What do you think of when the weather starts to get hot?
ICE CREAM! My mind usually associates hot summer weather with a cold cup of icy sweetness whether it be my favourite Kawartha’s Dairy Moose tracks or pistachio AND ferraro rocher gelato. And as much as I’d love to indulge in both, I know that they aren’t the best choices for me.
A couple of weekends ago, as I was grocery shopping I picked up some watermelon. It really hit the spot and reminded me of how we use to cool down as kids. We had many trips to the corner store or 7 Eleven for freezies, fudgsicles, coloured popsicles or slushies. Then there was the always tempting daily ice cream truck visits around 7pm where the second you heard the tune of the ice cream truck, my siblings and I would scramble all the change we could find and dash out to buy some chocolate dipped (we frequently got dipped if we could afford the splurge – extra 0.50 back then) ice cream cones. I still feel nostalgic for those times when I see an ice cream truck. Those were the days!
For those hot summer days, sometimes you just want the cold treat /drink minus the dairy and sugar.
Here’s some of my healthy cold treat/drink ideas to cool down without overloading on sugar and dairy and without resorting to pre-made store bought stuff.
1. Slice cold juicy fruits: pineapple, watermelon, peaches, nectarines, grapefruit, plums, and oranges.
2. Make it iced. Take your favourite drink (coffee, tea, juice) and add ice too it. Want to make it iced without diluting the flavour? Tip: Try freezing your favourite drink so when it’s a hot day you can just add your pre-made ice cubes to the drink.
3. Homemade popsicles – you control what goes in. I remember doing this as a kid with my mom using some plastic popsicle molds and our favourite fruit juices. I imagine it would be great to make these with your favourite smoothie or a juice.
4. Make a smoothie. There’s nothing like a tasty concoction that you put together yourself. I got into making these last summer when I got the magic bullet. I do get bored if I have the same thing so I’m always playing around with different combinations.
5. Frozen grapes (or other frozen fruits). I had frozen grapes when as a kid when my mom’s friend offered us some. So easy to do. Just wash them, pop them in the freezer and take them out to eat on a cold day. Boy, I long for the days when my teeth weren’t so sensitive. The last time I had these I had to hold them in my mouth before I could even bite into them just so they would melt a bit.
6. Natural Flavours Infused water (herbs, fruit, cucumbers, beets). I’ve had honeydew water at a tea cafe before and cucumber/lemon at a coffee shop. I always think to myself, what a lovely idea, I should do that for myself…and then I forget. I have lemon infused water almost daily but I’d really like to add more variety to my day and I’m hoping I’ll drink more because of it. I use to buy pre-bottled fruit flavoured waters as a kid. I’m pretty sure it was loaded was sugar, but I thought at the time it was healthier than pop.
Here’s a great post I came across on Naturally Flavoured Water. I like the idea of having these in the fridge made and ready to drink. Really pretty too. And a great way to use glass jars. Boy, do I want to pick up some Ball jars next time I’m in the U.S.
7. No-sugar added juice or smoothie infused water. Pouring a bit of juice or your smoothie in your water to flavour it. I just picked up some litchi and guava juice. MMM… I really wish I was on a tropical island. Meh, I’ll go there through my tropical liquid flavoured waters instead.
I haven’t tried out all the ideas above, I was just brainstorming on the weekend because it was terribly hot and this was my list.
What are your ideas? What veggies do you think would go well with infusing water with flavour? All I could think of was cucumber and beets. Please share in the comments.