Cooking with Karina: Summer Sweets
Karina Arnold is a rising sophomore at the University of Oklahoma who’s passionate about healthy cooking. Every Monday, she provides creative, healthy recipes and tips on clean eating.
Scrolling through social media before summer break, I often see ads for “how to get the summer bod,” “10 easy steps to lose 10 pounds” or even “slim down fast for that bikini!” Despite what these crazy, extreme diets often convey, there is no need to deprive yourself of delish desserts to achieve your nutritional goals. So treat yo’ self to these tasty summer delights that will keep you looking fly in your swimsuits and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Popsicles: A summer necessity to get through the hot, humid Houston days. Now is a perfect time to try Strawberry Lemonade Ice Pops. These pops provide the same refreshing sweet snack you crave; however, you circumvent consuming harmful artificial flavors or preservatives. According to the Harvard Health Publications, consuming too many processed foods and sugars can desensitize our taste buds. Even “naturally sweetened” products with agave, cane sugar or Truvia do not provide natural sugars, but sugars that “result in harmful levels of fats being stored in your liver,” states nutritional expert Dr. Joseph Mercola in the June 2016 edition of What Doctors Don’t Tell You magazine. Every cell in our bodies can metabolize naturally occurring sugars found in honey and fruit; however, only our liver can metabolize fructose from artificial sweeteners in alcohol, packaged cookies and many store-bought popsicles, to name a few sources. Moderation is essential when consuming these artificial sweeteners.
In contrast to store-bought, these homemade, real fruit pops are easy to make and involve ingredients you most likely already have, plus provide you with natural sugars. Wanting a creamy, savory ice-cream? Dive into this delicious bowl of Chocolate Banana Ice Cream.
After trying these frozen real fruit treats, fruit flavorings pale in comparison.
Hot summer days always end in warm summer nights. Watching movies, taking late night swims and roasting marshmallows are personal favorite ways to end a long day. Switch up a summer campfire classic with Frozen S’mores that will leave you wanting more. Not a fan of s’mores? Customize this recipe by exploring different combinations. Personally, I love a frozen peanut butter and strawberries combination. Comment below to let us know what combinations you make!
Summer does not mean the death to eating delightful foods in order to achieve your fitness goals. With the right ingredients and combinations, you will wonder why you ever thought health was unappetizing. Enjoy these guiltless pleasures and stay cool this hot summer!
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