The heat is turning up, and the humidity is picking up along with it. So staying cool is becoming a priority to keep us comfortable and from feeling like we will melt into a puddle. Our interest in cool foods and drinks increases when the weather is warm, and sometimes the heat actually suppresses the appetite, and foods like salads seem more appealing than hot veggies.
Walking through the supermarket freezer section, so many cool, refreshing looking treats can catch our eye, some of them which can be more energy dense than others. Chocolate coated ice creams can be a fantastic treat, but they are something that shouldn’t be consumed every day. Water based ice creams often cool you down a lot better, hydrate you, and saves on the amount of energy you are putting in if you aren’t as active in the summer.
But if you are mindful about what you are purchasing, or finding that nothing tickles your fancy at the supermarket, why not look at making your own ice blocks! This way you have control over the flavour, and exactly what goes into it, and makes it taste even more delicious because you made it yourself.
Making your own ice blocks doesn’t have to be a complicated process, and here are some ideas about how to make them.
– Ice block moulds – these can be purchased from so many places, and come in a huge variety of shapes, colours, and sizes. They are easy to wash and pop in the freezer, and are always a hit with visitors.
– Use diet cordial, diet soft drink, diluted juice, flavoured tea, or soda water to make the base of your ice block – this is a really fun way to change the flavours, and using very neutral tastes such as soda water helps to bring out the flavour of the ingredients you have added.
– Add fruit (and some vege!) – this gives the ice blocks some extra texture, provides flavour, and can contribute to your daily fruit servings! Vege such as cucumber can be added to some ice blocks for a refreshing change.
– Use yoghurt or milk – this will add some extra protein, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium into your day, and can even count as a serve of dairy! Make sure to add something to it to make it tasty (check out the next step!). Use lactose free dairy products or alternate milks, such as soy milk or almond milk if dairy is a problem food for you.
– Smoothies – make up a smoothie with fruit and blend it all up and tip it into your ice block mould for a tasty afternoon snack or after dinner sweet.
– Mocktails – remove the alcohol, and use the wonderful flavours of the ingredients to make up a tasty treat.
– Iced coffee – make up your own iced coffee for a refreshing wake up treat any time of day! You control exactly what goes into it and how strong the coffee gets to be.
These ideas should keep you feeling cool and fresh for the upcoming months. For more ideas, come and see one of our Accredited Practising Dietitians.