When the weather heats up, it's time to call in reinforcements! We need some frozen treats to cool us down from the inside out, and we need them fast -- whether it's a steamy afternoon or an evening when the ceiling fan just doesn't seem to be spinning fast enough.
You might think I'm kidding when I say frozen treats cool us off from the inside out, but it's true. By eating or drinking something very cold, you help to temporarily lower the temperature of your stomach, and there is some relief in that.
What's the best way to cool your body down longer term? Go swimming in a cool pool, or take a cool bath or shower. This will lower your core body temperature and should help keep you feeling cooler for an hour or more after you get out of the water (at least, that's what I've experienced).
OK, back to those frozen treats! First off, here are 10 tips for whipping up fun frozen goodies:
1. Add a cool, crunchy element to your yogurt by stirring in frozen raspberries or blackberries.
2. Make a banana popsicle by wrapping a peeled banana with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Place it in the freezer for 3 hours or more, until frozen.
3. Whip up a diet root beer float. Pour 1 cup of diet root beer into a tall glass and add a couple of cookie dough scoops (1/8 cup each) of light vanilla ice cream. The grand total for this refreshing treat is around 46 calories, with 1 g protein, 7.5 g carbohydrate, 1.5 g fat, 0.9 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, and 70 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 27%.
4. Make a frozen s'more. Break a graham cracker in half and put both halves on a small, microwave-safe plate. On one half, put a heaping teaspoon of chocolate chips (spread out) or two small squares of Hershey chocolate bar. Top the other half with a large marshmallow, cut in half (spread it out), or about 6 miniature marshmallows. Microwave on HIGH for about 30 seconds, watching carefully. Press the halves together to make a s'more. Let cool, wrap in foil, and keep in the freezer for a frozen treat.
5. Make a frozen yogurt fruit cup. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 1/2 cups vanilla (or other flavor, as desired) yogurt with 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit pieces (banana slices, raspberries, strawberry slices, mandarin orange segments, pitted cherries, peach slices, etc.). Spoon into about 3 Styrofoam (or similar) cups. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in freezer a few hours, until frozen. Each serving has around 150 calories, 6 g protein, 29 g carbohydrate, 1.6 g fat, 0.9 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g fiber, 72 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 10%.
6. Make an iced vanilla coffee latte. Stir 1 tablespoon Vanilla Roast Nescafe Taster's Choice Decaf instant coffee into 1 cup low-fat or nonfat milk. Once it's blended and the coffee granules have dissolved, pour over 1 cup of crushed ice and serve. Or, you can add the milk mixture and cup of crushed ice to a blender and pulse until blended, then pour into a glass. Using 1% low-fat milk, this adds up to 105 calories, 8 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 2.6 g fat, 1.6 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 123 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 23%.
7. Make your own diet ICEE. Pour your favorite diet soda into an ice cube tray and put in freezer until frozen (a few hours). Add all the ice cubes to a blender or food processor, and pulse until they turn into slush. Pour into a glass and enjoy.
8. Make your own fruity slush. Pour your favorite 100% fruit juice into an ice cube tray and put in freezer until frozen (a few hours). Add all the ice cubes to a blender or food processor, and pulse until they turn into a fruity slush. You can also make a wine freeze by filling your ice cube tray with your favorite wine instead.
9. Design your own smoothie! Put either yogurt, nonfat frozen yogurt, light ice cream, or sherbet in the blender. Add whatever fresh or frozen fruit sounds good, then add crushed ice and fruit juice or low-fat milk and blend!
10. Try one of these recipes ! Here are a few of my favorite frozen treat recipes that fit right into the Weight Loss Clinic program:
Orange Creamsicle Shake
2 cups light or low-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt
1/2 cup orange juice concentrate (it can be frozen; just scoop it right from the can)
3/4 cup low-fat or nonfat milk
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, wheat germ or fiber supplement (optional)
- Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until well blended (stop blender after about 5 seconds to scrape down the sides).
- Add flaxseed or similar, if using.
- Pour into two glasses and enjoy!
Yield: 2 servings
Per serving: 240 calories, 8 grams protein, 43 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 12 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 104 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 14%.
Orange Raspberry Whip
This is a fun combination of fruit flavors. Experiment by changing the flavor of yogurt and the choices of fruit.
1/4 cup light cream cheese
1/4 cup Splenda
1/4 cup raspberry, strawberry, or orange low-fat yogurt
1 cup frozen raspberries
11-ounce can mandarin orange segments in light syrup, drained
1 banana, diced
4 ounces (half of an 8-ounce tub) fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Combine cream cheese, Splenda, and yogurt in mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, toss raspberries, mandarin orange segments, banana, and whipped topping together.
- Gently fold fruit mixture into the cream cheese mixture until nicely blended. Spoon into 4 bowls (for 1-cup servings). Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight (or all day). Thaw for about 15 minutes before eating.
Yield: 4, 1-cup servings
Per serving: 162 calories, 4 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 2 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 85 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 11%.
You'll love the texture (and taste) of this frozen mousse!
8 ounces fat-free whipped topping
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon Nescafe Taster's Choice Vanilla Roast Decaf (or other instant coffee with 5 calories or less per teaspoon)
- Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and beat on low speed (or whisk by hand) until blended.
- Spoon into 4 small cups or bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 100 calories, 0 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 g fiber, 31 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 0%.