Summer means festival season in the U.S., and like many families we spent last Saturday walking the midway at a local fair. It was fun, but also tremendously hot.
At one point, I stopped at a booth for a lemonade to help me cool down. Lemonade wasn't my first choice, but I had no idea how bad it was about to become.
The vendor squeezed half a lemon into a glass, added some ice, and then dumped in a scoop of sugar roughly the size of my head. Yuck! I took a sip, and sure enough it tasted like an enormous cup of sugar with a little lemon squeezed in. I finally found a booth that sold ice cold water -- my beverage of choice for the day and every day.
Festivals aren't known for serving up healthy food, but at home you have plenty of tasty options that can help you beat the heat. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Use a popsicle mold or even just an ice cube tray to make your own 100% fruit bars. Just cut up and blend two cups of fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries or peaches are my favorites), add a small amount of 100% juice or water to thin the fruit mixture, pour into your mold and freeze.
- Blend a frozen fruit mixture with low-fat yogurt for a healthy smoothie.
- Give your water a tasty twist. Adding slices of citrus, mint leaves and raspberries to a pitcher, fill with cold water and let it rest in your fridge.
- Freeze ball of cantaloupe and honeydew and use them as edible ice cubes for drinks.
- Make chocolate-covered frozen bananas. Just cut peeled bananas in half, insert a popsicle stick and freeze for an hour. Dip the frozen bananas in melted dark chocolate and refreeze. Better yet, skip the chocolate and smear a small amount of natural peanut butter on it instead.