Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Escape Summer Heat with Low Calorie Ice Pops

Keeping cool can cost calories. A typical homemade ice pop made with off-the-shelf fruit juice can be about as caloric and sugary as a can of soda. And calories that come from refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup might not provide the sustained energy boost you need to survive a scorcher of a mid-summer day. Luckily, low-calorie, low fat, and high-energy ice pop recipes exist. Here are a few of our favorites.

(And don’t forget to pick up BPA-free ice pop molds in fun shapes first!)

The Coffee Bar
This one is especially scrumptious for adults, and it truly is iced coffee. Simple mix and freeze the following ingredients:

¼ teaspoon of almond extract
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
½ teaspoon of ground cardamom
½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of raw sugar
¼ cup of water
1 cup of brewed coffee
½ cup of soymilk

Tart Lemon/Lime Pop
Pucker up! This recipe combines fresh squeezed citrus juice and pulp from lemons and limes for a refreshing treat – like an Italian ice, but with fewer calories. Combine and freeze:

The juice and pulp (no seeds!) of 4 large lemons, 3 limes (find inexpensive hand juicers here)
The zest of 2 limes (the thinner, the better – use an extremely sharp peeler for best results)
3 tablespoons of sugar-free lemonade mix dissolved in 2 cups of water

Iced Tea Pop
Much less caffeine than the coffee pops (or none, depending on the tea you use) and a lighter flavor make for a delightful summer treat. Combine and freeze:

4 cups of your favorite tea – or try green tea powder, which dissolves in water of any temperature
The juice of 2 lemons (optional, and probably not good to use with flavored herbal teas)
1 tablespoon of sugar

Watermelon and Mint
These two flavors complement each other perfectly – basically, it’s the most refreshing flavor you’re going to taste this summer. Combine and freeze:

1 whole medium-sized watermelon, pureed
1 loose cup of mint leaves, pureed
The juice and zest of 2 limes
1 tablespoon of sugar
1/8 cup of ground flax seed (for energy, fiber, and texture)
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