In my family, summertime means smoothies, popsicles, and ice cream. But being the health conscious mama that I am, I have made it my mission to create healthful versions of these delicious treats for me and my kids to enjoy (one hot summer evening we even had homemade ice cream for dinner! They still don't know that there was cabbage and sweet potato in there...)
Smoothies, popsicles, and ice cream in my home are basically the same thing. Some combination of fruit, protein, healthy fat and a smattering of greens - watered down for a smoothie, frozen for a popsicle and thick and creamy (we use coconut cream) for ice cream.
It’s the blender that makes it all possible. A few years ago I invested (quite heavily I might add) in gods-own blender. It was an investment, but I’ve never looked back. A good blender opens up amazing possibilities for your summertime treats. Something to think about.
Here are 3 totally worth-it super-foods to toss into your blender to make your homemade smoothies, popsicles and ice cream treats healthier:
This is a fermented diary product that you can make yourself. It ferments at room temperature, so all you need is a starter culture, milk, and a jar! You can also buy in most dairy sections. Kefir is a great source of probiotic bacteria and yeast that are critical for our health. Kefir makes a great “base” ingredient. When you freeze kefir, the bacteria go dormant. But don’t worry, they’ll wake up when they warm up in the body and start working their magic.
Yes, I’m one of those moms who smatters healthy stuff everywhere she can. We eat well, but we still don’t get in enough veggies. If you use dark fruit like blueberries or cherries for your smoothies, popsicles and ice cream, not only will you benefit from their antioxidants, but you will be able to stick in a few pieces of spinach, kale or chard and enjoy their benefits without them affecting the flavour or texture much. If your blender won’t make the greens disappear, you can steam and puree them beforehand (cool or freeze the puree before adding) or pick up a “greens” supplement from the health food store and use that instead.
Hemp seeds are a great way to add some protein, iron and healthy fat to your summertime treat. If you have a powerful blender, they will get pulverized and virtually disappear. If you don’t, then you might want to pre-grind them in a coffee grinder before adding them. This is a particularly helpful strategy if you are using a dairy-free milk like almond milk or rice milk as your base, since these milks contain little protein.
So why not boost up your summertime treats with these three superfoods, and enjoy them knowing that they are also packing a punch, nutritionally speaking?