It’s the middle of summer and the heat is on full blast (and so is your air conditioner). A popsicle is the way to go if you’re looking to cool down. But instead of going out to the grocery store and picking out a frozen form of high fructose corn syrup, try doing it yourself and making healthy popsicles that you won’t regret later.
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Freezes
These sweet-tart popsicles are great for a hot picnic or cooling dessert. Dark chocolate and raspberries are are high in antioxidants and are known to fight heart disease. Blend ¼ cup dark chocolate into 1 cup raspberries and 1 cup greek yogurt. Add raw honey to sweeten. Dish into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.
Dark Chocolate Kiwi Pops
This one’s easy. All you have to do is slice kiwi fruit into bite-size pieces, put them on a popsicle stick, dip them in molten dark chocolate, and freeze. These pops will knock your ice cream man’s socks off. They’re super healthy and everyone loves them. The dark chocolate and kiwi combination lowers blood sugar and builds beautiful skin.
Who doesn’t love cold lemonade on a hot day. But ice-cubes melting in the glass waters down those sweet n’ sour sips. Try pureeing a small watermelon (without the rinds, of course), mint leaves, and 1 teaspoon agave. Then freeze overnight in an ice-cube tray and add to your lemonade. Watermelon has a surprising amount of antioxidants, vitamin A and C, and can lower blood pressure. Agave nectar is a natural sweetener that is healthier than normal sugar. Together, they boost the immune system and fight harmful bacteria in your body.
Vanilla Peach Popsicles
Peaches are in this month, so why not use fresh, ripe peaches in your next popsicle? Fiber, vitamin C, and potassium in peaches promotes heart health and healthy skin and hair. Blend together 3 medium, pitted peaches, ⅓ cup organic orange juice, and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract. Add a small amount of stevia if you want it to be more sweet. Chop another peach and add the pieces into your mix. You can also add greek yogurt to the mix for a creamier consistency. Distribute the mix into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.
A light snack could make your mouth taste like a penny tray, and a trip to the bathroom could turn your night out into a nightmare. Some healthy foods we eat every day can come with a few surprises. Have you ever experienced these?
1. Beets (of DOOM)
I’m dying! Or so you might think in the bathroom after a beet buffet. Don’t be too alarmed if your toilet bowl looks like a crime scene. The red color that occurs in some peoples urine and feces is caused by a chemical, betanin, in beets. If your genes allow you to break down betanin, you most likely won’t be seeing tie-dye the next time you eat beets. Aside from their bold pigment, beets have outstanding health benefits, too. Beets are a natural aphrodisiac, and they lower your blood pressure which helps prevent heart disease.
2. Asparagus brings back da’funk
Pee-eww! Ever get funky smelling pee after eating asparagus? Don’t worry, your pee isn’t abnormal; you just have a good nose. The odor is caused by a sulfur compound released when you digest asparagus – but not everyone can smell it. Again, genetics is the key to the pee. Some people don’t notice the odor when they go to the bathroom, even if the odor is present. Asparagus is the vitamin shop of the plant world: it’s packed with vitamins A, C, E and K, antioxidants, and amino acids.
3. Pine Nuts: Reason #199 to eat local
Have you ever noticed a dry, metallic taste after eating pine nuts? I love pine nuts. They’re one of the main ingredients in pesto, are the key to pignoli cookies, and they add earthy deliciousness to sandwiches. But, studies associate pine nuts from one variety of tree (the Chinese pinus armandii) with a metallic taste that can last in your mouth from two days to two weeks (it’s called “pine nut mouth”). Like most nuts, pine nuts are rich in iron which helps blood carry oxygen around the body, and they contain a number of B vitamins. The combo will give you energy and stamina.
Don’t let these side effects scare you off of these healthy snacks! They won’t harm you – they just add a little… variety to your day.
Not sure what to bring to your 4th of July pot-luck? Here are a few 4th of July recipes we’ve thrown together from posts of summers past.
Icy-Hot Watermelon Bites
Watermelon is a great way to cool off and stay hydrated at the beach this summer. It’s also filled with vitamins A, B-6, and C, and it’s a great food to get your body bikini-ready.
- Watermelon, cut into bite-sized cubes
- Mandarin oranges, sliced
- Sweet Thai chili sauce
Drizzle sweet Thai chili sauce lightly over the mandarin oranges to give the cool watermelon a delicious kick!
For more 4th of July appetizers read the rest of this post.
Tropical Island: A Smoothie Stunner
- 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup blackberries
- 2 tbs. lime juice
- 1/2 cup pineapple
Blend all ingredients together and serve (add yogurt for a creamier consistency).
Partied too hard this Independence Day? Try out The Hangover’s Over Smoothie.
Stone Fruit Summer
Peaches and apricots and plums, oh my! Summer is the best time for a juicy, ripe stone fruit with all its health benefits. Try grilling halved peaches and add a dollop of home-made whipped cream to the middle.
It’s summer and I see lemonade stands on every corner. Try adding figs to your fresh squeezed lemonade to give it a peachy color and an extra health boost.
Vegan Friendly 4th
Barbecues, barbecues everywhere. 4th of July might not be the easiest holiday for a vegan to endure. Check out our recipes for some red, white, and vegan cuisine.