Cool Drinks for Hot Days

It finally looks like summer is here to stay. With the temperature in the mid-90s today and the extended forecast for 80s the rest of the week into next, any thoughts that we were going to miss out on nice weather can be forgotten.

But with the warm weather comes the need to keep hydrated. And what a better way than with cool drink such as milkshakes, parfaits or smoothies that are loaded with fruit.

Here are a couple of choices, a  Colombian Cholado, a nontraditional milkshake loaded with fruit and a couple of  slightly lower-fat alternatives, a Fruit Meethi Lassi, a sweet yogurt shake, and a Spiced Banana Shake.

Spiced Banana Thick Shake
2 small bananas, peeled
1½ cups ice cubes
3 scoops vanilla frozen yogurt or low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened
½ cup pineapple juice or apple juice
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a blender.
Blend until mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. If necessary, pulse a few times until the mixture blends easily.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 370 calories, 7 grams fat  (4.5 grams saturated), 17 percent of calories from fat, 23 milligrams cholesterol, 6 grams protein, 71 grams carbohydrates; 51 grams sugar, 3 grams fiber, 75 milligrams sodium, 163 milligrams calcium, 450 milligrams potassium.

Fruit Lassi Meethi
2 cups whole-milk yogurt
½ teaspoon ground cardamom or to taste
2 tablespoons granulated sugar or to taste
1 pinch salt
1 cup ice cubes or ¾ cups crushed ice
1 cup coarsely chopped peeled mango, peach or other fruit
1 cup cold water (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender. (Omit the water for a thicker shake; add it for a thinner shake.)
Blend until smooth and serve.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 127 calories, 4 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated) 28 percent of calories from fat, 16 milligrams cholesterol, 4 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams sugar, 1 gram fiber, 97 milligrams sodium, 155 milligrams calcium, 258 milligrams potassium.

3 cups shaved or crushed ice
6 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed partially, divided
½ cup regular or low-fat sweetened condensed milk, divided
2 cups mixed, sliced fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries, grapes, mango, melon, etc.), divided
3 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut, divided
2 maraschino cherries, for optional garnish
2 wafer-sandwich cookies, for optional garnish
Divide the ice between 2 glasses. In each glass, top the ice with 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup fruit.
Top the fruit in each glass with 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk and 1½ tablespoons coconut. If desired, garnish with a cherry and cookie. Serve at once with a spoon, a straw and lots of napkins.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 481 calories, 9 grams fat (6 grams saturated) 17 percent of calories from fat, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 8 grams protein, 92 grams carbohydrates, 83 grams sugar, 4 grams fiber, 140 milligrams sodium, 458 milligrams calcium, 898 milligrams potassium.