Thursday, August 30, 2007

Summer's last gasp -- cool it

It's cooler now in north-central West Virginia than this time last week when record-setting heat made my clothes feel like they were plastic shrink-wrapped to my body. This summer we discovered some low-calorie fruit slushes I make to keep cool. It's also a good and easy way to get in an extra serving of fruit. I'll be honest -- I use real sugar, cane sugar specifically, instead of Splenda. A little bit of natural sugar beats anything artificial, modified or engineered any day.

Our favorites are the cherry limeade, peach and watermelon lemonade. I love that they're all made with frozen fruits so I don't have to buy and keep fresh fruit onhand worrying if it's going to spoil before we use it up. The most labor-intensive part is de-seeding the watermelon -- don't be fooled, there ARE seeds in seedless watermelon. But one watermelon, once de-seeded and chunked, has lasted me all summer in the freezer. Whipping up the drinks is so easy I can even let 4-year-old Bella help by pouring the ingredients into the blender pitcher as I measure them. One tip: Smack the ice in a plastic bag with a meat mallet so your blender won't have to do so much work and you won't have to keep stopping it to free ice jams around the blade.




Clockwise from left: Cherry Limeade, Mixed Berry Slush and Watermelon Lemonade.

Kathy's Watermelon Lemonade
Serves 1.
Per serving: 52 calories, 14 carb grams, 2 mg sodium, 0.5 fat grams, 0.75 grams of fiber.
3/4 cup seedless watermelon chunks, frozen
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Splenda
1/2 cup ice
8 ounces sparkling water

Combine in a blender and process until smooth.



Kathy's Just Peachy Slush
Serves 1.
Per serving: 56 calories, 15 carb grams, 2.25 grams of fiber, no fat.
3/4 cup frozen peach slices
1/2 cup ice
8 ounces sparkling water

Combine in a blender and process until smooth.



Kathy's Mixed Berry Slush
Serves 1.
Per serving: 43 calories, 10 carb grams, 3 mg sodium, 0.25 fat grams, 2 grams of fiber.
1/4 cup frozen strawberries
1/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup ice
8 ounces sparkling water
Note: The original recipe doesn't call for sweetener, but my husband says this needs sugar.

Combine in a blender and process until smooth.


This last one is the only one we haven't tried.

Kathy's Cranberry-Raspberry Slush
Serves 1.
Per serving: 45 calories, 12 carb grams, 3 mg sodium, 1 gram fiber, no fat.
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
4 ounces light cranberry juice
1/2 cup ice
6 ounces sparkling water

Combine in a blender and process until smooth.



We found the recipes in The Wichita Eagle.

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