Healthy, Cool Treats to Try This Summer
Some people insist that without sugar, desserts and treats would not taste nearly as good. But that most definitely is not always the case, and we’re here to prove it. Let’s talk about a few healthy treats with no sugar added, all perfect for cooling you and your family off as the weather in South Georgia heats up this summer.
First, Choose Healthy Ingredients.
The most important thing to look for when deciding on a healthy treat are the ingredients that you use. Some fruits have less sugar than others, and most people forget that vegetables can be added to smoothies and popsicles too. Here are a few well-known and tasty fruits and veggies that are great for making summer treats.
Strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries are all naturally low in sugar, at just over a teaspoon. They are also great because you can put them in just about anything to make things taste better. They are loaded with antioxidants and fiber, help improve blood sugar, provide tons of nutrients such as vitamins C and K and are even known for anti-inflammatory properties.
Peaches, fresh cherries, and nectarines have small amounts of sugar as well as a decent amount of fiber. These fruits can aid in weight loss and overall health, as they usually contain both vitamin C and A. They also boost one’s immunity, fight diabetes and obesity, create healthy nerves and muscles, aid digestion, strengthen bones and teeth and even help the body create collagen.
Possibly the most versatile fruit is the humble banana. Bananas contain many nutrients: fiber, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, protein and vitamins B6 and C. They are a little over a hundred calories each, and the best part is that bananas contain dopamine, one of the brain’s feel-good chemicals.
Oranges are only 60 calories each and have zero fat or sodium. They contain fiber, sugar, protein, calcium, potassium, carbohydrates and vitamins A and C. The vitamin C in oranges can boost one’s immune system and lower stress, which aids overall health in fighting viruses and cancers. Oranges are also known for being an anti-inflammatory fruit.
Per cup, spinach only contains .1 gram of sugar, making it one of the most popular greens to be added to smoothies. Spinach is high in antioxidants that help anti-inflammation and disease protection. Eye health and blood pressure may also improve with the addition of spinach to your diet.
Carrots — while a little higher in sugar than spinach at 2.9 grams per cup — are another popular choice to place in smoothies and popsicles. There’s more to carrots than just their modest sugar content; they are also a great source of fiber, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants.
Making the Treats
This may sound like a lot to remember, so let’s jump to something easier to learn. You are probably wondering about what specific blender or ice pop mold to get, and I happen to have the top choice for each.
For blending, Vitamix is the brand to go for, and I recommend the series A3500 to be exact. It does just about everything you could ask it to do and is quite user friendly. It holds about eight cups of yummy ingredients, has 15 speeds, is safe to put in the dishwasher, has a 10-year warranty and even comes with a digital display and a recipe book. This blender is the perfect fit for families because it can hold up to a busy lifestyle. You’ll be making delicious smoothies for everyone in the neighborhood! (If you want to, that is.)
As for popsicle molds, the Lekue stackable molds are the way to go. These molds are easy to remove from the frozen treat, can work with larger chunks of fruit since it lays flat and fits easily into most standard freezers. The best part is that these molds come in different shapes and sizes. Try a fun popsicle shaped like a foot or slice of watermelon — even a cactus!
Now that you know which ingredients and equipment to stock up on to create your treats, here are a few recipes, sure to delight everyone in the family.
Written by: Kaitlyne Piper