Ahh, summertime. There’s something about summer that we all anticipate, even when we’re adults and our daily lives are pretty much the same as the rest of the year. There are backyard BBQ's, summer vacations, time spent at the pool or lake, or perhaps it’s merely the long, sun-drenched days that provide a little extra joy this time of year.
Summertime brings to mind days spent eating ice cream cones or popsicles outside while they slowly melted down your arm despite your best efforts to eat them quickly! I think it’s a summertime rite of passage to learn how to eat an ice cream cone without ending up sticky. However, these days, I try to find summertime treats that are a little better for me, but still, give that same feeling of a cold treat on a hot day.
Smoothies have become my go-to for a cold treat that doesn’t derail my healthy eating. They fit all the prerequisites: Cold, sweet, fruity (or sometimes chocolatey), and delicious! They also have the added benefit of being healthy and keeping my health goals on target. While all the smoothies offer calcium and protein, different smoothies offer different additional benefits. Smoothies with fruit use actual fruit, so you’re adding vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber. If you choose a chocolate smoothie, you’re adding a little boost of antioxidants. You can also add some spinach to any smoothie for a variety of additional nutrients (don’t worry, you can’t taste the spinach!). So many great benefits to this option as your sweet treat!
Some of my other favorite summertime treats are homemade popsicles made from fruit juice, and frozen blueberries or grapes. When we grill out, we love to make grilled pineapple! I put cut up pieces of pineapple on a skewer and sprinkle them with cinnamon, then pop them on the grill! A healthy and easy dessert that is always a hit!