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Summer Sipping: Cold Treats for Hot Days

Red wine, smoothies, and iced treats are healthy summer drinks, especially when fruit is in the recipe.
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Red Wine Tastes Fine

Red wine is an antioxidant-packed alcoholic drink. "I never advise people to start drinking wine if they don't already -- but if you're a wine drinker, be happy that it's good for you," Barrett tells WebMD.

 

Red wine is the inspiration for Spanish sangria. It's easy: Start with a hefty jug of red burgundy wine, then a cup (or so) 100% fruit juice, plus cut oranges and apples. Add some rum (or brandy) plus soda water (or ginger ale) for fizz. Let the flavors blend overnight in the refrigerator. Sangria is a great punch-bowl drink.

 

Wine spritzers also dilute wine's alcohol content. Diet ginger ale or soda water is all you need to add, says Barrett.

Frozen Feels Good

All things frozen are welcome on hot, humid days.

 

Fruit slushes are nice. Just put ice cubes and fruit in a blender or ice-shaving machine, Barrett explains. Virtually any fruit works: watermelon, cantaloupe, lemons, or limes. As you blend, add sweetener gradually. Taste frequently. You may find you don't need much sugar. Less is best.

 

Fruit juice Popsicles and ice cubes are also popular: Pour 100% fruit juice into a fun-shaped Popsicle or ice cube mold. What could be easier?

 

Or give that ice-cream maker a workout. Experiment with making fruit sherbets.

Improvise With Smoothies

Smoothies are a perfect all-around summer drink -- cold and loaded with nutrients. What exactly is a smoothie? It's blended liquid and fruit, explains Magee. The liquid base can be either milky or juicy; the fruit can be fresh or frozen. Some people add protein to create a meal.

 

"I tell people, throw in fruit you've never tried before," says Barrett. Papayas, mangos, kiwis, peaches, or cherries -- all the berries -- work in smoothies. "Just try it," she says. "Throw in some strawberries, too --  something you're familiar with."

 

At smoothie bars, sherbet, nonfat frozen yogurt, or low-fat vanilla ice cream typically serves as the base, Magee tells WebMD. All of these contain sugar, so there's no need to add any.

 

She advises using 1/2 cup of the base per serving. "Otherwise, you're cranking up the sugar calories pretty fast," she says. Regular yogurt is another option for a base. "It's creamy, but not quite as good-tasting in a smoothie."

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