Summer is here and there is nothing like a cool and soothing smoothie to take the edge off the heat. When it’s too darned hot to eat solid food, why not blend it up and pour it into a frosty glass? The whole family can enjoy slurping down the iced shakes.
You say you’ve never made a smoothie? If you don’t already own one, treat yourself to a blender. Other than ingredients, that single tool is all you need to make your own potable concoctions.
Smoothies are totally empowering because you, the maker, are in charge of what goes into the mix. Some people go for citrus (vitamin C), others for protein, fats or carbs – or a well-balanced combination of many essential nutrients. Creative parents will seize the opportunity to slip in totally healthy foods that their kids would never eat off a plate in front of them.
Junior doesn’t like wheat germ? Cabbage? Slip a little bit into a fruit-filled smoothie and never say a word. Just sit back and enjoy watching your joyful offspring quaff a drink that does good as it tastes good.
A well-prepared smoothie is a meal unto itself. Stock up on favorite ingredients you know you’ll want to have on hand but feel free to improvise with seasonal goodies or gifts from friends.
One overweight comedian joked about having a personal trainer who provided him with a juicer machine – and juiced a ham. This humorous extreme is not that far from the mark because the metal blades will slice up pretty much anything small or soft enough.
That said, keep your fingers away from whirling blender blades or Bad Things can happen. And we certainly don’t want that.
To get you started on your path to Smoothie Heaven, check out these recipes from Daily Burn:
Berry Grape Smoothie
Mix sweet frozen grapes with berries for an antioxidant boost. Blending grapes breaks down their skin, which releases more of the fruit’s vitamin C, manganese, and potassium content.
1 teaspoon dry chia seeds
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 ½ cups seedless red or purple grapes
1/2 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon flaxseed oil
1/2 cup water
Blueberry Mint Green Smoothie
Coconut water keeps you hydrated in a big way. Blueberries are powerful antioxidants and kale leaves provide folate.
2 cups spinach (this will blend better if you freeze it beforehand)
2 cups blueberries (I used half fresh, half frozen)
3-4 large mint leaves
1 cup coconut water
1 cup ice
Peach Coconut Milk Smoothie
Full-fat coconut milk has only heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Peaches contain folate, iron, zinc, and copper.
1 cup coconut milk chilled
1 cup ice
2 fresh peaches peeled and cut into chunks
lemon zest to taste
1 dollop raw, unfiltered honey (as needed for additional sweetening)
Key Lime Pie Protein Shake
They had me at “key lime” because true limes from the Florida Keys are to-die-for. Unlike bright lime-green limes available in grocery stores, a real key lime is more yellowy and super tart and tangy. Yum!
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 tablespoon key lime juice
Zest of one key lime
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1 cup ice cubes
1 tablespoon nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon crushed graham crackers
Blend protein powder, almond milk, frozen banana, key lime juice, maple syrup, and ice until smooth. Top with a dollop of yogurt and graham cracker crumbs. Provides 27 grams of protein.
You say you want more summertime deliciousness?
Here are three delicious smoothie recipes from Good Housekeeping:
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup honey yogurt
2 bananas, cut into pieces and frozen
3 cup baby spinach
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup coconut yogurt
1 1/2 cup frozen mango
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
cup c. frozen raspberries
2 bananas, peeled and cut into pieces
Toddlers can enjoy home-made smoothies straight from an inexpensive, reusable travel bag. These plastic pouches have a valve that lets children sip but won’t spill or leak any liquid. They can be frozen but be sure to allow room for expansion by not filling completely.
Whether you are young, old, or in between, break out the blender and take your family to Smoothie Heaven.