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Treat Yourself to a Frozen Hot Chocolate This Warm Winter Season

Where I live, it was 71 degrees while I raked the leaves out of my yard yesterday, and last week I comfortably wore flip flops. All of this warm weather is backed up by a new report from the National Climatic Data Center that says 2012 will go down as the hottest year on record. It’s hard to believe Christmas is less than four weeks away when we’ve yet to pull out our winter coats!

While any other winter we’d be stirring up hot chocolate by now to stay warm and cozy, this year we need something to keep us cool. That’s right, we’re making Frozen Hot Chocolate and think you should, too!

It’s still creamy, chocolatey, and topped with marshmallows, but it’s blended with ice and sipped with a straw instead. Our Frozen Hot Chocolate was inspired by the original at New York’s Serendipity. As delightful an experience as that candy shop trip can be, their version has 340 calories. Ours, however, makes 140 calories sound pretty indulgent!
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Triple Berry Sparklers are the Perfect Cool Down This 4th of July

This 4th of July is going to be a hot one with temperatures already in the 100s and rising, at least here in Kansas! So we thought it would be more than appropriate to share a fizzy, tasty and healthy chilled drink to cool you down for your Independence Day celebrations.

It all starts with ice cubes. We found these fun little patriotic molds at a local craft store for a dollar or two. But of course, if you can’t find anything like this, regular ice molds will yield a similar result.

The ice cubes are incredibly healthy as they’re simply pureed berries. We chose a mix of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. But choose whatever combination you prefer, and add a little sugar for a touch of sweetness if desired.
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7-Eleven is Sucking the Calories Out of Slurpees

7-Eleven just announced its newest product called Slurpee Lite, a sugar-free version of their wildly popular frozen slushy drinks.

The sugar-free version of the convenience store’s Slurpees will come in several flavors, including mango, strawberry banana, and cherry limeade, with more flavors to be introduced later. The drinks will be flavored with sugar-free Fanta soda and will contain 50 percent fewer calories than the original.

An eight-ounce serving of a Slurpee Lite contains a mere 20 calories. Currently, a 12-ounce Coca-Cola Slurpee has 97 calories and the Fanta flavors in the same size have 99 calories.

This shift for the frozen treat comes as a response to soda, juices, and other various high-sugar, high-calorie drinks being named as the biggest culprit in the obesity crisis. Just last week the Institutes of Medicine recommended the total ban of sugary drinks in schools. Soon it is believed that a government enforced calorie reduction on drinks and snacks will take place. 7-Eleven may just be trying to get ahead of the game.
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Sip on a Blackberry Lemonade to Sweeten Your Spring Evenings

This past weekend we hosted dinner with friends. It was a gorgeous spring evening, we had all of the windows open, and we’d planned a very light and fresh meal of avocado pasta with a green salad. Our guests don’t drink, but I knew I wanted something fun, flavorful, and complementary to the weather as much as the meal.

While at the grocery store, I noticed that lemons were on sale and a fresh batch of blackberries had just come in. Inspiration! I couldn’t wait to get home to find a recipe for blackberry lemonade.

I Googled around until I found something simple that matched the ingredients I had on hand. I fell for this recipe at Love and Olive Oil. I liked that it called for raw or cane sugar; while I didn’t have any in the house, I’d have definitely preferred to use that. After that, it was just water, blackberries, lemon, and ice.
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Sip on a Frozen Hot Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

A visit to New York City is rarely complete without a trip to Serendipity. If you’re in New York City on Valentine’s Day, it’s practically a must-stop for romaticals. Stocked with house-made sweets, and especially know for their chocolate creations, Serendipity is the answer to your sweet tooth’s prayers and the antithesis of any weight loss plan.

Since most of you won’t be in the Big Apple this February 14, and many of you are likely trying to watch your calories, sip on our Frozen Hot Chocolate instead. Inspired by the original at Serendipity, which delivers 340 sugar-sweetened calories, our recipe has only 140 calories and is just as worthy as a second straw.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

  • 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • ½ cup canned fat-free dairy whipped topping (like Reddi-wip)
  • Garnish: marshmallows, cocoa powder
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