You've probably noticed—it's hot out there! We've officially entered the dog days of summer when the thermostat hits H-O-T and everyone's looking for ways to stay cool. While it's fun to hit the ice cream stand every once in a while, it's also important to keep some cold and healthy home treat ideas up your sleeve. Here are some of our favorites.
Frozen Banana Ice Cream
Did you know that frozen bananas taste just like ice cream? It's true! For a healthy, delicious, hot-weather snack, just freeze a banana or two until they're completely solid, then drop them in the blender and whip them into a creamy snack. They're so delicious and guilt-free that you can drizzle some chocolate or whipped cream right on top and not even feel bad about it.
Who doesn't love a popsicle on a hot day? Keep your kid's popsicles free of artificial flavors and colors by making your own with fresh or frozen fruit. Just throw a mix of fruit and yogurt into a blender like you're making a smoothie, then pour that smoothie into some popsicle molds and throw them into the freezer until solid—then eat and enjoy!
h2>SmoothiesSpeaking of smoothies, they make great summertime treats as well. When you make your smoothies with frozen fruit (or fresh fruit and ice), they take on a delicious milkshake consistency and can be eaten with a spoon—a decadent and healthy summertime treat.
Keep it simple and serve frozen fruit cups on a hot summer day. Grapes, watermelon, raspberries, pineapple and peaches all freeze well and are great to pop in your mouth while lounging around the pool.
Cold, light and healthy, string cheese is an easy snack to grab from the fridge when you need to fill your belly. With seven grams of protein, it's also a snack that will cool you off while filling you up.
Sparkling Peach Fizz
Cool down with a light summer drink the whole family can enjoy by throwing together a pitcher of sparking peach fizz. All you need is 3 ounces of peach juice and some sparkling water or lemon-lime soda. Add some ice and enjoy a refreshing drink on a hot day.
Nothing beats a light summer salad and strawberry salad with balsamic dressing is one of our all-time favorites. To make this salad toss some baby spinach, avocado slices, fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and basil in a bowl. Drizzle with balsamic and then toss with sliced strawberries and feta cheese. It's a delicious summer dish you won't soon forget.
Italian Shaved Ice
Italian shaved ice is a summertime favorite, and it's fairly easy to whip up at home. All you need to make this cool treat is ice, honey, fresh fruit and a splash of lemon juice. To make Italian shaved ice, blend three cups of fruit, 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 3 cups of ice until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 9x13 baking pan, cover and put into the freezer for at least two hours, then scoop the shaved ice into cups and enjoy.
Simple and summery, cucumbers can be picked and consumed right from the vine of your summertime garden. If you want to have a heartier snack, slather your cucumber slices with almond butter before imbibing.
Greek Yogurt and Blueberries
Cool, delicious and filling, Greek yogurt and blueberries make a wonderful summertime breakfast or mid-day snack. For an even healthier twist, sprinkle sliced almonds and chia or flax seeds in with your blueberries.
Mildly flavored and high in protein, cottage cheese tastes great topped with fruit (sliced bananas, pineapple chunks or berries make great cottage cheese toppers). It packs a punch with protein, but cottage cheese is also a great source of vitamin B and calcium—making it healthy and delicious.
Sometimes the simplest snacks are the best, and it's hard to go wrong with a bowl full of cherries—they're chock full of antioxidants and flavorful to boot. On a hot summer day, chill your cherries before you eat them, and enjoy the perfect summertime treat.
Are you craving ice cream but want to avoid the serving of fat that comes with your favorite cone? Turn to frozen yogurt instead. You can make frozen yogurt at home by taking a quart of full-fat plain yogurt, adding a cup of sugar and a pinch of salt and churning (an ice cream maker works best in this scenario). While the sugar may not make this treat 100% healthy, frozen yogurt is still a healthier alternative to ice cream—and it's just as delicious.
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