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 to 150 calories per glass), beer (approximately 64 to 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.

 

Summer Slushies

Serves six

Ingredients:

• 4 cups cut-up watermelon

• 1 cup cut-up strawberries

• ¼ cup green tea, chilled

• 2 tbsp. agave nectar

• 1 lime, seeded and juiced

• 2 cups ice cubes

Watermelon wedges for garnish

Directions: Place cut-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. (For the adults-only version, add 1 ounce of tequila per drink.)

Nutrition facts:

70 Calories per serving.

Amounts per serving: no fat, cholesterol or sodium. Total carbohydrates, 19g; dietary fiber, 1g; total sugars, 16g; protein, 1g.

Daily values: 15 percent Vitamin A, 50 percent Vitamin C, 2 percent iron, 2 percent calcium.

 

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.