With summer coming in full force, hot, dense meals are feeling less and less appealing and we’re leaning towards fresh, light flavors. Preferably something cold, sweet, refreshing, and super easy to make… For us, the meal of the season is the summer smoothie.
Nutritionally speaking, smoothies are a full-fledged meal, despite how satisfying and timely they are. And when made right, smoothies are super sweet, healthy, and refreshing — perfect to sip on in the sun.
Here’s how to make a delicious recipe-less summer smoothie and 3 of our favorite smoothie recipes to get you started.
The good news is that smoothies are super easy to make. All you have to know is this: every single good smoothie contains a liquid, a thickener, produce, and add-ins.
First, some type of liquid is required to make any type of smoothie.
Consider using milk (dairy or non-dairy), fruit juice, or even water. Although remember, water doesn’t add any extra flavor, so we don’t recommend it unless you’re really watching your calories. Vary the amount and type of liquid you use based on the texture and taste you want.
Thickeners are items that give the smoothie its texture.
If you want a thicker smoothie, use more thickener. If you want a more juice-like smoothie, useless. Fresh avocados (about half of one), frozen bananas (one), or silken tofu (about a half cup) work wonderfully for one smoothie. Believe it or not, so do black beans and cashews (a quarter cup soaked 4-8 hours before use per smoothie). These two offer extra protein points. Don’t worry, you can’t taste them.
Then, you add the produce.
Obviously, the fruit is key — about half a cup is usually enough. Also, consider adding veggies like spinach, kale, or beets. Using green vegetables may turn your smoothie an odd color, but you won’t be able to taste the leaves.
Add-ins are optional, but they give an extra flavor kick (or health kick) to your smoothie.
Try nutrition boosters like spirulina, hemp seeds, and protein powders; nut butters like almond butter, peanut butter, and tahini (about a tsp); and flavor boosters like cocoa powder, vanilla or mint extract, and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper are our favorites!).
You just throw at least one of each of these components into a blender, press blend, and drink up!
Over time, you’ll learn just what the right mix of ingredients is and how you prefer your smoothie. In the meantime, try out these three recipes. They’ll start your summer off right.
1. Green Machine Smoothie
- 1 large orange, peeled and segmented,
- 6 large strawberries,
- 2 cups spinach
- ¼ cup cashews
- Dash of cinnamon
- Ice, as desired
Blend it all together and enjoy!
2. Very Berry Smoothie Bowl
- 1 heaping cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 small ripe banana, sliced and frozen
- 2-3 Tbsp milk of choice (almond)
- 1 scoop plain or vanilla protein powder of choice
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Peach
- Blend together the frozen fruit, milk, chia seeds, and protein powder.
- Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!
3. Maple Vanilla Latte Smoothie
- ⅓ cup greek yogurt
- ¼ cup milk of choice
- 1 shot espresso, cooled
- ½ overripe banana (frozen)
- 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ to 1 cup ice
- Coconut Shavings
- Blend together
- Top with extra coconut shavings
Try out each recipe or go recipe-less immediately. Send us your favorite summer smoothie recipes! @gardenuity