July: Beat the Heat with Healthy Drinks
on Tuesday, 17 July 2012. by Stephen Daugherty, MD
Growing up in Louisiana, there was nothing better than Mom’s reward for finishing our chores on a hot Saturday: a strawberry ICEE® from Circle K. I probably should let well enough alone this childhood memory of frozen slushy goodness on a muggy day, but as they say, “Good news can wait; bad news can’t.” A 20 ounce ICEE® contains 280 Calories, all from sugar (70 grams). Or how about that frozen coffee beverage that hits the spot when the high out there is 106 degrees? Well, read it and weep: the Starbucks® 16 ounce Mocha Frappuccino® has 400 Calories, more than half from sugar (60 grams), and this is the small size!
So what’s the problem with sugar? Any starch (potato or bread) or sugar (honey, table sugar, or syrup) can increase your blood sugar, but simple sugars pack a particularly powerful punch. This extra spike in blood sugar leads to a hormone response from insulin. Insulin signals your body to store the extra Calories from your sugary treat as fat. So unless you are very active (and even if you are!), think before you drink. If you decide you would rather not drink your Calories (particularly from sugar), check out the simple recipes below. The Lite Lemonade will satisfy the craving for a fruity drink, and the Homemade Frappuccino® Light is an iced coffee that’s kind to both your wallet and waistline. So drink up and make some wonderful summer memories!
1 Gallon Water
2 Cups Lemon Juice*
2 Cups Splenda®
* You can use fresh squeezed or bottled lemon juice, depending on how much time you have
Heat 1 cup of the water and dissolve the 2 cups Splenda® in it. Pour the Splenda® syrup, lemon juice, and the rest of the water into your pitcher. Stir and serve over ice.
Homemade Frappuccino® Light
Makes 1 single serving
4 teaspoons sugar-free sweetener
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant coffee
3 ounces water
3 Tablespoons half and half
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup crushed ice
Tiny pinch of sea salt
For a single serving: Mix up dry ingredients. Blend crushed ice, water, half and half, and vanilla extract in blender. Add dry mix and blend till smooth. Pour into mug and enjoy!
To make a large batch of dry mix:
10 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons sugar-free sweetener
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons instant coffee
Big pinch sea salt
To make a single serving from the mix, add 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of the dry mix to the vanilla, ice, water, and cream listed in the original recipe. The mix makes roughly 8 servings.