Refreshing Summer Smoothies
By: Lisa Roberts-Lehan (Clean Plates Author)
Smoothies made with organic, quality ingredients are easy to prepare, can be full of vital nutrients and won’t heat up the kitchen on a hot day. Armed with a blender and a little imagination, it’s easy to create your own refreshing, healthful drink out of the ingredient options here, or try the Blueberry Bliss recipe below. Who knows? You might be on your way to starting a smoothie food truck enterprise!
A thick, fruity drink made from (ideally) organic, local and fresh — or frozen — fruits blended together with filtered water, coconut water or coconut milk, or other unsweetened alternative milks like almond, hemp or oat.
For a richer and satisfying drink, blend avocado, organic yogurt, or bananas with fresh or frozen fruit and a little water, milk or unsweetened non-dairy milk.
A surprisingly delicious way to get your greens and fruit in one shot. Blend fresh fruit with dark, leafy greens and water or a little fresh juice.
Ripe local fruit
Summer brings succulent local fruit to most farmers markets across the country. Fresh, organically-grown berries, melons and peaches add great flavor and nutrients. Choose sweet-smelling, un-bruised fruit; peaches and other stone fruit should slightly yield to the thumb.
Tropical and citrus fruit
Most of the country doesn’t grow oranges, grapefruit, bananas, mango or coconut. If you live in one those places, go pick some fruit and enjoy the delicious, healthful benefits! For the rest of us, chose the most local, organically grown fruit possible for your smoothies.
In a pinch, choose from the organic frozen fruit at the supermarket; most carry strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, and some also sell açai, mango, coconut meat and peaches.
Farmers markets are overflowing with healthy summer greens; grab a small bunch of kale, chard, collard or spinach leaves and let the blender whirl away. You’ll get an extra shot of nutrients with a gorgeous, chlorophyll-green hue.
Let the creativity begin! For an extra boost, try adding a scoop of organic raw cacao, goji berries, maca powder, a little extra virgin coconut oil, almond butter, spirulina, blue-green algae, bee pollen, aloe vera or hemp, flax or chia seeds. Half an avocado provides a luscious creaminess and extra potassium.
Thick or thin
Add more or less filtered water, coconut water, or yogurt to taste.
Ice is nice
Add some ice cubes for a lighter, frosty treat guaranteed to cool down a hot day.
SMOOTHIE EXTRA CREDIT
Make popsicles from your smoothie creations. Learn more about healthy summer treats and find a recipe for Strawberry-Watermelon Paletas here.
Take it to go
Freshly made smoothies are best, but can also be stored in the fridge for up to three days in a sealed container. Bring a smoothie in a travel mug for a healthy mid-morning snack or quick pick-me-up.
Blueberry Bliss Smoothie Recipe (adapted)
- 1 organic banana, peeled, broken into two pieces
- ½ cup organic blueberries
- ½ cup young coconut meat or ½ cup organic blackberries
- 2 ice cubes
- Water or coconut water to thin
Combine all ingredients in blender. Process on high until smooth.
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