Monday, August 6, 2012

Leader Enterprise - August 1, 2012 - cooling drinks

Because I've been enjoying and sharing many cooling drinks this hot summer, I decided to share many with you here (my newspaper community) as well. Even when it's too hot to bake, I still have a need to create, and this is one way to fulfill that need and 'chill' at the same time. Hope you'll find at least one or two that satisfy your taste buds as well.

A milkshake is a blend of milk and ice cream, and sometimes a flavored syrup (some people make chocolate milk shakes by mixing vanilla ice cream, milk, and chocolate syrup).

A smoothie is a pureed mixture of fruit, ice, and either juice or yogurt. I make sure I always have some frozen fruit on hand so I can make a smoothie any time the idea hits me. I line a cookie sheet with waxed paper, spread cleaned berries or sliced bananas on the waxed paper, freeze until firm, then place in a ziploc freezer bag. This way the fruit doesn't stick together and you can use just as much as you'd like. And you don't have to add ice either.


3 pieces of ice, broken into smaller pieces
1/2 c. frozen raspberries
1/2-3/4 c. water
1-2 tsp. fresh lemon juice 
2 tsp.honey (or liquid stevia)
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Start with 1/2 c. water and add more after you've blended the smoothie to get the consistency you'd like. If you let the blender stand just a few minutes most of the seeds will drop to the bottom. Just stop pouring before you get to that part. Yield: 1 serving 


2 c. fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
(canned in its own juice is fine too)
1 c. unsweetened canned coconut milk,light
1 banana
1, slightly crushed
optional: 1 tsp. rum extract

In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Top with (unsweetened) coconut flakes and enjoy. Don't drink too quickly cause you'll freeze your brain! 

SKINNY OREO SHAKE                    
1 c. 1% milk
2 reduced-fat Oreo cookies
1 Tb. Oreo dry pudding mix
(I used sugar free cheesecake)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. ice cubes
garnish: 1-2 Tb. Reddi Whip topping

Add all the ingredients, except garnish, to blender. Blend on high until smooth. Serve at once. Top with Reddi Whip and a crushed cookie. Yield: 2-1 c.servings 

Flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. And its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance--many dieters have found that flaxseed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied.


2 TB. whole flaxseed
(I used 2 TB.flax seed meal)
1 ripe banana*
1 c. blueberries
1/2 c. fat free Greek Yogurt
1 c. skim milk
1 TB. honey
 1/4 tsp. almond extract
6 ice cubes
*(I used frozen banana pieces and little ice)
Place the flaxseed in a blender and blend until it is ground fine. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Garnish with blueberries. Yield:2 servings 

We really love this green tea recipe and enjoy it often.

From Harvard Health Publications,these facts about green tea: Green tea's health benefits are largely due to its high content of flavonoids-plant-derived compounds that are antioxidants. Green tea is the best food source of a group call catechins. In test tubes,catechins are more powerful than vitamins C & E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder. Additional benefits for regular consumers of green and black teas include a reduced risk for heart disease.  The antioxidants in green,black and oolong teas can help block the oxidation of LDL(bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function. A Chinese study published recently in the Archibes of Internal Medicine showed a 46-65% reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of oolong or green tea, compared to non-consumers of tea.

10 green tea bags
6 + 4 cups water
1/2 tsp. liquid stevia
(if you prefer sweetening with sugar or splenda, begin with 1/4 c. and sweeten to taste)

Unwrap all the tea bags; hold together with a clothespin. Clip to side of glass pitcher and pour in 6 cups of boiling water; allow to steep for 5-7 minutes. Squeeze out bags with wooden spoon. Add liquid stevia; add 4 cups cold water. Stir a few times to blend; refrigerate a couple of hours before serving over ice.
This oatmeal smoothie has been a very popular recipe at my blog.


1/4 c. dry oats
2 bananas, sliced and frozen
1/4 c. nutella (or peanut butter)
3/4 c. milk

Put oats in blender and blend until powder-y. Add remaining ingredients and blend until there are no more chunks of frozen banana. Garnish with fresh banana slices if desired. Yield: 2 servings


1(6 ozs) can frozen orange juice concentrate, partially thawed
1 c. milk
(we are loving unsweetened almond milk!)
1 c. water
1/3 c. sugar
(or liquid stevia to taste-2 drops=1 tsp.) 
1 tsp. vanilla extract
12 ice cubes 

Put all the ingredients into the blender. DON'T FORGET TO PUT THE LID ON! Process until blended and frothy. Pour - relax and enjoy every sip. Yield:4 yummylicious servings 

Serves 2

1 1/2 c. strong brewed coffee, chilled
1/4 c. chocolate syrup
1/4 c. half-and-half
1 c. chocolate or coffee ice cream
Whipped cream, to serve
Maraschino cherries (optional) 
In a blender, combine the coffee, chocolate syrup, half-and-half and 1/2 of the ice cream. Blend until smooth and frothy. Pour into 2 tall glasses and top with a scoop of the remaining ice cream.Top with whipped cream and a cherry, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving: 301 calories;112 calories from fat (37 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (8 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 35 mg cholesterol; 43 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 107 mg sodium.