Healthy Treats to Beat the Heat (Hint: there’s ice cream involved)

July 21, 2021
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Make sure you scroll down for my guilt-free Fat Flush Ice Cream recipe!

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy more fruit – both fresh and dried. It’s not only a delicious, sweet treat, but these fruits also help keep you hydrated and cooled down amid the heat of long summer days. As an added bonus, they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to improve digestion, boost brain health, protect your heart and help balance your gut! What’s not to love?

These are my three favorite summer fruits (and be sure to scroll all the way down for my Fat Flush Ice Cream recipe):

#1: Watermelon

Watermelon practically exudes summer goodness with its sweet, juicy essence. Made up of 92% water, it would be hard to find a more hydrating snack. Traditional Chinese medicine teaches us the importance of nourishing our hearts during the summer months, and watermelon, along with cucumber, is used to cool and cleanse the system. But watermelon also packs a hefty nutritional punch. It contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps to nourish the heart and support healthy bones while giving watermelon its beautiful red hue. It’s also high in beta-carotene and vitamin A to nourish your eyes and skin, and vitamin B6 to support a healthy immune system. Just one serving of watermelon can provide 25% of your daily vitamin C and carries enough potassium to keep heat-induced water retention, inflammation and cramping at bay. Enjoy ½ to 1 cup daily.

Many of us were warned not to eat watermelon seeds as kids, and seedless varieties abound these days. But did you know those little black seeds that usually get discarded are actually good for you? Recent studies have shown that watermelon seeds contain high levels of magnesium, protein, vitamin B, and a plethora of micronutrients such as potassium, magnesium, folate and zinc. Try saving the seeds, spreading them out to dry, then lightly roasting them on a sheet pan in the oven. They make a great summer snack.

#2: Prunes

You may never have thought about prunes as a summer snack, but these delicious, dried plums are packed with flavor and nutrients. They’re a great source of potassium, an important electrolyte to protect your heart and blood pressure on hot days. And they’re high in the trace mineral boron to keep your bones and muscles strong for all of your favorite summer activities. 10 prunes equals 3 mg of boron. Prunes are also a great source of just the right amount of bio-available iron to nourish your red blood cells and prevent anemia. Plus, they’re an excellent provider of fiber to keep your digestive system moving along.

Try stuffing prunes with non-dairy cream cheese for a great summer appetizer, or chop some to sprinkle on top of coconut or cashew yogurt for a cooling snack. Or make a tasty summer treat by chopping up 1 ½ cups prunes, 1 cup of nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans, or macadamia nuts) and ½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut. Grind in a high-powered blender or food processor then roll into bite-sized balls. Enjoy 2 or 3 bites daily.

#3: Figs

Figs have provided a delightful summer treat throughout the ages, and many cultures recognize their health benefits. These mildly sweet fruits contain calcium and potassium to help improve bone density and protect the heart during the summer heat. They’re relatively low in calories, and high in nutrients such as vitamin B6 to nourish the brain. Their high fiber content is excellent for the digestive system. A study of 150 people who suffered from irritable bowel syndrome and constipation found that those who ate 4 dried figs two times per day over a period of four months had significant improvement in IBS symptoms, including less pain and bloating than the control group. Figs are also a natural anti-parasitic and a great way to add an ounce of prevention during the summer.

Try mixing a handful of chopped figs with two cups of pecans in a high-speed blender or food processor to make a delicious pie crust. When the mixture forms a dough-like consistency, just scoop it into a pie pan and press it into the bottom and up the sides with your fingers. Fill with sugar-free, whole fat yogurt and berries and freeze for a refreshing, cold dessert.

Extra Summer Support:

Keep Yeast in Check with Y-C Cleanse

Just be sure to fill your bottle with pure, filtered water. Even public water supplies can contain parasites like giardia as well as unwanted toxins. Never drink from brooks, lakes, ponds, reservoirs, or streams, no matter how pristine or remote they may seem. Pack a portable travel filter whenever possible. Bottled water may be easiest to grab on-the-go, but it’s not always your best bet. According to a four-year review by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an estimated 25% or more bottled water brands are merely tap water in a bottle (sometimes with further treatment, sometimes without).

Y-C Cleanse - Uni Key® Health

Y-C Cleanse

Balance Your Gut with Flora-Key

The other product I highly recommend and personally rely on in the summer as well as year-round is Flora-Key. This 5-strain probiotic packs just the right punch of gut protecting beneficial bacteria in an easy-to-use powdered formula which mixes well in drinks or smoothies. It targets yeast and candida overgrowth, supports the digestive system and promotes healthy skin and gums. I love to sprinkle it on top of frozen berries for a quick and cooling snack or dessert. It looks like powdered sugar with a natural, lightly sweet taste and none of the guilt!

Here’s my favorite summer treat to cool you down on a hot day while supporting your gut health:

Flora-Key Probiotic - Uni Key® Health

Flora-Key Probiotic

Here’s my favorite summer treat to cool you down on a hot day while supporting your gut health:

Fat Flush Ice Cream Recipe

Makes 8 Servings


  • 2 – 14 oz cans full fat, organic coconut milk, chilled
  • 1 cup Fat Flush Whey Protein or Body Protein powder
  • 8 scoops Flora-Key
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, almond extract or coconut extract – be creative!
  • Optional add-ins/toppings: walnuts, pecans, berries, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa powder (to taste).

  1. Blend coconut milk, protein powder, Flora-Key, and flavored extract of your choice in a blender until smooth
  2. Pour mixture into a bowl or deep pan, cover and place in freezer.
  3. After 20 minutes, stir well and mix in any additions such as nuts or berries.
  4. Place back in freezer and freeze until solid.
  5. If hard to scoop out, set pan in warm water to loosen up a bit before serving.

For more summertime fun ideas, check out my recent blog, 5 Delicious Ways to Beat the Heat (and slim down) This Summer. And for an inspiring, leading-edge look at autism recovery, listen to my podcast, The Truth About Autism with author JB Handley as we discuss his own son’s incredibly moving story.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Sandie

    This ice cream recipe sounds wonderful! Thanks

  2. Melissa

    Amazing, I never hear about prunes anymore. I’m going to try your suggested combination, I love all the ingredients.

  3. Belinda

    I grew up with a fig tree in my backyard. I have wonderful memories of eating ripe figs right off the branches. I used to make fig jam with them.

  4. Lily

    Summer is watermelon time at our house. Sometimes we just have watermelon for dinner. So refreshing! Glad to know its benefits.

  5. Archie

    What an interesting idea to toast the watermelon seeds. I’m going to try that! Thanks



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