Woohoo! Summer is finally here! I can hardly contain my excitement. Being new to the Syracuse area I keep hearing about countless fun family filled activities in beautiful Central New York.
Summer means summer break, family vacations and trips, picnics and summer sports, and enjoying the good old outdoors. It also means ice cream and other cold concoctions!
Since my son and I have healed from our food sensitivities and other health issues and can tolerate refined sugar we partake in a little ice cream from time to time. Eating in moderation has become a rule of thumb for us.
We are label readers so we look for ice cream made with grass fed milk and as much pure ingredients as possible without the chemicals and preservatives. This type of ice cream is hard to find but it is out there.
I haven't been a proponent for cold, icy shakes despite the health industry promoting shakes and smoothies. In my opinion it's overkill. If you feel cold most of the time or have kidney issues, having cold foods will make your symptoms worse. This is really important. If your body is already in a cold state, why would you put cold on top of cold?
There is a time to eat certain foods. So eating a little ice cream during the hot summer months is alright to do. But like I've mentioned before eating in moderation is key for us.
I find ice cream to taste very sweet these days. There are a few good alternatives to ice cream like blending up shakes, buying an ice cream machine to make homemade ice cream and freezing fruit popsicles. These are super easy and fun to make for the family.
When my son was in daycare his classmates got ice cream from the ice cream truck each afternoon. At the time Constantine could not have refined sugar so I had to prepare something similar at home and bring it to him at his school. This way I could control the ingredients that went into his daily snacks.
He always enjoyed these homemade treats. He was happy and mama and daddy were delighted as well.
Below you'll find four refreshing summer shakes to try. Last summer I started doing what my mom does in her kitchen. She likes to look inside her pantry and pull out things that she can utilize in her cooking, baking or what have you. So these shake recipes are the result of that experiment. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed these shakes last summer. I highly recommend them on a hot summer day preferably during the middle of the day.
If your goal is to decrease your sugar intake these shakes can be a big help to you. You will not only cut down on sugar but will still enjoy something cold, nutritious, and delicious.
There may be a few ingredients that are new to you.
The first shake recipe uses lucuma. Lucuma can be found in most health food stores as well as at online stores. Lucuma fruit is also known as "The Gold of the Incas." It is high in antioxidants, beta-carotene, and is an anti-inflammatory. It has a natural, mild sweetness thus it's perfect to use in desserts and shakes.
For the second shake recipe I wanted to create a shake using quinoa flakes. Quinoa contains the highest protein of all the grains so this is a really good one if you're looking for an added boost to your day.
Last summer we spent some time in Visalia, California and discovered a lovely stand that sold these addicting açai bowls and shakes. We loved going every morning. I asked the folks at Farm Fresh Bowls if they could make a shake specially for my son who at the time was dairy sensitive. They were so kind to create a personalized shake for my boy.
When we got back to the east coast I decided to make a similar shake which I am calling the Visalia shake after our trip to Visalia, California. This recipe uses a dandelion leaf or two. If you are unfamiliar with dandelion it can be found in your local grocery store or at the farmers' market. Though dandelion is very bitter this shake is as sweet and delicious as can be. Dandelion is in season so definitely add this to your diet as much as possible. When you eat in season and locally, you get the most rich, nutrient dense produce available. Nothing beats it!
The fourth shake recipe is a simple blend of raspberry, watermelon, Medjool date, and coconut products. There's been some controversy about coconut lately in the media. I occasionally use coconut oil in cooking. Also, I will use coconut oil in baking desserts which is maybe once or twice a month. Again the key is moderation. My take on this subject is if you are allergic or sensitivity to coconut, don't consume it. My ancestors had coconut in their diet from the beginning of their existence so in my book coconut is fine to eat especially for me and my family. Know and listen to your body. I look for non-GMO and organic coconut products.
I really can't say which of the four is my favorite. I like them all for the summer months but I don't recommend them during the cold months. Give them a try and let me know what you think, will you? Remember to get organic and local produce as much as possible and have an awesome summer, everyone!
1/2 cup filtered water
Splash of pineapple juice
Half frozen apple, half frozen peach with frozen cherries, blueberries, raspberries to total 1 1/2 cups of frozen fruit
1 tsp lucuma powder
1 tsp coconut oil
Handful of spinach
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend.
Juice of half of an orange
1/4 rice milk, nondairy milk, or organic grass fed/raw milk
Dandelion leaf or two
3 handfuls frozen blueberries
3 to 5 pineapple chunks
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend.
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