“Nutrition Newbie” is a series focused on basic nutrition information and tips.
Special Blog Post By: Luiza Naslausky, Nutrition Education Coordinator, Santa Clara County
Summer is almost here and with it comes plenty of opportunities to ease the heat with ice cream, frozen yogurt and cold sugary drinks. When thirsty, you might find yourself thinking that a cold glass of lemonade or sweetened ice tea is the perfect answer. Unfortunately, these drinks are loaded with sugar as discussed in our last blog post.
You might also think a frozen yogurt is a healthy snack to cool down with. Certainly, compared to ice cream, right? You are not alone. People are frequently mislead to believe frozen yogurt –a summertime favorite– is a healthy food option. However, half a cup of frozen yogurt typically contains 17 grams of sugar, in addition to many other ingredients beyond those required (i.e. milk and cultures) needed to make yogurt. Cup to cup, frozen yogurt can have more sugar than ice cream or even Coca-Cola.
We want to share some tips with you on how to stay cool during the summer and still savor something refreshing and delicious! Have you tried making your own “ice cream”? Below you will find a fun recipe for which you will only need a few ingredients, a blender, and a freezer! You can be creative and add anything you want but your best friend on this recipe will be a frozen banana. Ripe bananas add creaminess with a modest, natural sweetness that when frozen results in a smoothie with an ice cream-like texture.
What about alternatives to sugary drinks? We’ve got you covered with a few suggestions:
- Water is always the first choice if you are thirsty. Carry a water bottle and refill it throughout the day.
- Dilute 100% juice with equal parts water.
- Add a splash of juice to sparkling water to replace a carbonated beverage.
- Make your own infused water. You can find different ideas for infused water in our 2017 Calendar.
Banana-Avocado “Ice Cream”*
Yield: Makes 1 ice cream bowl.
- 1 medium banana, peeled and frozen
- 1/4 ripe avocado, peel and seed removed
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 – 1 cup (depending on desired consistency) unsweetened almond milk
Directions: Place banana, avocado, spinach and cinnamon in a blender. Add ½ cup almond milk and start blending. While blending, gradually add more almond milk until the “ice cream” has a soft-serve, creamy consistency. Pour into your bowl and sprinkle your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Ideas for toppings include raw nuts, coconut flakes, sliced bananas, berries, nut butter and/or chia seeds.
We also tried and loved a few variations to the green (spinach) ice cream above. You can replace the spinach in the recipe with ¼ cup of frozen blueberries for a delicious purple ice cream. Alternatively, replace spinach with a ½ cup of frozen strawberries for a tasty pink ice cream.
*Source: In my bowl
***Catch up on our past Nutrition Newbie posts.