Big on taste, not your waist – 3 recipes for healthy and refreshing summer drinks

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Summer is upon us and there’s nothing better on a hot day than enjoying a nice cold, refreshing beverage. Instead of popping over to the convenience store or the coffee shop, why not make your own summer treat? If you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, one of the best ways is to limit (or cut out) sugar-laden drinks. Most of them don’t offer much nutritional value and even seemingly healthy drinks, like juices, can pack a surprising number of calories without filling you up. 

Want a summer drink that’s refreshing, delicious, and low in calories? Here are 3 easy and delicious drink options that are both waistline and wallet friendly.

Iced teas:

Pre-sweetened iced teas may seem like a healthier option than pop but most are loaded with just as much sugar (sometimes more). A large can of Arizona iced tea clocks in at 72 grams of sugar, or just over 17 teaspoons. To put that in perspective, The World Health Organization recommends added sugar intake be no higher than 6 teaspoons per day. Yikes. Solution: make your own iced tea!

Peachy Iced tea:

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags peach tea
  • optional: 1 tsp sweetener of choice (e.g. honey)
  • lemon or lime wedges
  •  ice cubes

Directions: Steep 2 bags of peach tea in 500 ml boiling water according to package instructions (I used Teavana’s loose leaf peach tea). Add optional sweetener when hot so it fully dissolves and then refrigerate tea until cold; overnight works well. When ready to drink squeeze in some lemon, add ice cubes, and enjoy!

 

Iced coffee:

Who doesn’t love delicious iced dessert coffees in the summer? Unfortunately, most contain a lot of added sugar and unhealthy fats. Instead of heading to Starbucks for that iced mocha latte, make your own at home for a fraction of the cost and calories but all of the delicious taste.

IMG_2183 copyDairy-free blended iced mocha:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chilled brewed coffee (or 1 tbsp instant coffee)
  • ½ cup almond milk (use 1 cup if using instant coffee)
  • 1 tbsp coconut cream (I use Thai Kitchen brand)
  • ½ tbsp  liquid sweetener of choice (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • ice cubes
  • *Optional: 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Kaizen Natural Whey)

Directions: Brew coffee and refrigerate in a glass or container the night before.  When ready to drink, remove from the fridge and pour into blender with all remaining ingredients and blend.

 

Fizzy juices:

Although juice is often touted as a healthy alternative to pop, bottled juices contain a surprising amount of sugar and calories.  Even juices made from 100% fruit aren’t the healthiest choice as processing destroys a lot of their nutritional value and they often still contain a lot of sugar as the fibre, which lessens the impact on blood sugar, is removed. Making your own juice and adding soda water allows you to preserve more of those valuable antioxidants and vitamins, reduces the amount of sugar, and gives it a lovely fizz. Although it can save time to pre-make your juice in large batches, it’s actually better to enjoy it right after preparing it as certain vitamins and antioxidants, like vitamin C, are quickly lost when exposed to air, light, and heat.

Grapefruit lemonade spritzer:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup carbonated water
  • 1 tsp liquid sweetener (I use maple syrup)
  •  ice cubes

Directions: Slice and squeeze juice from the grapefruit and lemon. Feel free to use a juicer if you have one. Mix the citrus juice with liquid sweetener then add carbonated water. Add ice and a garnish and enjoy!

 

PRO TIP: Using a nice glass and pretty straw adds to enjoyment and makes you feel like you’re drinking a pricey café drink.

This summer, impress your family and friends with some tasty homemade drinks.

Please drink responsibly 😉

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