Ideas for Cool Summer Foods and Refreshing Desserts
Last time we talked about ways to stay cool on those hot August days. We also mentioned that some folks think that eating ice cream on a hot day will cool them down. Not so! Ice cream has 10-15% milk fat, which is an unhealthy saturated fat. In addition to being high in fat, ice cream is also high in sugar, which can cause unstable blood sugar levels, increase triglycerides, and lead to weight gain. Many store bought brands of ice cream also have artificial colorings and flavors, as well as a variety of other synthetic ingredients.
When you eat ice cream, the areas of your body that come into contact with it will initially cool down. However, after about 15-20 minutes, your blood flow will increase to bring those areas back to your body’s normal temperature. Plus, as your body works to digest the fat and calories in ice cream, your internal thermostat will rise. Not so cooling after all!
So skip the ice cream, and go for foods and drinks that will cool you off and not cause your body to react and heat up. Here is a quick list of things that have a cooling effect on the body.
|Veggies||Fruits||Grains, Legumes, and Seeds||Seafood, Meat, and Dairy||Beverages and Condiments|
|asparagus||apples||barley||chicken eggs||chamomile tea|
|cucumber||kiwis||soy beans||crabs||green tea|
|eggplant||lemons||tofu||duck eggs||nettle leaf tea|
|leafy greens||oranges||wheat bran||seaweed||peppermint tea|
|spinach||pears||whole wheat||soy milk||raspberry tea|
|tomatoes||strawberries||wild rice||white fish||sesame oil|
If you would like to have a refreshing dinner on a hot night, fill up your plate with salad and other cooling veggies. Drink some cold water or tea, and enjoy your light dinner. And for dessert, try one of the following cool ideas, compliments of Elana’s Pantry.
Frozen Banana Bites
- 2 bananas, cut into half inch slices
- 5 ounces chocolate chunks
- 2 tablespoons, unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
- Place sliced bananas on a parchment paper lined plate
- Melt chocolate over very low heat
- Dip sliced bananas into chocolate, then sprinkle with coconut if desired
- Place on parchment lined plate to set
- Freeze for an hour and enjoy!
If you are feeling really creative or want to enjoy these with children or other loved ones, use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to cut the banana slices into hearts before you dip in chocolate.
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
- 2 ounces 100% baker’s chocolate
- 1 date
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla stevia
- In a blender, blend coconut milk and chocolate until smooth
- Blend in date, vanilla powder, and stevia
- Pour into popsicle molds and set timer for 30 minutes
- Place sticks into semi-frozen popsicles
- Freeze for 2 hours
It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down. Already the sun is setting earlier and
the evenings are cooling off. But don’t worry- there is still lots of time to get out and enjoy the good weather. Remember to exercise before or after the sun hits its peak, and stay in touch if there is anything we can do to help you stay committed to your health goals.
Next time we will take a trip to the beach and talk about ways that ocean water can heal the body, and give suggestions on good beach locations for our members in the seacoast or northeastern Massachusetts area.