In the blistering summer months, we often crave a cold or frozen treat to cool us down. Fortunately, there are many delicious and refreshing snack options full of nutrients to help keep us hydrated, energized, and recovered.
Here are five quick treats chock-full of vitamins and minerals to make at home and beat the heat.
Greek Yogurt and Fruit Popsicles
These healthy popsicles are packed with protein and fruit. First, make a puree by combing your favorite berries and 2 tablespoons honey. In a separate bowl combine 1½ cups non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt with one tablespoon honey. Then, alternate layers of yogurt and fruit puree in paper cups. Place a popsicle stick in the center of the cup, and put the pops in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Remove from paper cup and enjoy!
Chocolate Banana Pops
Bananas are high in potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6, while dark chocolate is a sweet antioxidant. Together, these two can be combined into a tasty, nourishing snack that cools you down and satisfies your sweet tooth.
To make these, first melt dark chocolate (65% cocoa or more) in a double boiler or microwave. Meanwhile cut a few bananas in half. Insert a popsicle stick into the center of each banana half. Dip the bananas into the melted chocolate until completely coated. If you want to add a gourmet touch, roll your chocolate-covered banana in chopped nuts. Place on wax paper until chocolate hardens and eat immediately. To keep these even cooler, wrap each banana pop in wax paper and freeze for up to two weeks.
Whole Fruit Slushy
Mix together 2 cups of frozen fruit of your choice. Some good recovery options include cherries, blueberries, and blackberries for their ability to replenish muscles and reduce soreness and inflammation. Add in a ½ cup of water and 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup. Then blend all ingredients and serve right away. This is a great treat for a hot day, especially to quench your thirst after after a steamy midday run.
Yogurt is high in protein and active cultures that keep our digestive tract healthy. Start with one cup of the yogurt of your choice. Top with granola and frozen fruit; try blueberries (antioxidants), strawberries (magnesium, vitamin C, and potassium), pineapple (digestive enzymes), or mangos (vitamin C and A). Finally, throw on chopped almonds for some extra protein and fiber. This is a delicious treat that you can enjoy at any time of the day.
Tropical Turmeric Electrolyte Smoothie
This recipe contains coconut water to give it a sweet nutty taste and fuel you with easily digested carbohydrates in the form of sugar and electrolytes to replenish you after a run or hot day in the sun. It also contains turmeric, which has been shown to boast anti-inflammatory properties in some studies, to aid your body’s recovery.
First, pour ⅔ cup of cold coconut water and ⅓ cup coconut milk into a blender. (If you want a creamier consistency, you can swap the ratios of the coconut water and milk.) Next, add in one large banana, 1 to 2 cups of cubed mangos and 1 cup of cut pineapple. The fruit can be added either fresh or frozen. Finally, add in 1 teaspoon of turmeric power. You might also want to add in a touch of honey or maple syrup to taste if you’d like to sweeten this up.