Not long ago, during a routine check-up, I pointed out to a mother the need to reduce her child's sugar intake under the threat of further tooth decay and to my surprise she replied: "...I was surprised to hear her say: 'I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to reduce my child's sugar intake.But that's impossible in summer!".
So I came up with this article, because impossible is a word that is far from describing reality. Combining a fun family activity such as after-dinner snacks or a snack by the pool with healthy eating, thus helping our teeth to be less exposed to sugars, is totally possible, and in this article I will offer you different recipes to make healthy and less cariogenic snacks for this summer.
The best option for this is to rely on fruit. This way, we can achieve two things at the same time: satisfy their appetite for sweets and processed summer foods, and provide them with the nutrients and vitamins they need so much and (for many) find it more difficult to take in other forms. In addition, the natural colour combination of these foods makes the derivatives we can make from them more appetising.
With the hot weather this week in Murcia and with school holidays just around the corner, we must start introducing these recipes at home, or your sugar intake will skyrocket beyond what is recommended.
Banana and strawberry
Peel 4 ripe bananas, cut them into pieces and freeze them in a tray. Once frozen, put them in the blender, add 200 grams of well-washed strawberries cut in half without the leaves and add 125 grams of natural Greek yoghurt to give it the desired texture. Freeze again for 30 minutes and that's it.
Mango and raspberry
Crush 80 grams of natural raspberries with the juice of half a squeezed orange. We can strain it with a fine sieve or a cloth to remove any seeds that may be present and set aside. Next, peel a mango and cut the pulp into squares, mash until you have a puree. Add a peeled and diced banana and mash it together with the mango and the raspberry-orange mixture. We can use a specific mould for making popsicles like the commercial ones, with a stick. For this type of recipe, both traditional plastic moulds and modern silicone moulds are suitable, which I personally recommend, as they are easier to remove from the mould and also have fun shapes.
Orange and strawberry
Mix almond milk with no added sugars with orange juice and add frozen strawberries cut into small pieces or squares, pour into a vertical ice cream mould only up to 3 or 4 centimetres and freeze.
If you have leftovers, make the same mixture, but this time crushing the strawberries. Add the mixture to the mould and freeze again. This is how we get the colourful stripes as shown in the photograph.
For the third strip we can add plain milk, and freeze again.
The simple option without stripes, less visually appetising, is to place the cut strawberries and fill with milk and juice from the beginning. It would look something like this:
Orange juice with fruit
The most fun option, because it is like a frozen fruit salad. We cut small pieces of different fruits (watermelon, cherry, kiwi, strawberry, peach...) and place them in the ice cream mould. Fill with freshly squeezed orange juice and freeze! They are really refreshing and brightly coloured.
We can use two peeled and chopped bananas, 225 ml of semi-skimmed milk, 4 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon of xylitol and 8 ice cubes.
If we want an even sweeter touch, we can use 1 large ripe banana, 300 ml of milk, 4 ice cubes and 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder 0% sugar.
We can mix other fruits, for example, 2 peeled and chopped bananas with a large peeled orange (removing the white strands), add 1 glass of milk and a natural yoghurt.
Blend 2 of your favourite apples with 2 glasses of whole milk and panela if you want to sweeten it more.
We can also use a ripe avocado, a green apple and a glass of whole milk. Peel everything, remove the seeds, chop and blend all at the same time. You can taste it, and if it lacks sweetness, use a little honey to sweeten it.
The ingredients I recommend are half a kilo of cleaned and sliced strawberries (you can use previously frozen to keep it colder) and beat together with a glass of whole milk or oat milk.
Of melon or watermelon
We use 400 grams of watermelon or melon, 60 ml of whole milk and 100 ml of cold water, and we can add a little honey.
Carrot and orange
In a blender put two large carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces. Blend together with 2 squeezed oranges, add some water and/or ice and... voila!
Blend a kiwi, a peeled and chopped banana, 150 grams of strawberries, 125 ml of natural orange juice, 1 yoghurt and 70 grams of blueberries if you like. And to make it cooler, add 2 ice cubes.
Blend 5 large peaches, peeled and pitted, with 500 ml of water.
Other healthy snack options are neutral or flavoured jellies without sugar and add pieces of fruit to sweeten and place them in flan trays or moulds as natural treats. We can also make sugar-free oatmeal biscuits using bananas or dates as sweetener. Or even crush several fruits without adding any liquid to the mixture and put it in refillable bags (like the ones in the picture below) to take it to the beach in the fridge in a simple and easy way.
There's no excuse for eating healthy and cutting down on sugar intake in the summer, so happy holidays!
See you on your return and remember that teeth don't lie.