Five Delicious Cool Treats while you are at the Beach!

desserts

It’s hot out – cool off with these healthy and delicious “at the Beach” treats! Warm weather season, which, for a lot of people, means the season for ice cream. However, ice cream is loaded with saturated fat and sugar, which isn’t great for your beach body, and is even worse for your health. So, how do you get your sweet cold fix without all those undesirable side effects? Answer: read on. Below are five lighter and healthier alternatives to ice cream.

 1. Refreshing Berry Soup
Having a cook out? Guests will welcome a cool treat before they even get to dessert. This soup is a cinch to make, but tastes surprisingly complex. You’ll be deemed a culinary wiz! To lighten this up a bit more, use low-fat or fat-free vanilla yogurt.

  • Add strawberries, yogurt, ⅔ cup milk, orange juice, and 4 tablespoons agave nectar to Wild-side jar. Secure lid and select “Batter.”
  • Pour 1 cup soup into each of 6 bowls. Add ⅓ cup milk, 2 tablespoons agave nectar, lemon juice, and raspberries to jar. Secure lid and select “Batter.” Drizzle ¼ cup raspberry mixture over soup.

 Note: For a popping citrus flavor, add lemon or orange zest to the soup or raspberry mixture.

2. Frozen banana
When frozen, a banana takes on a coolness, sweetness, and creaminess very reminiscent of ice cream. To take advantage of this natural gift, you have two options:

  • You can choose to leave the banana whole. Eat it as is or dip it in melted dark chocolate (preferably a chocolate that is >70% cocoa) and add toppings such as toasted nuts, coconut shavings and pretzel pieces.
  • You can put the banana in a blender with low fat milk/unsweetened plant milk, ice cubes, up to 1 teaspoon of honey, and mix-ins such as dark chocolate chips and natural nut butters.

Note: Make sure to keep the toppings and mix-ins healthy! Loading up on unhealthy additions can put you right back in the ice cream camp when it comes to extra fat and sugar.


3. Granita

A granita is essentially an adult version of a snow-cone, and, when made well, can be a very low-calorie frozen treat.

  • In a large bowl, purée the melon (8 cups). Add the lime juice (1 tbsp), zest and tequila (2 fl oz). Freeze in a shallow dish for 45 minutes to an hour. The melon should be not fully frozen. Shave with spoon and serve. Garnished with a fresh wedge of lime.
  • Feel free to make this dish your own by substituting the honeydew with another seasonal fruit of choice, such as watermelon or strawberries.

Note: To keep the granita alcohol-free, simply replace the tequila with water.

4. Sorbet
Sorbet is basically ice cream without the cream, which saves a lot of unwanted calories and fat.  Another bonus is that the best sorbets get a significant amount of sweetness from fruit, rather than added sugars.

  • Blend berries in a food processor until they have reached a smooth consistency. Put the berry purée, basil (1/4 cup fresh), sugar (1/4 cup) and salt in a saucepan. Heat until melted and simmering. In the meantime, whisk cornstarch (1 ½ tsp) into cold water (1 ½ tsp) and stir into heated berry mix. Remove the saucepan from heat and add lemon juice. Let cool.
  • Freeze mixture in a tall canister for 1 ½ hours. Remove and stir with a whisk. Return to freezer and whisk once every hour for 4 hours.

Note: Whisking incorporates air into the sorbet mixture, so the more you whisk, the, lighter the sorbet will be.

5. Yogurt Popsicle

Popsicles are a great option for a hot day frozen treat because they are not only refreshing, but they are also portable, perfect for a picnic so long as you have an ice cooler.

  • Combine the blueberries (½ pint), blackberries  (½ pint) and sugar (¼ cup) in a bowl and let sit for 20 minutes. As the berries macerate, they will soften and create a syrup-like liquid. Pour the berries and syrup into a food processor or blender and add lemon juice. Pulse a few times until fruit mixture is puréed. Blend with the yogurt (1 cup fat-free Greek yogurt) and pour into molds.
  • Freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight. To remove, run hot water over the outside of the mold until you can gently pull the popsicle out.

Note: Always use seasonal fruit/berry  that’s fully if not overly ripe. The riper the fruit, the sweeter the pop, and the less added sugar you’ll need.

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