Beat the Heat with Guilt-Free Treats

Seems like it took forever, but we are finally in the dog days of summer. As hot as it’s been, I know it won’t last and pretty soon I’ll be missing it terribly. So, I try to spend time outside as often as I can, whether I’m walking my dog, “unplugging” and doing some work on my porch, or enjoying dinner on the deck with my family.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy this short-lived summertime heat is by eating or drinking something cool and refreshing. But I know how easy it is to let those extra calories sneak up on you if you’re not careful. That’s why I choose treats I can enjoy while still keeping my calories in check.

Since I find myself thirsty more often or having a taste for something cold and creamy, I make sure to have my go-to options on hand when the weather heats up. But I’ve also been trying some new recipes and want to share some of my favorites with you.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Yes, the name caught my attention right away.  The next thing that caught my eye was that I had all the ingredients on hand. No need to run to the store! Actually, I didn’t have the nonfat dry milk powder, but I made it anyway and it turned out great. I would suggest including the nonfat dry milk powder if you can – it boosts the nutrition and adds some body to the texture. This was so easy to make, tasted great, and made two servings. So I froze the rest to enjoy later!

Berry Strawberry Punch

This is a delicious blend of juices, and the lemon juice gives it that extra kick. The sliced strawberries add a special touch and you could add some pineapple or other fruit as well. Next time I might try adding carbonated water to make my own mock sangria.

I’ll be adding both of these recipes to my list of favorites. But you don’t need any special recipe to enjoy your treats with health in mind. Simply create your own “makeover” by using granulated Splenda in place of sugar in any recipe. For more information on recipe modification and some lightened up recipes, find me on Pinterest and check out my boards like “Lighten Up! Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too!” and “Recipes I’ve Actually Tried and Loved – Or Modified!


Melissa Joy Dobbins, MS, RDN, CDE is a nationally recognized registered dietitian nutritionist with more than 20 years’ experience helping people enjoy their food with health in mind. Melissa is a certified diabetes educator, a former supermarket dietitian, and also a former national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). She was named Outstanding Dietitian of the Year in Illinois by AND and Outstanding Diabetes Educator of the Year in Chicago by the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Melissa is the CEO of Sound Bites, Inc. based in Chicago, Illinois, and you can connect with her on Twitter @MelissaJoyRD,Pinterest, Facebook, and check out her blog at

Items of Interest

August 11, 2015 Lifestyle Advice