Guilt Free Cocktail: Limoncello Mint Sorbet

The beginning of the school year historically seems to bring out the humidity in Iowa weather.  This week is projected to be no exception.  This time of the year is perfect for a cool cocktail, and one with guilt free properties is especially delightful.  Fresh fruit adds a seasonal touch to this refreshing drink.

Limoncello Mint Sorbet

2  cups water

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/2 cup limoncello

1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 large lemons)

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

2 cups blackberries

Lemon slices (optional)

* Combine first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; add lemon juice and mint. Cover and chill.

*Strain juice mixture through a sieve into a bowl; discard solids. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spoon sorbet into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm. Serve with blackberries; garnish with lemon slices, if desired.

* If you don’t want to use the limoncello, you can substitute 1/2 cup of prepared lemonade.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  184 CALORIES, 0.2 G FAT, 0.6 G PROTEIN, 34.3 G CARBS, 2 G FIBER

Guilt Free Cocktail: Blueberry Punch

I have a sweet tooth at times, so fruit is the ultimate guilt free indulgence for me.  Succulent, juicy berries bursting with flavor are one of my favorite things about summer.  I like to use the abundance of fresh fruit this time of year to my advantage by making some cocktails.  An added bonus for this recipe:  the antioxidants that make the berries blue may trigger increased fat burning.

Blueberry Punch

1/2 cup blueberries, plus 12 for garnishes

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup water

2 cups sparkling water

6 ounces elderflower flavored liqueur

4 lavender sprigs for garnish

* In a small saucepan, bring to a boil the blueberries, sugar and water.

* Cook 1 minute, breaking up berries with a spoon.

* Strain syrup, reserving liquid (you should have about 1/2 cup); let cool 15 minutes.

*  Fill a large pitcher with ice. Add blueberry syrup, sparkling water and elderflower-flavored liqueur (such as St-Germain); stir well.

* Pour into 4 glasses; garnish each with 3 blueberries and a lavender sprig. Serve immediately.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

177 calories per drink, 0 g fat, 22 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein

Guilt Free Cocktail: Watermelon Margarita

One of my favorite summer fruits is the watermelon!  It is an absolute delight to find one that has the perfect amount of sweetness and quenches your thirst and sweet tooth all at the same time.  I am convinced that I could polish off an entire melon by myself if I was hungry and attempted.  This recipe from Hungry Girl gives you the best of both worlds, a sinful feeling margarita and delicious fresh fruit.

Watermelon Margarita

1 1/2 cups cubed seedless or seeded watermelon
3 oz. tequila
1 tbsp. lime juice
3 no-calorie sweetener packets (like Splenda or Truvia)
2 cups crushed ice or 10 – 16 ice cubes

* Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour, sip, and enjoy!

MAKES 2 SERVINGS

1/2 of recipe (about 16 oz.): 138 calories, <0.5g fat, 2mg sodium, 10.5g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 7g sugars, 0.5g protein

Guilt Free Cocktail: Green Grape Frojito

I rarely cross over healthy eating habits into the drinking spectrum, but sometimes I am just looking for something light, refreshing and guilt free.  Especially in the summer when calorie laden homemade margaritas sound divine (and are totally worth the splurge sometimes!), there are times when a low calorie option is preferable.  I love frozen grapes, so when this recipe appeared in my inbox via Hungry Girl, I was certainly up for trying it.

Green Grape Frojito

10 mint leaves

2 no-calorie sweetener packets (like Splenda or Truvia)

2 limes, quartered, for a total of 8 wedges

1 1/2 cups green grapes, frozen

3 oz. rum

1 1/2 cups crushed ice or 8 – 12 ice cubes

* Evenly divide mint, sweetener, and half of the lime wedges between 2 glasses (2 lime wedges per glass).

*  Muddle (a.k.a. mash) the contents of each glass.

* To a blender, add the frozen grapes, rum, ice, and 2 tbsp. water. Squeeze the juice from the remaining lime wedges into the blender. Discard these wedges.

* Blend at high speed until smooth. (If needed, turn off the blender, stir, and blend again.)

* Transfer grape mixture to the glasses, and stir well. Drink up and be refreshed!
MAKES 2 SERVINGS

1/2 of recipe (about 16 oz.): 192 calories, <0.5g fat, 4mg sodium, 26g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 18g sugars, 1g protein