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Iced treats are very sweet but watch the calories and DIY

THOSE enticing, icy summertime treats are hard to resist, but watch those calories and sip healthier concoctions of mung beans, snow fungus, and barley. DIY, suggests Fei Lai.

Cool, colorful and enticing iced treats are everywhere in summer, from corner vendors to supermarkets. They can be creamy ice cream, milk shakes, yogurt, popsicles, crushed-iced delights and other concoctions.

They come in all flavors, from chocolate and caramel to strawberry and lime. They come in every color of the rainbow °?- purple, red, orange, pink, yellow and green.

But they're all loaded with sugar and some with calories from fat if cream or milk are used.

So it's a challenge to satisfy those summer cravings for cool while staying slim.

"Ice drinks and ice creams are everywhere and they're so tempting," says He Kangli, who loves ice cream.

"The high summer temperature kills my appetite but increases my craving for more ice," says the woman in her 20s.

"But every time I finish my ice cream, I feel guilty fearing that I'll gain weight because of all the cream and sugar."

She's right to be worried.

"Don't be ruled by ice cream and treats. Use good judgment," says Jin Shan, program development director of Weight Watchers Danone (China) Ltd, a weight management company.

"A spoonful of the cold stuff does make you happy but if you use common sense you won't worry so much."

He offers some tips.

Basically, don't overeat, check the ingredients and go for fewer calories. Choose smaller portions and containers. Mocha and fruit contains less fat than chocolate and cookie-dough taste.

"Pay attention to the ingredient list on the package," says Jin.

Always remember the best summer drinks are water and salt soda water. Iced lemon tea and iced coffee with minimum sugar are okay.

Traditional Chinese drinks are a refreshing option - but again, watch the calories. Traditional doesn't necessarily mean low calories. Cool mung bean soup is very popular, cooling and not too sweet. Sometimes lily root is added for nutrition.

Another popular treat is white fungus (snow fungus or tremella) soup with pearl barley.

"Pearl barley is a magical food, good for the complexion and digestion and easily absorbed," say Jin.

DIY desserts, drinks, soups

Iced yogurt

Put yogurt in the freezer for three hours. Iced fruit yogurt

Ingredients: Yogurt (100g), pineapple (50g), tomato (30g)

Chop into small pieces, add to yogurt, and freeze for three hours. Fruit ice for six people

Ingredients: Tomato (200g), pineapple (400g), chopped ice (300g)

Chop ingredients, mix in blender, and serve. Lily and mung bean soup

Ingredients: Mung beans (20g), lily bulbs (15g), sugar (5g), water (180ml)

Boil beans until soft, add lily, boil again. Add sugar to sweeten. Chill. White fungus soup with barley and orange

Ingredients: Fungus (5 pieces), orange (8g), barley (50g), rock sugar (20g)

Soak fungus and cut into small pieces. Add fungus and sugar to boiling water. Simmer 60 minutes. Add orange and simmer 30 minutes. Serve hot or chilled. Glutinous rice balls in fermented rice wine

Ingredients: Glutinous rice flour (60g), 2 eggs, sugar (10g), water (200ml)

Mix glutinous rice flour with water and make it into dough. Cut the dough into small pieces. Roll each piece into small rice balls. Add the rice balls into boiling water. Add sugar. Add two eggs and fermented rice wine. Serve. Beans soup

Ingredients: Red bean (50g), mung bean (50g), black bean (50g)

Wash all the beans and soak them in water overnight. Pour the beans into a saucepan. Add water.

After it gets boiling, cook for 30 minutes with the lid half open until the beans' surfaces are split. Put it in refrigerator to get a cool flavor.


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