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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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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."

The base determines the smoothie's flavor. Light vanilla ice cream is often her choice because calories are low -- about 110 -- and it contains nearly 4 grams of fat. "You need some fat, so the smoothie is satisfying, and a balance of nutrients, so it gets metabolized over time." If you have diabetes, nonfat frozen yogurt with no sugar added is best, Magee explains.

Chocolate syrup or cocoa is a nice touch. "If you want health benefits -- without extra fat and sugar -- choose cocoa. Nonfat frozen yogurt would work well with cocoa," Magee tells WebMD.

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