Healthier Summer Sips

MinisJul09

MinisJul09

July 9/10 2009 - DINING - MINIS: Agua Frescas Credit: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Photo by: Evan Sung for The New York Times

Evan Sung for The New York Times

Cold drinks help slake your thirst on hot summer days, but some go-to summer sips (We're looking at you, lemonade and soda) are loaded with sugar. Instead, fill your glass with these healthier, lower-sugar coolers:

Iced fruit tea or mint tea: Choosing a fruit or herbal tea gives natural sweetness without added calories. This lightly sweetened mint iced tea recipe is a great one to try. This recipe for hibiscus tea uses a scant two tablespoons of sugar in the whole batch, relying on cinnamon and orange slices for extra flavor.

Fruit spritzers: Use a couple ounces of your favorite fruit juice — tart cherry or orange juice would be a good place to start — and then fill the glass with seltzer for a bubbly, lightly sweetened soda alternative. This ginger-berry spritzer is another take.

Cold-brewed iced coffee: It's not just about the caffeine: Coffee is one of the biggest sources of antioxidants in American diets. Get going the night before to have a perfect pour ready in the morning.

Looking for more ideas? A  green smoothie  is a refreshing way to pack vegetables like cucumber and kale into your day.  Agua fresca (pictured above) is a wonderfully refreshing, endlessly versatile summer drink that you can make with whatever ripe melons most appeal, and even flavored water can change things up. Drop a few cucumber, orange or lemon slices into your pitcher for a spa-like sip.

And take heart: Even ice cream shakes are doable. This  peachy mint shake sets itself apart by using only a quarter-cup of ice cream per serving, and then loading it up with juicy peaches and flavorful mint.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Summer Fest: Four Healthy Berry Recipes

If you want the sweetness of berries without the calories that classic desserts pack on, Cooking Channel has four light favorites to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Dinner Rush! Backyard Pasta with Mint Pea Pesto

Cooking Channel's healthy pasta with mint pea pesto is quick, easy and a great way to use any vegetables you have lying around.

Best Foods to Bring to the Beach

Rather than wasting money and calories on the less-than-stellar boardwalk fare, why not pack a cooler of goodies to keep you refreshed all day long?

Food to Pack for a Day of Biking, Hiking or Other Adventures

Keep hunger at bay on your next outdoor adventure with these simple, energy-packed snacks.

On TV

Pick a Side!

The Snackdown

In our new animated series, we debate the most-pressing food matters of our time, like is cereal a soup?

So Much Pretty Food Here