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Examiner
  • Tracey Shaffer: Sip on refreshing summer mocktails

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  • Whether entertaining with family and friends or relaxing after a long day at the office, sipping on a mouthwatering summer mocktail is a delicious way to cool off and beat the summer heat. Non-alcoholic mocktails are unique twists on your summertime favorites, provide a burst of cool, fresh flavors and are perfect for adults and kids alike.
    Signature margaritas, mojitos, spritzers and other invigorating bubbly drinks can be delicious, even without alcohol. Mocktails may be a better alternative to a glass of wine (about 125-150 calories per glass), beer (approximately 64-198 calories per 12 ounces) or indulgent, dessert-like cocktails, because they typically contain fewer calories. Reduce the risk of over-consuming alcohol and calories by alternating between an alcoholic beverage and a mocktail. They look like an average alcoholic drink, so no one will be able to tell the difference by looking at your glass!
    To save on calories, create refreshing cocktails with low-calorie mixers such as club sodas, sparkling waters, sugar-free syrups and juices. One-hundred-percent fruit and vegetable juices are great mixer options because one cup of juice counts as one cup from the MyPlate fruit or vegetable group. Additionally, fruit and vegetable juices contain antioxidants which aid in protecting your body's cells from cancer and disease. Be sure to choose low-calorie or light juices, as regular varieties can quickly add up calories.
    Nutrient-rich whole fruits and vegetables can also be incorporated into your favorite summer slushies or margaritas. Citrus wedges, cherries, sliced cucumbers or berries also serve as exquisite, edible garnishes in addition to herbs such as mint, basil or rosemary. For a more flavorful drink, try adding fresh lemon, lime, grapefruit or pomegranate juice. To create a kid-friendly treat, pour fruity mocktails or a low-calorie juice into popsicle molds. Pack in the nutrition by adding sliced fruits or whole berries to the popsicles before placing them in the freezer.
    Clearly fruity pops
    Prep: 15 minutes Freeze: 6 hours Serves: 10
    All You Need:
    2 peaches, thinly sliced 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced 1 cup sliced strawberries 1/2 cup halved blackberries 1/2 cup halved green grapes 1 1/2 to 2 cups white grape juice 1 liter lemon-lime soda, chilled
    All You Do: 1. In a medium bowl, toss together fruit. Divide fruit mixture among ten 3-ounce frozen pop molds. 2. Pour enough grape juice in each mold to just cover fruit. 3. Insert sticks and freeze the pops for at least 6 hours or overnight. 4. To serve, let pops set at room temperature. Add lemon-lime soda to 10 glasses. Unmold pops and add to each glass.
    Nutrition Facts (per serving): 100 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 23 g sugar, 1 g protein,
    Daily Values: 2 percent vitamin A, 70 percent vitamin C, 2 percent calcium, 2% iron
    For the Adults-Only Version: In Step 4, replace 8 ounces of lemon-lime soda in the 1-liter (33.8 ounces) bottle with 8 ounces of vodka. Fill 10 glasses, unmold pops and add to each glass.
    Page 2 of 2 - Source: Hy-Vee Seasons Back to School 2014 Magazine
    Summer slushies
    Prep: 10 minutes Serves: 6
    All You Need: 4 cups cut-up watermelon 1 cup cut-up strawberries 1/4 cup green tea, chilled 2 tablespoons agave nectar 1 lime, seeded and juiced 2 cups ice cubes Watermelon wedges, for garnish
    All You Do: 1. Place cur-up watermelon, strawberries, green tea, agave nectar and lime juice in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes. Cover and blend until smooth and slushy. Serve immediately. Garnish with watermelon wedges, if desired.
    Nutrition Facts (per serving): 70 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 1 g protein
    Daily Values: 15 percent vitamin A, 50 percent vitamin C, 2 percent calcium, 2 percent iron
    For the Adults-Only Version: Add 1 ounce of tequila per drink.
    Source: Hy-Vee Seasons Back to School 2014 Magazine
    Rainbow icebergs
    Prep: 10 minutes Freeze: at least 4 hours
    All You Need: Ice cube trays Assorted fruit juices, such as pomegranate, grape, mango-orange and grapefruit, chilled Sparkling water or club soda, chilled
    All You Do: 1. Measure the volume of the compartments in your ice cube trays. Divide the total volume by the number of stripes you wish to create. 2. For the first layer, add a small amount of one juice to each ice cube tray compartment; freeze for 30 minutes. Continue to add juice and freeze in layers until compartments are full. Freeze cubes thoroughly. 3. Serve cubes in glasses with sparkling water or club soda.
    Nutrition Facts (per serving): Nutrition information varies with the fruit juices and size of ice cube trays.
    For the Adults-Only Version: Replace water with a dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc.
    Source: Hy-Vee Seasons Back to School 2014 Magazine
    Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com .

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