Archive for Summer

Drink More Water!

Water is important to keep our bodies functioning correctly. IImagen fact, 60% of our bodyweight is made of water. Water helps cleanse the body of toxins and brings nutrients to cells. It is especially important to pay attention to water intake in hot climates or when exercising.

Women need about 9 cups while men need about 13 cups of total beverages a day. However, living in a hotter climate or working out easily increases this amount.

Dehydration occurs when your body does not have the amount of water it needs in order to perform normal functions. This will drain the body of energy even if it is only mild dehydration.

So remember to drink more water this summer so you can stay energized and hydrated!

For more information, check out: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283

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Cool Summer Treats

Is the heat getting to you?  Cool off with one of these delicious and refreshing treats!

Blueberry and Lemon Ices

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Ingredients

  • BLUEBERRY ICE:
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 3/4 cup white grape juice
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • LEMON ICE:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)

Instructions

  1. Blueberry Ice: In a blender or food processor, combine the blueberries and grape juice and pulse until mixed, about 30 seconds.
  2. Working in batches, strain the mixture into a medium-size bowl through a medium mesh strainer. Add the maple syrup, lemon juice, and salt to the bowl and stir to combine.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a 9- by 13-inch pan, cover it with plastic wrap, and freeze it for 1 hour. Remove the pan and scrape the mixture’s frozen edges into the center with a fork. Freeze it another hour, then scrape the ice crystals into the center again. Return the pan to the freezer for at least 1 more hour, or overnight. If the mixture is too firm to scoop when you’re ready to serve, scrape it to loosen the crystals. Makes 4 cups.
  4. Lemon Ice: Bring the water, sugar, and salt to a simmer over high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  5. Pour the liquid into a 9- by 13-inch pan and let it cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, then freeze and scrape as you did for the Blueberry Ice. Makes 3 cups.

Berry Orange Sorbet

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed raspberries or blackberries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the water and all of the sugar. Bring the liquid to a simmer and continue simmering it for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and let the syrup cool.
  2. Put the berries and the remaining 1/4 cup of water into the bowl of a food processor and puree them for 30 seconds. Strain the puree to remove the seeds.
  3. In a pitcher, stir together the cooked syrup, the orange and lemon juices, and the seedless berry puree. Pour the mixture into two ice-cube trays and freeze until firm (generally 6 or more hours). A pitcher or a mixing bowl with a spout will make filling the ice-cube trays easier and neater.

When you’re ready to serve the sorbet, chill serving dishes in the freezer and briefly chill your food processor bowl and blade as well. Then transfer the fruit cubes to the food processor and pulse them, in short bursts, to make a smooth sorbet. Spoon the sorbet into the chilled dishes and serve immediately. Makes about 6 servings.

Frozen Fruit Bites

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Ingredients

  • 12 vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Sliced kiwi, strawberries, or whole blueberries

Instructions

  1. Place liners in a mini-cupcake pan. Put a wafer cookie, flat side up, in the bottom of each well.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cream cheese, lemon juice, and honey until smooth. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon on top of each cookie, then top the mixture with the fruit.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap, then place it in the freezer until the fruit bites are firm, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Remove the tray from the freezer for 15 to 25 minutes before serving. Serves 12.

For other recipes and nutritional information, go to: http://familyfun.go.com/summer/summer-recipes/summer-snacks-treats/.

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Summer Fun

Are you running out of things to do this summer?  Here are a few suggestions to help you make the most of your extra time.

  • Enjoy a picnic by the pool.  Keep cool under the shade of an umbrella while still enjoying a nice summer day.  Make something light and fun like sandwich wraps.
  • Have a Hawaiian Luau.  Decorate with Leis and bring the tropical spirit to your home.  Make something with pineapple or other tropical fruit and you’ll be set!
  • Go for a bike ride.  Find a scenic route and enjoy the outdoors.  Make sure to pack a healthy snack such as trail mix and have plenty of water.
  • Check out a farmers market in your area.  There should be fun things to look at and fresh produce.   Take something home and enjoy it with your next meal.
  • Do some community service.  Join or create a group and help someone in your neighborhood or community.  Nothing beats the feeling that you are making a difference for someone in need.

Remember to spend your extra time with those you care about and try to stay cool!

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