Yummy (& Healthy!) Summer Treats

June 7, 2018

 

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I am craving cooler, brighter treats. As always, I aim to make the healthiest sweets possible. It not only makes me feel better physically, it also allows me to share the treats with my kids with excitement. Here are the three recipes I am constantly making these days:

 

1) Nice Cream

 

I make this at least three times a week because my kids ask for it all the time! And because it’s usually all-fruit and I can sneak in some superfoods, I don’t mind making it for them on demand.

 

The basic recipe, which serves 4, is 8 bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen for at least one hour.

 

When you’re ready to eat the nice cream, place the bananas in a food processor, and blend until it achieves a soft-serve consistency. That’s it!

 

If you find your nice cream is having a hard time coming together, you have three options. You can 1) wait for the frozen bananas to thaw a little bit, 2) add in a regular, non-frozen banana, or 3) add a splash of milk (in our house, we use almond milk) to help it blend.

 

Variations

 

a) We love adding an equal amount of strawberries for strawberry “ice cream.” We often add chocolate chips to this mix.

 

b) We also like adding about 2-3 tablespoons of peanut butter and chocolate chips for a banana-peanut butter-chocolate chip extravaganza.

 

c) And, of course, we love it with about 2-4 tablespoons of cacao powder. It makes a super rich chocolate flavor that is also packed with antioxidants! To this mixture, I often add 1 tablespoon of raw almond butter to deepen the flavor of the chocolate and sneak in some healthy nuts.

 

On the topic of nutritional boosts, I often add 2-3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds to our nice cream. The kids can’t tell it’s there, and I feel good about adding healthy omega-3s to their dessert!

 

2) Blueberry Coconut Lime Bliss/Raw Balls

 

I understand that at first read this combination does not sound appealing. I get it because I first heard of it at a local organic market in muffin form, and I thought: Blueberry, coconut and lime? Yuck. But I got the muffin anyway because the store is known for its muffins and it was the only kind they had. One bite later, I went back to buy five more muffins! They were incredible!

Since bliss balls are my thing, I had to recreate this taste in bliss ball form. How can I describe it? It’s rich and bright! It’s sweet, tangy, and refreshing all at once. It’s kind of like a cross between blueberry cheesecake and key lime pie but without the fat. Perfect for the summer months!

 

• 1 cup of rolled oats

• 6 pitted medjool dates* (you can add more if you want the balls to be sweeter)

• ½ cup of shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut

• ½ cup of dried blueberries

• The juice of half a lime

• ⅛ -½  cup of water

 

Place all the ingredients except the water in a food processor. Begin to blend. Add a splash (less than ¼ of a cup) of water and continue blending. Give the mixture some time to roll into a ball. If after about 30 seconds this isn’t happening, add in another ⅛ cup of water and continue to blend. Continue the process of giving the mixture some time to come together. If it is still not happening after another 30 seconds, add a tiny bit more water. When I make these, I don’t need more than ¼ of a cup of water. Once the mixture has a dough-like consistency and has rolled itself into a ball, stop the food processor and roll the dough into 1-inch balls.

 

These are best refrigerated as they firm up a bit more but can be eaten right away!

 

*If your dates are dry, place them in a bowl of warm water for a little bit to soften them up. Then, drain the water and place the dates in the food processor.

 

3) Smoothies

 

During the hotter months, I love having ice cold smoothies as an afternoon snack. I make them at home, put them in a S’well bottle, and drink them on my way to pick up my kids at school.

 

Most of my smoothies begin with 1.5 cups of a milk (I usually go with almond or coconut) and 1 cup of frozen bananas. I then add other goodies to the mix for different flavors. My two favorites at the moment are:

 

Mint Double Chocolate Chip

 

To this one, I add 2 tablespoons of cacao powder and 1 drop of Young Living peppermint oil. You can also use peppermint extract. Once it’s all mixed together, I add in 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs and blend again. The nibs give the smoothie the chocolate chip feel.

 

I usually add a bunch of baby spinach to this smoothie just for the chlorophyll, and I always add 2 tablespoons of either ground flaxseeds or hemp seeds for an added nutritional boost.

 

Golden Milk Smoothie

 

We all know how good turmeric is for our health due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Its flavor, however, is one I associate mostly with cold-weather months. I feel the cold invites me to sit with a steaming hot mug of golden milk deliciousness. However, I started making the ice-cold smoothie version and am really enjoying it! Here it is:

 

To the almond milk and frozen banana base, I add:

  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger juice. I buy this one.

  • 1 dash ground cinnamon

  • 1 dash black pepper (necessary for our bodies to absorb the turmeric)

  • 1 dash ground nutmeg

  • 1 dash ground cardamom

  • 1 tsps of vanilla extract

 

As always, I add 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds as well. Even though these spices are traditionally associated with the cooler months, and I won’t lie--this does taste a tad like egg nog, serving this smoothie ice cold works really well when it’s hot out!

 

Adapted from this recipe: https://minimalistbaker.com/creamy-golden-milk-smoothie/

 

What summer treats do you gravitate towards? Let me know at: Laura@LoveYourBodyBoutique.com.

 

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