Summer Crush

It’s OK to fall in love with these grownup snow cones—they’re good for you!

Kids are pretty keen on snow cones. But grownups aren’t such pushovers for the bad boys inside them: high-fructose corn syrup, and way too many artificial dyes and colors. Good thing yummy snow cone syrups can and do exist without the red dye # 40. In fact, we found three of them courtesy of The Catch restaurant at Hotel Casa del Mar in Santa Monica, Calif. While their legendary adult snow cones are infused with alcohol, you can make yours just as refreshing without it. Here, the master mixologist and director of food and beverage at Casa del Mar, Simon Sorpresi, offers tips and recipes for snow cones that are grownup and good for you.

 Start with quality: Select fruits in season at the peak of freshness. And go organic when possible.

 Be naturally sweet: Organic agave syrup or honey is best.

 Simmer down: Boil ingredients in a sauté pan until you reach the consistency of marinara sauce. It’s this reduction process that intensifies flavors.

Carrot Rosemary

1/2 qt fresh-squeezed organic carrot juice

4 sprigs rosemary

2 oz honey

Simmer: 25 minutes

Garnish: Baby carrot and rosemary sprig

Blueberry Raspberry

1 qt blueberries

1 qt raspberries

1/2 cup agave syrup

Simmer: 15 minutes

Garnish: Blueberry and raspberry

Tomato Caper

1½ qt organic tomato juice

2 Tbsp capers

1 Tbsp horseradish

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Simmer: 25 minutes

Garnish: Cherry tomato and one big caper berry

How-To for Each Recipe

Simmer ingredients. Puree (no pureeing required for the carrot recipe) and strain. Pour 3 oz of mixture into a martini glass, and build the snow cone with shaved ice on top. Put a few drops of mixture on top with garnish.

 

DHA: The Eyes Have It

Researchers have known for a while that fish oil is good for the eyes, and they know why. They’ve observed that omega-3s (most importantly, the omega-3 fatty acid DHA) protect against damage to the blood supply and nerves of the retina. But now, a study from the University of Alberta shows a benefit previously not known: protection against the buildup of lipofuscin, a byproduct of damaged blood cells. Over time, an accumulation of this byproduct and its toxic component called A2E is a major risk factor for macular degeneration, a serious eye disease that can cause blindness. Although this study was done with mice, the animals were bred with a genetic trait humans have that causes a buildup of toxic A2E. The researchers noted that the mice fed DHA had preservation of full retinal function after 12 months, which suggests a new therapeutic benefit to taking DHA long-term. No effect was seen from short-term DHA feeding (that is, one to three months).

Health Note

Coffee drinkers live (a little) longer. According to a new study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, subjects who drank three or more cups of java per day had a 10% lower risk of early death than non-coffee drinkers. Researchers say it’s not the caffeine, since decaf was also associated with the benefit.

 

[Easy to be Green]

Beat the Heat

You don’t have to sweat it out as an environmental martyr. Try these clever tips to stay cool and use less energy during the hottest days of summer.

• Turn on your ceiling fan instead of the AC on moderately hot days. Circulating air feels up to 9-degrees cooler.

 Skip the drying cycle on the dishwasher; air-dry your dishes instead. Same thing with your clothes, although this takes a bit more work on your part to hang them out. Who wants dishwashers and dryers pouring more heat into the house, anyway?

 Plant deciduous trees on the south side of your home to block summer heat. In winter, when their leaves are gone, they’ll let the sunshine in.

 Get rid of the fridge in the garage. If it’s an older energy-guzzler (as most second refrigerators tend to be), it costs you $150 per year to run it!

HotSpot

Barndad Ultra Fiber DX

This natural (non-GMO) fiber matrix reduces hunger and supports healthy weight management.

How it Works

This time-release mix supports healthy weight loss, lean muscle and a healthy digestive system. First developed in Germany, Ultra Fiber DX was found to have substantial health benefits for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. While many single fiber products or supplements (imbalanced blends) often cause bloating, Ultra Fiber DX’s patent-pending, eight-layer fiber matrix works to provide consumers with all the benefits of a high-fiber diet without the negative side effects.

Special Benefits

♦ 11 gm of soluble and insoluble fiber

♦ 7gm of protein (44% of daily requirement)

♦ No bloating or negative side effects

♦ Ultra Fiber DX is a flavorless, universal ingredient that easily mixes with water, smoothies, coffee, tea or juice.

♦ It can also be used in baking as a flour substitute, resulting in healthy and delicious meals, snacks and desserts.

 

Photography courtesy of Hotel Casa del Mar

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