3 Healthiest + Prettiest Popsicles Recipes

Vegan, gluten-free popsicle recipes make for frozen treats with a healthy spin and they’re pretty enough to serve to guests!

Photo Credit: This Rawsome Vegan Life

Photo Credit: This Rawsome Vegan Life

Now that we’re almost into August, temps are really starting to soar! There’s nothing more refreshing than a fruity popsicle on a sticky summer day, especially if you have some healthy ice pops to indulge in so you can go back for seconds.

We consulted some of our favorite healthy food bloggers to discover some fresh frozen recipes that incorporate vitamin-rich ingredients and a lot less of the processed stuff. Whether you’re looking for a more nutritious spin on a classic flavor or in the mood to shake it up with unconventional ingredients, we’ve got an ice pop recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth!

Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker

Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker

Mango Green Tea Pops
Recipe by Dana for Minimalist Baker

These vegan and gluten free Mango Green Tea pops pack a SERIOUSLY healthy punch because they’re made with matcha – which is green tea leaves ground into edible powder. Because the matcha is essentially undiluted green tea, your body can absorb 10 times more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than its liquid counterpart. Mixed with fresh mango, these creamy popsicles are the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day. Get the recipe at minimalistbaker.com.

Photo Credit: Two Peas and Their Pod

Photo Credit: Two Peas and Their Pod

Strawberry Popsicles
Recipe by Maria and Josh for Two Peas and Their Pod

Strawberry popsicles are an all-time classic and a foolproof flavor for the kids. We like to stick to the theory that the fewer ingredients the better (and healthier) which makes this recipe even better. Easy prep and just a three ingredient recipe means you can keep your freezer stocked with these vegan and gluten-free ice pops even after summer ends! Get the recipe at twopeasandtheirpod.com.

Photo Credit: This Rawsome Vegan Life

Photo Credit: This Rawsome Vegan Life

Fruit Popsicles with Coconut Milk
Recipe by Emily for This Rawsome Vegan Life

These may be the prettiest popsicles we’ve ever seen – and they will definitely impress your guests! While these gorgeous pops may look lavish and laborious, they are actually so easy to make. Thanks to ingredients like coconut milk, fresh fruit and revitalizing herbs, your skin will be glowing after you indulge in this vegan treat. Get the recipe at thisrawsomeveganlife.com

Which healthy popsicle recipe are you dying to try? Let us know what your favorite flavor is in the comments below!

Noelle Chehab is the Junior Editor of Spa Week Daily. 

5 Best Summer Wines

There’s nothing like coming home to unwind with a glass of wine after a long day. Here are our five favorite picks to enjoy in the summer. 

I, Scmtb49 [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By now we’re sure you’ve heard about the health benefits of drinking wine in moderation, which makes pouring a glass after a long, hard day completely justifiable. But–did you know that, like fresh produce, wine is affected by the changing of seasons?

If this is news to you, don’t panic just yet because we already discovered the best red and white wines that are just right for summer! Our Summer Wine Guide has a little something to tickle everyone’s taste buds, and these beautiful bottles also make for great gifts. So whether you’re going to a BBQ or relaxing at the beach, make sure you have these wines on hand all summer long!

 

Vivanco BlancoRioja Vivanco 

This colorless beverage is fruity and floral. Best served cold, this wine is just refreshing enough to enjoy on a hot summer afternoon or evening. Rioja recommends serving the Vivanco with fish, making it an ideal wine to pair with a light, seasonal meal!

Health benefit: Women’s Health reports that wine “improves the body’s response to insulin, which regulates blood sugar.”

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St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc

This Napa Valley-created Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and invigorating.  Pale yellow in color, this sweet white wine is rich in fruity flavors like lychee and lemon zest. A fan favorite here at Spa Week HQ, St. Supery’s Sauvignon is the perfect way to relax on a hot summer day!

Health benefit: According to Food and Wine, moderate drinkers have a 50% less chance of suffering from a stroke.

Vina Bujanda TintoRioja Vina Bujanda

Although red wine is not typically associated with the summer, this pick from Rioja proves that stereotype wrong. Even though this wine is laden with the taste of dark fruits like cherries and plums, it has a less intense flavor than other red wines. It has a smooth finish and you’ll love drinking it with your dinner, year-round!

Health benefit: Reservatrol, found in red wine, boosts memory, according to Prevention.com.

10417613_700539250003563_3787796623626684992_nVanilla Puddin

This Gabrielle Union-endorsed spirits brand just launched earlier this year and is already making a splash in the marketplace. Perfect for summer, this delicious Chardonnay has notes of pear, light French oak and a taste of vanilla.  Bonus: This tasty beverage is served in a stand-out bottle that you will want to keep on your shelf long after the contents have been emptied!

Health benefit: It is believed that drinking wine lowers the risk of various cancers.

 

BANFI_bottle(1)Rosa Regale

If you love dessert wine, Rosa Regale will quickly become a staple in your wine cabinet. This sweet, sparkling red wine, fills a unique gap in the wine market. Made in Italy, bottles of Rosa Regale are best enjoyed when they are fresh, unlike most wines which need to age first.

Health benefit: Red wine lowers your risk of heart disease!

What is your favorite wine to drink during the summertime? Tell us in the comments below!

Arielle Sidrane is the Associate Editor of Spa Week Daily.

Photo Credit: I, Scmtb49 [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

3 Vegan Ice Cream Recipes in 3 Flavors

We’re celebrating Ice Cream Day this Sunday with healthy recipes in delicious flavors that are vegan, gluten-free and definitely diet-friendly!

As far as we’re concerned, ice cream is definitely something to scream about – especially when you can enjoy your favorite frozen treat guilt-free! We’re celebrating Ice Cream Day this Sunday a little bit early (hey, TGIF!) with these mouth-watering ice cream recipes that are totally easy and shockingly healthy.

We’ll be trying all three of these refreshing ice cream recipes this weekend for the special occasion, after all celebrations are in order!

Photo Credit: Foodie Fiasco

Photo Credit: Foodie Fiasco

The World’s Healthiest Vanilla Ice Cream
Recipe by Kelly for Foodie Fiasco

This classic vanilla ice cream recipe is anything but traditional – it’s vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, low fat AND low calorie! In fact, it’s so healthy that you could even eat it for breakfast (we won’t tell!). For a tasty and colorful twist, top with your favorite fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries. Get the recipe at foodiefiasco.com.

Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker

Photo Credit: Minimalist Baker

Vegan Brownie Chocolate Ice Cream
Recipe by John for Minimalist Baker

If you’re a choc-aholic than you are going to LOVE this rich and creamy recipe that has vegan brownie bites mixed in. It’s vegan and gluten-free, and ingredients like organic coconut milk pack a healthy punch. Now this is a dessert that tastes amazing without derailing your diet! Get the recipe at minimalistbaker.com.

Vegan Coconut Raspberry Ice Cream
Recipe by Maria and Josh for Two Peas and Their Pod

Let’s call it as we see it – this ice cream is the definition of decadence. And while it looks absolutely divine it’s completely diet-friendly! The best part about this mouth-watering recipe is that it only uses 4 ingredients and it’s gorgeous enough to serve to guests. Get the recipe at twopeasandtheirpod.com.

Which recipe will you be trying to celebrate Ice Cream Day? Let us know in the comments below!

Noelle Chehab is the Junior Editor of Spa Week Daily. 

3 Summer Spa Water Recipes

Spa Water is refreshing and super healthy thanks to antioxidant-packed ingredients that also happen to taste amazing!

Strawberry drink

We all know the importance of staying hydrated – especially in the hot summer months, but drinking 8 glasses a day can prove challenging. Our solution? Infuse our water with tasty and beauty-boosting ingredients like strawberry, mint, lime and more that are packed with vitamins and antioxidants.

The best part about these spa water recipes is that they’re totally customizable, and you can add a little more or a little less of whichever ingredients you prefer. Not only will you enjoy glowing skin and added energy, but these spa water recipes are easy on the eyes as well! We suggest making one (or two!) of them a center piece at your next summer soiree.

Strawberry, Lemon, Honeydew and Mint Water
Total Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serving Size: 1/2 gallon (double the ingredients for a full gallon)

Ingredients:

  • Ice cubes
  • Water
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup sliced honeydew
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

Instructions: Layer the strawberries, honeydew, lemon slices, and mint leaves over ice cubes at bottom of pitcher. Fill the pitcher with water. Let chill for 10 minutes before serving.

Insider Tip: The intensity of flavor depends on how long the spa water infuses. The fruit taste will be mild at first, but after a few hours (or within 12 hours) it’s very flavorful and even more nutritious.

Watermelon Lime Coconut Water
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Yields: 1/2 gallon (double the ingredients for a full gallon)

Ingredients: 

  • Ice cubes
  • 4 cups coconut water
  • One 3 pound seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1 medium lime, sliced

Instructions: In a blender, puree watermelon. Strain pulp from watermelon, saving only the juice. Add coconut water and stir. Add lime slices to water. Cover and chill for at least one hour. Pour spa water over ice upon serving.

Insider Tip: Adding ice to individual glasses rather than the spa water pitcher ensures the flavor won’t be diluted. We recommend using Real Coconut Water, Naked or Vita Coco.

Citrus Mint Basil Water
Recipe Compliments of Carolina Adjami, Spa & Wellness Consultant
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 1/2 gallon (double the ingredients for a full gallon)

Ingredients:

  • Ice Cubes
  • Water
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 3 oranges, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • 6 Mighty Leaf organic detox infusion tea bags

Instructions: In a kettle or small pot, boil water and brew Mighty Leaf tea bags. Remove tea bags and let cool. Pour ice into half-gallon pitcher and layer lemon and sliced cucumber on top. Pour tea into pitcher. Chill for one hour, or until cold, before serving.

Insider Tip: If you make a full gallon, remove orange peels to avoid water from becoming bitter over time.

Noelle Chehab is the Junior Editor of Spa Week Daily. 

 

July 4th BBQ Fare: How to Make Healthy Choices

Chances are you’ll be attending a barbecue of some sort this weekend—here’s what to eat so you don’t ruin your summer diet just yet.

Colorful Chicken Kebabs

Happy July 4th week! We’re just as excited as anyone to celebrate the U.S.A. this weekend–with only one thing holding us back. The calorie-laden BBQ fare is making us just a little nervous this early in the summer. We’ve got weeks of bikini-wearing to go! To get the scoop on which BBQ staples are okay to indulge in and which are the worst offenders, we chatted with nutrition and lifestyle author Elizabeth Somer, as seen on The Today Show and Dr. Oz. She gave some important insight on which foods to skip, and what you can try instead to replace them with! Somer says:

Skip the high-fat entrees, like hot dogs and sausages. Instead, Try obtaining your protein from omega-3-rich salmon, chicken breast, shrimp, or portabello mushrooms.

As far as sides go, Somer says to skip the chips. Instead, get your crunch from greens! Try a tossed salad made with dark greens (kale, spinach, etc.), rich in the eye-protective compounds, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Skip salty seasonings and condiments like teriyaki, soy and barbecue sauce. Liven up your meal with something a bit healthier! Try Puree fruit instead and add to a marinade. Adding a bit of a sweet ingredients (like watermelon or dark cherry juice) to grilling sauce adds flavor and helps balance other bold spices in the marinade.

Skip hamburgers, which have a higher fat content. Instead try ground chicken or turkey burgers using breast meat. Add diced onions and celery for flavor, then top with a slice of watermelon or pack the burger with dark greens, like spinach or romaine. You’ll still get that flavor you’re craving!

As we all know, alcohol is a sneaky culprit and the downfall of many a diet. We talked to Registered Dietitian and Lead Nutrition Expert at Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating, Rene Ficek, who gave us some tips on which beverages you should reach for this BBQ season:

1. Light beer is best. On average, a light beer will contain 80-120 calories, which isn’t too bad. Some beers, like wheat based beers or IPA’s, can contain upwards of 400 calories, which can really break the calorie bank!

2. Drink dry wine- not sweet. Sweet wine typically has an additional 100-150 calories per glass.

3. Use club soda as a mixer. Club soda pairs well with vodka or gin. Plus, you will be helping to rehydrate yourself to prevent a hangover. Lemons and limes can help flavor this mixer without adding calories, plus it will add a nutritional boost of vitamin C!

4. Say no to adding juice, sports drinks, energy drinks or soda to any alcoholic beverage. They simply add calories and do not offer any nutritional benefit.

What’s your best tip for staying healthy at a BBQ? Share it in the comments below!

Arielle Sidrane is the Associate Editor of Spa Week Daily.