Summer is a great time to pack your drinks with all the delicious produce that is in peak season. All you need is a basic blender to start whipping up smoothies in a snap. There’s really no wrong way to make a smoothie, but some of the best concoctions are those that have three main parts: something frozen, something fresh and a powerful protein source.
For your frozen base, go with frozen berries, mango chunks, frozen grapes or ice cubes. To pack in nutrients with minimal calories, freshen your smoothies with greens: add kale, spinach or celery and try ginger or cayenne for some kick. There’s no shortage of protein options to power your smoothie. Try nut butters, milk or milk powder, milk alternatives like soy or almond milk, yogurt or protein powders.
Here are four super simple recipes that will kick your summer smoothie game into high gear.
This smoothie is a great way to clean out your refrigerator produce drawer. Use fresh or frozen grapes and try swapping collard greens or spinach for kale.
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- 1 pear, chopped
- 1 cup green grapes
- 1 orange, peeled, sectioned
- ½ banana
- 1 cup non-fat milk
- 2 cups ice cubes
Toss all ingredients into a blender and blend on high for one minute. This recipe makes two, 2-cup servings with 200 calories and 6 grams of fiber per serving.
If you can’t get to the islands, bring paradise to your blender! Try adding a touch of juice if you prefer a thinner texture.
- 1 cup mango chunks, skin removed
- ½ banana
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 cup plain non-fat yogurt
- 2 cups ice cubes
Blend all ingredients on high for one minute. This recipe makes two, 2-cup servings with 175 calories and 4 grams of fiber per serving.
Avocado To Go
Avocados act as a nutrient booster that help enable your body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients—such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein—in foods that are eaten with the fruit. Power your smoothie with this super fruit that is also packed with healthy fats.
- ¼ avocado
- 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- ½ cup frozen mango pieces
- 1/3 cup plain non-fat yogurt
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup ice cubes
Blend all ingredients on high for one minute. This recipe makes two, 1 ½ -cup servings with 100 calories and 2 grams of fiber per serving.
Recovery Done Right Smoothie
An optimal four-to-one ratio of carbohydrate-to-protein in a recovery snack helps promote glycogen repletion and repairs muscle. Rather than purchasing fancy recovery bars or drinks, make your own recovery smoothie that mimics the four-to-one ratio.
- 1 cup 1% milk
- ¼ cup instant pudding
- ¼ cup powdered milk
- 4-5 ice cubes
- 1 cup frozen fruit chunks
Blend all ingredients on high for one minute. This recipe makes one, 2-cup servings with 300 calories, 60 grams of carbohydrates and 15 grams of protein.
There’s lots of ways to enjoy your smoothie. Grab one for a breakfast on the go, fuel your between meal snacks or whip up something for a pre- or post-workout drink. Stay away from added sugars, as fruit is a natural sweetener. Adding chia or flax seeds can help you stay fuller longer. And if you’re a volume person, bump up the ice cubes for more to drink without additional calories.