Stay Healthy with Natural Juices by Reward Me

Stay Cool with Juicy Drinks

6 recipes for refreshing and healthy alternatives to carbonated sodas

On a hot day, imagine sitting under a big umbrella with a tall glass of sparkling soda, lemonade or iced tea. These classic summertime beverages taste good but are they thirst-quenchers?

A delicious and nutritious option that rehydrates the body in the summer heat can be concocted with an enticing variety of fruit juices. Countless combinations, from peach and ginger to melon and mint, offer flavorful drinks that refresh and revitalize during warm weather. For your next lunch gathering serve up a pitcher and surprise guests, make a festive punch for a beach party or to bring along on picnics.

The next time your kids clamor for sugar-sweetened soft drinks—reach for juices squeezed from the actual fruits. It’s best to get the natural fructose sweetener directly from the source. Also, juices can be turned fizzy with splashes of carbonated soda water. Cut the high sugar content and calories of fruit drinks by blending with water and add ice to dilute sweetness.

Nutritional values abound in fruit, with loads of vitamin C in citrus, vitamin A in mangos and berries packed with antioxidants. Pomegranates are anti-inflammatory and apple juice is said to help lower cholesterol. Boost the immune system by drinking your daily dose of fruits. You can’t get that in a cola. Though eating whole fruit provides more fiber, fruit juice may activate enzymes and co-enzymes, so include the pulp.

The following healthy juice drinks offer up an enticing assortment of luscious fruity cocktails:

1. Melon Agua Frescas

This Mexican beverage, meaning “fresh water,” makes any melon drinkable. In a blender, mix seedless watermelon with water for a rehydrating and naturally sweet drink. Add a sprig of mint and a squeeze of lime. Fill the glass with chunks of chilled honeydew and cantaloupe instead of ice cubes for a colorful mélange. Sparkling water turns it fizzy and frozen cubes of melon make it a pretty pink slushie.

2. Tropical Treat

Bring the holiday to your table with slices of mango, pineapple, papaya, and kiwi blended with a dash of grated ginger and a splash of lime. Other tropical fruits to include are guava, passion fruit and star fruit. Dilute with real coconut water, a great source of rehydrating electrolytes (watch for sugar added in bottled versions). Top with a sprinkle of shaved coconut.


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3. Berry Delicious

Blend up any mix of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries–even frozen berries work well—for a delectable liquid hit of antioxidants. Create a favorite blend such as red berries and add whole floating blueberries for contrasting color.

4. Citrus-ade

Like swallowing a ray of sunshine, freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices work together for a balance of sweet and tart. Kumquats or lemon add another tangy touch. Packed with vitamin C, cut a slice of lime to perch on the edge of the glass for a garnish.

5. Peaches & Fig Frothy

Seasonal pitted fruits, like peaches, plums and nectarines, make a rich, juicy beverage and deliver vitamin A, potassium, calcium and iron. Blend with water and add a fruit slice or berries to each glass for a summery treat from the orchard. A fig offers complexity. Turn this beverage into a creamy smoothie with nut milk or plain low-fat yogurt and it’s as good as dessert. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

6. Mock Sangria & Virgin Cocktails

These alcohol-free cocktails use bottled juices, unless you have a juicer to pulverize fruit, so watch for added sugar. For sangria without the wine, combine grape juice with apple and orange juices and fill the pitcher with fresh fruit slices and halved grapes. For a faux Cosmopolitan, mix cranberry juice with lime juice in a 2:1 ratio, sans vodka, and stir up a Virgin Mary of spicy tomato juice with a celery stalk. You won’t miss the booze a bit.

Beat the heat stress with these simple tips.

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