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Monday, June 29, 2015

Fresh Drinks to Refresh You

Summer is a killer for my convenience food budget – by this I mean that when I’m outside and sweating in the too heat, or in my car with NO AC… the ads for ice cappuccino, frozen drinks and the like are very appealing.  And since many drive-through outlets have sales, I can most often get a drink for about $2.00 + tax.  However…
This does add up.  In summer, my desire for these drinks is at least daily.  If I’m at home, I’m 3 minutes away from the Canadian Icon of coffees, and if out in my car or on my bike, the main road I live on has at least 5 places I can stop at between home and my work.    Temptations are everywhere!
Because I am frugal (and honestly, a bit lazy – why leave my sunshine at home and my bikini to get a cold drink?), I have worked in my kitchen to make my own versions of frozen drinks at a fraction of the cost, and no mystery ingredients.  Here are a few.
Ice Capp:
- about 1 cup of cold coffee (left over from the last pot and refrigerated)
- about ¾ cup of milk (we use skim or 1%)
- about 2 Tbsp granulated sugar, powered sugar or chocolate syrup.
- 4 ice cubes
- BulletTM or extra strong blender
I found that my BulletTM doesn’t break ice cubes as easily as I expected so it’s better if I break the ice cubes in chunks first.  To do this, I put the ice cubes in a plastic bag, place the sealed bag on a cutting board, and then hit it with either the edge of a can, the handle of a knife, or a hammer.
After that, put all the ingredients in the blender and blend away.  I like to drink mine in a thermal mug (like the one I use for tea in winter) with a straw coming out through the drinking hole of the lid.  Cheers!!
If you are craving a healthier and less caffeinated drink, a fruit smoothie is probably a better option.  However, know that commercial fruit smoothie has a lot of added sugar to give it the strong taste it shows.  But here we can make it a tad healthier.
Fruit smoothie:
- about 1.5 cups soft fruit in chunks (apples are not good; almost everything else works)
- about 0.5 (1/2) cup orange juice (I find orange juice has a stronger taste than OJ)
- ½ cup (or an individual container) of flavoured yogurts (so that it’s sweetened).
- 4 ice cubes (optional)
- BulletTM or extra strong blender
Read above for advice about ice cubes.  The ice cubes here are optional and depend in part on how thick your smoothie is without the ice and how thick you like it.  Basically, put all ingredients together EXCEPT the ice.  Blend away and check for consistency.  Add ice if needed and blend again.

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