DIY: Healthy Popsicles

watermelon bites

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.

Watermelon Ice-Cubes

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.

Slimming Summer SuperFoods

Blueberries

At Intelligent Gourmet, we love summer because that is when our favorite produce is in season! Right now, there are a few superfoods in the farmers markets that I think you’ll all want to know about because, in addition to being incredibly good for you, they can also help whittle down your waistline. Who doesn’t want help with that during bikini season? When you eat fruits and vegetables in their season, not only will they taste more flavorful, but their health benefits will be amplified by their freshness. So go out to your local market this weekend and indulge in food that tastes great and will help you look great too!

Raspberries – Low in calories and high in fiber, raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, iron, and cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Lychees – A 2009 study in Japan found that lychee extract, oligonol, may reduce tummy fat in people with metabolic syndrome and improve overall health. They also contain high levels of polyphenols, promoting heart health.

Kale – Another low calorie, high fiber plant, Kale is the king of leafy-green vegetables, crammed with iron and calcium.

Blueberries – These berries contain the most antioxidants of anything you’ll find in the grocery store, and are high in fiber. But their main claim to fame is their anti-aging effects.

Watermelon – Of course, watermelon is one of the best superfoods for weight loss; it’s all water! Well, water, delicious sweet flavor, and tons of lycopene (which prevents hypertension). It’s also great for helping with circulation (if you know what I mean).

My best tip for using these to promote weight loss in summer is to keep a bowl of berries on your kitchen counter. Then, when you’re feeling snacky, just grab a handful as you pass by. Instead of feeling guilty for snacking, you’ll feel great that you’re doing something good for your body.