Saturday, July 19, 2014

Starbucks -like Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino cheater drink, and more!

Hi, everybody! Sorry this post is so late. My internet was not cooperating and I thought I was going to have to send this in by carrier pigeon. This is why I should never leave things until the last second! But I do. I always do.
I got this great cookbook at the library. The author has battled diabetes and other health issues so she tries to take the most popular recipes and remake them several different ways. Each recipe has about four or five alternatives, whether you're cutting fat, sodium, sugar or carbs. I loved this idea! I don't have a problem with sugar, but I would love to cut unnecessary fat from my diet, so I thought I'd try some of the recipes and see if they were as good as they looked.

BUT this happened: record-setting temps all week. 107 on Thursday but some said 109F unofficially. I figure anything past 100 is officially whatever you want to call it because we're all melting and nobody's going to be around to argue.
 So I decided to make some of the drinks in the book. The first one is called "Luscious Lemon Slim Smoothie".
1/3 cup low fat milk
1 TBS instant sugar free lemon pudding mix
1/3 cold water
1/3 Greek yogurt (non fat)
 2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup ice
 I got out the ninja, but you can use a blender. This entire process took about 3 minutes, start to finish. Definitely doing this for refreshments when we have guests!
Add the milk and pudding mix together, and let sit for one minute. Then add all the other ingredients.
 I wasn't really sure how this would taste, since I'm not big on sugar free products. They always have an odd flavor to me. But this was delicious! Light, cool, lemony, and very filling.
 Of course, always better with some whipped topping and a few blueberries. The kids split one and I gave the other to hubby. He said it was "savroso". I told him to hold on, I was still testing recipes. He was in the garden, so he just handed me back the jar and went back to work.

Nutritional information: 100 calories, carbs 14, fat 1.5, protein 10g, sodium 350mg

 The next recipe is apparently copied from a famous Starbucks recipe. We have one but I don't often go there, so I haven't tried the original. What I know is that this one IS DELICIOUS.

1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup nonfat half-and-half
2/3 cup frozen strawberries (about 6)
3 TBS sugar (or substitute)
1/2 cup crushed ice
 Place all ingredients together and blend.
 I was really surprised at how "strawberry" this was. I thought since they were frozen, it would turn out like a lot of strawberry ice chunks, but I think the half-and-half brings out the creamy flavor.
 For me, this was closest to a real treat. Rich and flavorful, like a milkshake but not as heavy. Again, kids shared some and I took the rest to hubby. He said, "delicioso". I told him to just wait... there was more.

Nutritional info: 150 calories, 25 carbs, fat 1.5 g, protein 7g, fiber 2g sodium 65mg
In comparison, the real Starbucks version has 380 calories, 15 g of fat, and 57 carbs!
 The next recipe was Mocha Fudge Mudslide Milkshake. This took a few ingredients I didn't have but I think I can use the sliced almonds in another batch of granola, so I figured it wouldn't be too expensive to try. If it didn't work out, I'd just stick to regular milkshakes!

2 tsp sugar free hot fudge topping
2/3 cup low fat milk
1 tbs vanilla sugar free instant pudding mix
2 tsp instant coffee
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup no sugar addeded or light ice cream
2/3 cup ice
 First, wipe the hot fudge up the inside of the glasses. Put them in the fridge to chill.
Combine the milk and the pudding mix, blend, and then let it sit for 1 minute.
Add all other ingredients and then blend until thick and creamy. Carefully pour into the glasses and top with whipped topping and almonds if desired.
 These definitely were tasty-looking. But would they pass the Munoz taste-test??
Apparently, the answer is YES. They were devoured, and I had to make more. My kids decided that this was the best dinner they'd ever had and they wanted it to be 109F every single DAY. (Forgive them, they know not what they wish for.)

Nutritonal info: calories 205, carbs 35, fat 4.5, protein 8, fiber 4, sodium 480mg

My personal favorite was the lemon chiller. The cookbook author also gives several different flavor ideas made from the same "starter" of instant pudding mix, low fat milk and yogurt. I have some strawberry pudding so I might try that and see if it's as refreshing. For a 100 calories, it sure beats a popsicle on a hot day.

Now, before I go, I thought I'd share a few pics of my kids. Every year on their birthday (which most were born in the summer- no cracks about keeping warm, I've heard them all, haha) we open their baby boxes.

 My soon-to-be 13 year old's Sunday dress might not fit her anymore.
Just for giggles, here's her birth announcement in the paper. Yikes.
 The four year old's foot is still chubby, but these shoes aren't going to fit at all.
 My 11 year old's first tshirt is wayyyy too tiny.
My nine year old says, "Ugh, do I have to?"
But I think my fourteen year old wins. She was a preemie who had colic and screamed for the first three months of her life. She weighed 5 lbs 11 oz and was 18 inches long, now she's taller than I am.
And here are her size 11 feet and her baby booties. That's my baby! Time does fly... and I'm so very grateful for the health and well-being of all my children. 
Now, if they'd just clean their rooms...

Until next time, my friends! Stay cool and try out some of these recipes. They were much better than pop and definitely hit the spot on the day it was too warm to cook. 


  1. wow these look good! I'd probably go for chocolate or strawberry first

    1. I was surprised at how strawberry-like it tasted! I was expecting frozen chunks of red mixed with milk. It was great!

  2. Perfect timing, Virginia. We're heading into another heatwave. Ugh. and doesn't that chocolate one look fancy dancy? I'm impressed.

    Absolutely love your kid pictures. What a great idea -- why did I never think of doing that? Amazing how they grow!

    1. I saw something on Pinterest I wished I'd seen before. It was the mom's hand drawn on a piece of paper, and then the kids hands within hers, and the date/age written down. But now my hand would be covered!

    2. My daughter saw a cool thing, I think on Pinterest or maybe Instagram. A kid got his photo from his first day of kindergarten and had it put on a shirt that he wore to school on his last day of high school. And of course took a photo of him wearing it. SO COOL! I want to do that. :)

    3. Oh, that is lovely! Something I did recently was take a picture that I had of my oldest reading a board book when she was about 8 months old (just sitting up) and then put it together in a frame with a picture I took of her reading The Hound Of the Baskervilles outside in our walnut tree. A really funny contrast that shows a lifetime of reading.

  3. This is amazing! And I really wish I had your kids grow up idea back in the day.

  4. Ok...are they still healthy if I...I mean my friend...has 3 of them?

    They look dangerously good, so of course I'm going to try them all. Thanks for the recipes and the fun trip down memory lane. What a great tradition.

    1. Haha! That was us on Friday afternoon. I'm telling you, my kids LOVE Yankee Belle Café. And we had visitors today so we did it all over again. Taste testing in the Munoz kitchen!

  5. These look amazing!!! But of course the pictures of the kids are my favorite :-)

    1. Aren't they hilarious? You'd think I'd remember them so clearly, but my brain just can't grasp how tiny they were.

  6. Yummy, cool drinks! Thanks for sharing! I love the low calories too.

    Fun photos! What a great idea to do on their birthdays. We'll have to try that. :)

    1. The low calories definitely make it easier on the mind (and hips). I don't like to drink water, and some days I'd rather drink something that eat, but Diet Coke is so bad for you... So, I like this alternative.

  7. The lemon smoothie looks amazing! I'm going to have to try that one!

    And the strawberry one! Quick and easy :)

    I don't know about Mindy, but I know my THM daily smoothie keeps my eating on track. There's nothing like a mid-afternoon healthy frozen drink to keep the diet "woes" at bay!

    And I love the pictures. A great way to see how everyone has grown!

    1. I thought of you guys when I saw the sugar-free options. :)

  8. How did I miss these great recipes. So sorry to be late!! Thank you for the recipes and the info on the Ninja Prep which I now own. AND LOVE!!!