It’s easy to reach for the Solo and slam it down fast. Or slurp on the super-sized 7-Eleven slushie. Or crack the tub of Ben & Jerry’s Hazed and Confused, armed with spoon and warrior’s focus to quit this heat.
But we needn’t look only to souped-up sugar-laden stuff to satisfy the desire for some chill-down. Sure, the occasional treat is fine – but we’ve a few ideas to keep cool this summer, sans the added sugar.
Freeze the fruit
Mangoes are delicious, but when cold they are next level. Slice off the cheeks of a ripe mango, pop in the freezer and you’ve a whole food alternative to the Frosty Fruit.
Grapes take on a surprisingly satisfying texture when frozen. Whatever your colour preference, pop the balls of naturally occurring sweetness into the freezer and snack when needing to cool down. Utterly refreshing.
Banana pieces slipped onto a popsicle stick and frozen can be an easy, whole food alternative to an ice cream. Ice cream is fine as an occasional treat, but when you want that satisfying creamy coolness day in day out, the humble frozen banana could be the way to go.
Infuse your drink
Refreshing and hydrating, infusing water with fresh fruit, veg and herbs is a brilliant soft drink alternative.
In 1-2L of chilled still or sparkling water, experiment with lime slices and a handful of fresh mint; lemon slices and ½ cup of blueberries; or sliced pear, a vanilla pod, a cinnamon stick and ½ inch of fresh ginger. Let them infuse for 5-10minutes, pop some ice cubes into a glass and serve. Yum!
Other great infusing ingredients can include mandarin, orange, apple, celery, basil and rosemary. Get creative.
Slurp a smoothie
Many commercially made or store bought smoothies have a decent helping of added sugar or sweetener. Make your own, and keep it real by sweetening with whole fruit, spices and herbs.
This could be frozen berry, cinnamon and basil blended with an unsweetened milk and/or yoghurt of your choice. Add in some avocado or frozen banana for extra creaminess. Read more on this here!
Make a no-added sugar no-bake ice cream cake!
Get your blender out on a Sunday afternoon and whip a delicious whole food take on ice cream cake – like our Choc-Berry Summer Cake.
Other ideas are:
- salads like parmesan and fennel, pomegranate party, or cabbage and grapefruit
- a salsa comprised of avocado, tomato and fresh herbs like basil and mint
- a tomato gazpacho soup
- watermelon pieces frozen onto popsicle sticks;
- banana ‘nice-cream’ which can consist of frozen banana blended with nut butter and milk of choice (a 100% peanut butter and coconut milk blend is ace).
And remember, there are other things you can do to help stay cool beside what eat and drink. Take a dip in the ocean or a pool, or have a cold shower. Keep curtains closed. Go to the cinema. Freeze your ‘heat-packs’ from winter and use them as ‘cool-packs’. Turn on the fan and stand in front of it.
The good thing is, you don’t need the added sugar stuff to help you out.
By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med.)