With temperatures rising and the sun shining, many people are finding themselves craving cool, sweet treats. Instead of reaching for the ice cream or calorie-laden iced coffee drinks, here are some ideas for super easy cool treats and desserts that won't run down your body or sabotage your waistline. (Note: the following treats are cooling to the body, so it is not best to indulge when nursing a seasonal Spring cold or flu....wait until you feel better, and then enjoy!)
Pour 4 ounces (half a cup) of 100% natural apple cider or no sugar added apple juice into a freezer safe glass or cup. Freeze for long enough that it becomes thoroughly slushy, but not completely frozen. Remove and eat as is with a spoon or add a splash of filtered water, mix, and enjoy as a sweet frozen drink. Apple juice is more easily processed by the body than citrus juices, which are acidic and can tax the liver and kidneys.
Iced Chai Latte:
Steep one bag of chai tea (use the brand of your choice, Tazo works well) in 8 ounces boiling water for 5-10 minutes, until dark. Add three ounces of organic rice milk or soy milk and 2 teaspoons of agave nectar, maple syrup, or honey, and stir well. Pour over a tall glass of ice and enjoy as is, or blend with ice in a blender for a frosty iced drink.
(note on the two above: iced drinks and beverages are very cooling in nature and can weaken the kidneys if overused, so use these in moderation, and consider drinking your other beverages throughout the day either at room temperature or at least without ice)
Tofu Mousse (makes 2 servings):
Cut a block of store-bought tofu in half, blend in a blender with 1 tbsp maple syrup and a shake of cinnamon to taste (or mash thoroughly with a fork if you don't have a blender) . Divide into two small bowls, top each with 1 tbsp chopped nuts of your choice if desired. This tasty dessert contains lots of fiber and protein and is a great substitute for dairy desserts, which often pack saturated fats and extra calories while also requiring more effort by the body to process due to the more complicated nature of animal foods. Tofu is a cooling food by nature, so if you run hot by nature or are feeling overheated, this is a great choice!
Banana "Ice Cream":
Peel and freeze a banana until frozen but not rock solid (if the bananas are frozen solid, leave them out of the freezer long enough to just soften). Mash with a fork until you achieve a smooth, frozen consistency. In a small saucepan, warm 2 tbsp of raisins mixed with 1 tbsp maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar, and drizzle over banana "ice cream". A sprinkling of chopped nuts or cinnamon can be added if desired. Bananas are rich in potassium and fiber, and when frozen provide a low calorie but still sweet and filling alternative to ice cream.
Frozen Avocado-Lime Mousse (makes 2 servings):
Puree one avocado, the juice of one lime, and 1 tsp agave nectar either in a blender or thoroughly mash with a fork. Divide into 2 small freezer safe bowls, and freeze until firm. Remove and eat immediately, or leave out for awhile before eating for a softer mousse. Avocados are packed with fiber, protein, and healthy Omega-3 fats, while small amounts of lime juice are strengthening and cleansing for the liver. Happy Eating!
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