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Cool off in a hurry with these easy homemade goodies

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.

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