Sweet Late Summer Refreshments
Enjoy the Sweetness of Late Summer with some Sweet Healthy Refreshments
I really enjoy the last few weeks or so of summer. It seems like the buzz and excitement of summer activities and travel have all passed and now is the time to sit back and relax and enjoy the nice weather before school and work activities begin to pick up again. My family and I love to share meals on the back deck as the weather is comfortable, less humid, and the fresh air gives you a sense that fall is right around the corner.
Well, it is certainly not too late to enjoy some sweet summer refreshments from things that are bountiful this time of year. It is particularly enjoyable when the refreshments are sweet and delicious and happen to be healthy too. One of my favorite summer fruit is watermelon. Of course just eating it straight is enjoyable as it is, but I have created a fun treat that I really enjoy this time of year which you will see below.
What’s really surprising to many is that watermelon is not just a lot of water; it is packed with amazing health benefits. Watermelon is rich with nutrients like vitamins A, C, B6, potassium and thiamine. As a matter of fact, a big slice of watermelon contains almost half of your daily needs for vitamin C (so be sure to have two slices!). Besides vitamin C, watermelon is rich with other important antioxidants such as beta carotene and lycopene. Tomatoes are thought to be the richest source of lycopene but actually, I’ve read that watermelon has about 40% more of this important antioxidant than tomatoes!! What’s really great is that watermelon is low in calories, fat, and sodium, making it a sweet treat that provides zero guilt.
So, what do I like to do with watermelon that is so fun and different?
The simplest thing that I love to do with watermelon, is to cut it up in pieces and add it to a blender with a good quality cocoa powder or raw cocao powder. It creates the most sweet, refreshing, chocolate drink that can be enjoyed on a hot afternoon. This fun, refreshing and decadent drink is super rich with antioxidants as additional ones are gained by adding the cocoa. You may choose to take some of the watermelon cubes and freeze them first. By adding some fresh and some frozen cubes to the blender, it makes the drink colder and even more refreshing and fun.
If you are not in the mood for chocolate, then add mint or a squeeze of lime to the watermelon in the blender. You may also choose to add fresh or frozen berries of choice for a nice twist and even try adding a small piece of ginger, for added health benefits and flavor.
What about Cantaloupe?
Again, blending cantaloupe is a fun twist to this common summer fruit. I love to just cut up the melon and put it in a blender with a pinch of cinnamon. This bright peachy colored frothy drink is so very satisfying and refreshing (and of course healthy).
“Milk” Shake Anyone?
What kid, or adult, would pass up a creamy cold satisfying yummy milk shake on a hot afternoon? There was a time when I would, because I didn’t want to consume something so fattening and unhealthy. Well, now I can enjoy milk shakes anytime I want and when I make them for my son, I feel good knowing that I am serving him something healthy and delicious.
Of course I insist on using non-dairy milk. You may choose anyone you like such as rice, almond, soy, coconut, hemp, or flax. I place the non-dairy milk in a blender with frozen bananas and your flavor of choice. If you want a chocolate milk shake, add a good quality cocoa powder. If it is strawberry you crave, add frozen or fresh strawberries. If you want something really special this time of year, add fresh peaches!!! You may choose to add a bit of vanilla to boost the flavor to any milk shake too.