I'll be the first one to suggest going for some nice, cold ice cream on a hot summer's day, but the reality is that giving into these sugar cravings won't exactly keep you cool when it's hot AF outside.
At least, not for long.
I definitely like to keep my fridge stocked with frozen treats to graze on post-dinner in the summer months, but the truth is, there are plenty of healthier alternatives that keep your body temperature cool during the sweltering season.
Check out these tasty, yet healthy, options for a quick cool-down when temperatures get too hot this summer.
1. Chocolate Smoothie
Just because you're skipping out on ice cream and syrup-diluted ice pops doesn't mean you have to rid your body of the sweet stuff this summer.
I personally love a loaded smoothie bowl, or blending all my ingredients together to freeze and thaw out overnight for an ice cream-esque alternative.
If you're looking to curb a chocolate craving, raw cacao powder is loaded with antioxidants, protein, calcium, and magnesium, and it pairs so well with frozen fruit, you won't even miss the added sugar of store-bought scoops.
If you don't consider yourself a smoothie connoisseur, Daily Harvest's chocolate and blueberry vitality smoothie is a pre-prepared alternative made with blueberry, banana, kale, date, spinach, raw almond, water, cacao, vanilla bean, Himalayan sea salt, and maca.
All you need to do is throw the frozen goodies into a blender, add your choice of a liquid base, and enjoy!
2. Green Juice
Green juices are an excellent substitute for cold shakes and sugary beverages you'd normally reach for to cool down, due to their high water content and inclusion of nourishing, micro-nutrient-rich leafy ingredients.
No time to stop at the farmer's market to stock up and blend everything yourself? Bonafide Provisions' drinkable veggies is a collection of bottles that combine a medley of vegetables and bone broth for an organic taste that's delicious and healthy.
3. Frozen Bananas
Believe me when I say frozen bananas blended together literally tastes exactly like any delicious ice cream you've ever tried.
Seriously, the first time I tried it, my mind was truly blown.
It tasted like an ice cream bar, but better -- full of flavor and, as a healthy bonus, potassium.
I ended up inhaling the entire thing, and have since kept a stash in my freezer for grazing throughout the day.
4. DIY Frozen Yogurt
Though my husband and I frequently go out for fro-yo throughout the summer months, unless you're opting out of candy toppings, this ice cream alternative isn't the best for keeping your body cool long-term.
Try picking up a few of your favorite Greek yogurt flavors next time you're at the grocery store, and stick them in the freezer.
Set one out on the counter to thaw before dessert, and add some whipped cream, coconut flakes, chocolate-covered hemp seed, or flavored nut butter (Julie's Real coconut vanilla bean cashew butter is my favorite at the moment).
5. DIY Immune-Boost Pops
There's something so incredibly satisfying in discovering new ways of to make dessert as nutrient-dense as it is delicious.
What's great about making your own ice pops for a summertime snack is that most recipes are super customizable, so you can add or eliminate ingredients to fit your body's needs.
Choose a base like a non-dairy milk or coconut water, and add in natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, etc.), yogurt, fruit, even herbs for a concoction that will cool your body down and boost your immune system.
I love adding energy healer and medical intuitive Carolyn Harrington's Maty''s organic cough syrup to my mixtures.
I know the name sounds gross, but this antidote is comprised of immune-correcting ingredients like apple cider vinegar, lemon peel, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon, that are altogether easy on, and reparative for your system.
There's arguably nothing better than cold cubes of watermelon on a hot summer's day.
As a great on-the-go snack to toss in your cooler on the way to the beach, watermelon is just that -- water!
But, of course, with a sweet taste that's just enough to keep you satisfied.
7. Naturally Flavored Water
If you've ever been to a spa and sipped their fruit-infused water after a nice, long massage, you understand the appeal of slicing up lime, lemon, strawberries, and the like, and tossing a few into your water bottle for the slightest hint of natural flavor.
Drink it straight, or fill up a few ice trays with your mixture for ultra-refreshing ice cubes.
On the go? CORE recently launched new organic, fruit-infused bottles that are just five calories per serving, available in flavors like peach mango, pomegranate blue acai (my personal favorite), and watermelon lemonade.
8. Bowl Of Cold Fruit
Another simple, but oh-so-satisfying, option, a bowl of cold fruit for breakfast, lunch, dessert, or even a snack will cool your body down instantly.
I always store fruit in the fridge out of personal preference, but if this isn't your norm, give it a try! Slice up a bunch of fruit, and mix it all together in a large bowl for spontaneous scoops whenever you need 'em.
In my opinion, cucumber by itself is boring and tasteless.
But combine this stand-alone veggie with a scoop of hummus or cheese, and you've got yourself a game-changer.
The water-dense green will do wonders for your skin, and it'll keep you hydrated hours after snacking.
10. Salad Loaded With Leafy Greens
Salads are my go-to lunch option any time of year, but especially during the summer, when I can incorporate juicy fruits like mango and orange slices in the mix.
Make sure yours is loaded with leafy greens like baby spinach and kale for their high water content and micro-nutrients.
11. Overnight Zucchini Oats
I know, I know.
Adding zucchini to oatmeal isn't exactly orthodox, but this combination has been my favorite for a little over a year now, especially when I'm looking for a little extra volume from my meals.
I consider zucchini the chameleon of veggies, because it really doesn't have its own taste, and takes on the flavor of whatever it's being added to.
Combine equal parts oats and liquid base as per usual, and let it soak for a few minutes. Add in one half of a zucchini, shredded and blotted (to soak up extra moisture), and stir in.
Add in fruit and any other natural sweeteners you want, and let the combination set overnight.
This chilled bowl will not only fill up your tummy, but the added zucchini will provide your body with vitamin C and manganese, a protective mineral that fights off free radicals in addition to stimulating collagen production.
Stay cool, friends.