We live for the weekends! After a long week, we usually relax on Friday nights and try to meet up with family and friends over the weekend. If the weather is nice, we go to the park and play tennis. And if it hot, hot, hot... we go to the pool or take an early morning walk in our neighborhood. It feels great to get some fresh air and exercise early in the morning. It makes my whole day easier because I have more energy and a better attitude!
Summertime is a great time to take advantage of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. This is a great time to BUY FRESH & BUY LOCAL! We love going to the farmers markets in our area. Our newspaper usually posts local farmers markets and the times they are open. Check the Internet or your local newspaper. This is a great time to replace junk food like cookies and chips with cherries, peaches, watermelon and corn on the cob! The less junk food you bring into the house, the less your family will eat them. Place a big bowl of fruit on the kitchen counter or dining table! Pre-wash the apples, peaches, or pears. There are plenty healthy and sweet fruits that can satisfy your family during the summer. When you are grocery shopping, try to avoid the chips and soda aisles.
Here are two of my favorite summer time recipes. I love making low fat blueberry pancakes and mango milkshakes (my version of Indian mango lassi). Who doesn't like pancakes? Well, here is a great guilt-free recipe that you can enjoy with your family and kids. Don't worry, I usually take short cuts in recipes and sneak in healthy ingredients. I'm not a gourmet cook and my recipes are usually easy! Your kids will still like them!
Blueberry Pancakes (Makes 6-8 pancakes)
2 Cup of your favorite Pancake Mix
1 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce (instead of eggs)
(* if you don't have applesauce, you can use 1-2 ripe bananas*)
1 Cup of Fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 Cup of Whole Ground Flaxseed
1 Cup Skim Milk
Canola Oil Spray
To make the pancakes low-fat, use 1 cup of applesauce instead of 2 eggs. This significantly reduces your fat, cholesterol and calories. Instead of water, use skim milk because it is a great source of calcium and vitamin D. Ground flaxseed is a great source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. Check this link out for more information. You can find it a your local Whole Foods, Trader Joe's or health food store. Once the batter is ready, add the blueberries. Heat a non-stick pan or pan on medium-low heat and you can use canola oil spray instead of oil. Although maple syrup is expensive, it's so much better and healthier than the regular pancake syrup which is full of corn syrup! Try it! Your family will love it and it goes really well with the blueberries. ENJOY!
MANGO MILKSHAKE (LASSI)
You will need a blender for this recipe. It's fast and easy!
1 ripe Mango (use a peeler to remove the skin)
(Cut up as much of the fruit over the blender - it may be a little messy
or used frozen pre-cut mangoes)
2 cups skim milk or soy milk
1 cup non-fat yogurt
1 cup vanilla ice cream or soy cream
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (optional) - try it :)
1 cup of ice (optional)
Agave Nectar or Honey (optional)
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend away. You can always alter the recipe to meet your needs. If you don't have a mango, use strawberries or bananas. You can use Greek yogurt if you don't have regular nonfat yogurt. If you like it thicker, use less skim milk. Or replace the skim milk with soy or almond milk or Lactaid. If the mango is really sweet, you probably won't need to add agave or honey. Indian Lassi is usually made with only yogurt. Just play with it to suit your family's tastes. When I was a kid, I would gag when my Mom made banana milkshake but my brother loved it. Each kid is different! As a kid, I loved mango shakes and still do today!! :)
Stay cool and have a great weekend!!! Drink lots of water and take a family walk!!