO servings in one bottle equaling a lot of sugar)
Directions: Pour ½-¾ of carbonated water into a glass with ice. Fill the rest with kombucha. Enjoy!
- One can of your favorite flavor of carbonated water ( I love the grapefruit flavor)
- Juice from ½-1 lemon
- Splash of pineapple juice (Can use any kind of juice here, just make sure it’s no sugar added)
- Small dash of salt
Directions: Pour carbonated water over ice, squeeze the lemon juice into the glass, top off with a splash of pineapple juice & a dash of salt. Enjoy!
Moscow Mule Mocktail
- One can of Ginger Ale Zevia
- 2-3 leaves fresh mint
- Juice of 1 lime
Directions: Pour over ice & enjoy!
Blackberry Mojito Mocktail
- 5-6 blackberries
- ½ Juice from a lime
- 4-5 leaves fresh mint
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice(preferably chilled)
- 1 cup sparkling water or soda water
- 1 tsp honey (more or less according to taste)
Directions: In a small bowl muddle blackberries and mint leaves for a few seconds. Transfer the muddled blackberries into a serving glass. Add a few ice cubes, lime juice, orange juice and sparkling water or soda. Give it a gentle mix and adjust sweetener according to your taste. Enjoy!
Hopefully these recipes give you some new favorite healthier options you can enjoy this summer. Try them out and let us know what you think!