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Indulge in refreshingly cool treats

POSTED: July 31, 2013 6:00 p.m.

Making popsicles from juices and real fruit assure healthy treats.

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The heat is on, and so is the search for refreshing ice-cold treats to enjoy on sweltering summer days. As great as it would be to eat ice cream whenever the temperature rises, the fat and calories do not make it the healthiest seasonal snacks.
Here are some tasty, low-fat treats, most of which clock in at under 100 calories:
• Wash fresh fruit such as grapes, blueberries, raspberries, pitted cherries or sliced strawberries and kiwi. Arrange the fruit on a baking sheet and freeze completely. These icy delights make great afternoon snacks for kids or a satisfying nighttime refreshment. One cup of grapes contains 62 calories and a half cup of kiwi contains 54 calories.
• To add an invigorating splash of natural flavor to your next glass of water, make fresh fruit puree — no sugar added, of course — and freeze the puree in ice-cube trays. Add a cube or two to ice water and enjoy.  Kick it up a notch by pairing the cubes with fizzy seltzer or tonic water.
• Homemade popsicles are healthier than their store-bought counterparts, and making them is a fun summer activity for children. Stay away from high-sugar drink mixes and instead opt for fresh-fruit purees, organic 100-percent fruit and vegetable juices or even low- or non-fat yogurt. Using one of these as a base, mix with fresh-fruit pieces and freeze in popsicle molds. Leave a little room at the top of the molds when you fill them because liquids swell as they freeze. A half inch will do the trick.
• Watermelon is the ultimate summer super fruit. With many roadside stands and farmers markets in Coastal Georgia carrying these reasonably priced beauties, they are easy to find. Made of 91 percent water, this fruit helps with hydration in the summer heat. It also is packed with vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, lycopene and carotenoids.
Since watermelon is low in calories, a serving size is huge. A one-inch thick, four-inch high slice contains only 86 calories. Refrigerate the melon before you slice it, so it’ll be cool.

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