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Summer is the Season for Smoothies

by Hannah C.
(New York, NY)

Ever since the year my parents gave me an immersion blender for my birthday, I've been making smoothies in the summertime to cool off. I have an insatiable sweet tooth, but sometimes worry about all of the processed sugar in the chocolate, ice cream, and cake that I love so much. Instead, I get my sugar kicks the natural way—with smoothies made with lots of fresh fruit. And to make the deal even sweeter, I've started adding greens into my smoothies. True, they make the drink a funny color, but the taste is pure heaven, and it’s a good way to get your vegetables without even trying.
Lately, my recipe of choice starts with a handful of spinach, and just enough water to blend the spinach into a nice, bright green liquid. Then, I add strawberry and pineapple chunks. I buy these fresh, but chop them up and keep them in the freezer, so my smoothie will be nice and cold when I blend it all together. Last, I add a whole banana. This is where the sweetness really comes from, but more importantly, it’s the part that gives the drink its deliciously creamy texture.
There are all kinds of variations on this recipe that I’ve done in the past. For people who like some dairy in their smoothies, there’s nothing quite like a smoothie made of fresh peach slices, vanilla low-fat yogurt, orange juice and banana. There are also other surprisingly delicious green elements you can add to smoothies to get different health benefits (and interesting flavors!). Cucumber and pineapple go surprisingly well together, as do strawberries and avocado. Smoothies are great because you can experiment with tons of healthy ingredients. You can make them with or without dairy, and you can even freeze them into summer popsicles! You can get popsicle molds at many dollar stores, and then make a whole batch of healthy smoothie-pops that will help you stay cool all summer.

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