Try one of these healthy, cool treats after your next summer adventure
Special to the Daily
Summertime in Summit County is quite simply paradise, with endless rays of sunshine and boundless outdoor adventures to embark upon. It’s essential to keep your family energized with healthy snacks to be able to maintain a fun and active summertime schedule. With a little planning, you can have delicious and nutritious treats ready to enjoy after a day of playing in the sun.
Pediatrician Dr. Adam Loomis, of High County Health Care in Frisco, suggests that in addition to consuming three balanced meals per day, your family should “have a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack to maintain their energy levels. Try to serve snacks that contain at least 200 calories.”
Good snack options include yogurt, fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts. We’ve created four recipes for kids of all ages to enjoy. Keep your family cool and quenched with these healthy treats.
Cherry Chocolate Cups
These amazing treats look so decadent and taste so amazing your kids will never know how beneficial the ingredients are. Coconut flakes and coconut oil are filled with “good fats” the body uses to produce energy. Additionally, coconut has a low glycemic index, which translates to slow absorption into the bloodstream, rather than spiking your blood sugar levels. Almonds are an excellent source of protein, fiber and the heart-healthy fats. Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants. Choose a dark chocolate that has a cocoa content of 60 percent or more. Tart cherries are terrific anti-inflammatory ingredients to help you recover after a wild day on Dillon Reservoir.
2 cups dark chocolate baking chips, divided
3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
4 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup dried tart cherries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 12 paper cupcake liners into a muffin tin. Add 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips to each liner. Place into oven for 2 to 3 minutes, just to melt the chips. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Remove from oven, and set aside. Place coconut flakes and coconut oil into food processor. Pulse until well blended. Add in almonds, tart cherries and remaining chocolate chips. Pulse until the cherries and almonds are broken and well blended. Spoon the coconut mixture into each of the 12 cupcake liners, pressing down into melted chocolate. Place pan into freezer for 2 to 3 hours. Remove, allow to soften slightly, and enjoy. Makes 12 cups.
Green Monster Juice
Involve your kiddos, and make this a fun experience. Take them to the Dillon Farmers’ Market on Fridays or the Breckenridge Sunday Market and let them fill their bags with everything green! Kale is one of our favorite “super foods,” packed with fiber, iron, vitamins A, C, K and antioxidants. This basic green drink allows you to consume a full serving of kale and other green goodness, while the green apple lends just enough sweetness to keep the kids happy. Ginger is great for digestion and gives this drink just the slightest kick. Start with this recipe, and then experiment with other green ingredients.
3 cups leafy greens (kale or baby spinach)
3 celery stalks
1 lime, peeled
1 green apple, cored
1-inch piece of fresh ginger
Depending on your juicer’s capabilities, slice veggies to appropriate size. Juice, and enjoy. Makes 2 drinks.
Coco Loco Popsicles
This all-natural frozen treat will quench your thirst and satisfy your taste buds. Coconut water contains more electrolytes than most sports drinks, making this the perfect recovery snack after an afternoon spent hiking to Lilly Pad Lake. Coconut milk is high in vitamins C and E, which help to boost the immune system. Vitamin B is also abundant in coconut milk, as well as iron, phosphorous, magnesium and potassium. Use your favorite fresh fruits or organic frozen fruits. We chose strawberries for their generous dose of vitamin C, antioxidants and phytochemicals, which boast anti-inflammatory benefits. Pineapples contain manganese, which builds and maintains strong bones. Local honey is a great way to combat seasonal allergies.
2 cups coconut water
1 can (15 ounces) light coconut milk
2 tablespoons local honey
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup pineapple chunks
Blend coconut water, coconut milk and honey. Place strawberries and pineapple chunks into Popsicle molds. Fill each mold with coconut mixture. Freeze 4 to 6 hours or overnight. Makes 4 Popsicles.
Magic Monkey Milkshake
“We all scream for Greek yogurt” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. But this “milk” shake will surely have your kids politely screaming for more. Swap out traditional ice cream for frozen Greek yogurt. It contains protein and probiotics that keep tummies happy, while containing less fat and sugar than regular ice cream. The almond milk contains more calcium than dairy milk, and the 60 percent cacao chocolate chips provide antioxidants. Natural peanut butter delivers a dose of healthy fats and protein without any unnecessary added sugar. The banana provides a creamy consistency and delivers a dose of potassium.
3 scoops vanilla Greek frozen yogurt (try coconut milk or almond milk “ice cream” for a dairy-free alternative)
1/4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 60 percent cacao)
2 tablespoons crunchy, natural peanut butter
Place all ingredients in blender. Blend, and enjoy. Makes 2 shakes.
In addition to these cool treats, hydration is also key. Be sure to drink water with every meal and every 20 minutes during activity. If your kiddos struggle with drinking plain water, Loomis suggests flavoring water with fruit slices or frozen juice cubes. Avoid sports or energy drinks, as they contain added sugars, caffeine and artificial sweeteners.
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