Cool Off with a Refreshing Summer Treat: Summer Berry Smoothie
Smoothies look great in a margarita glass and are just thick enough to hold that little paper umbrella. Smoothies can also be a meal in themselves. Thick and nutritious, smoothies use the whole fruit, not just the juice, so you get all the benefits of the fiber as well as the vitamins. They’re filling and a great way to cool off in the middle of a hot summer day. They can also stand in for daiquiris, margaritas, piña coladas, or any other blender drink — or skip the yogurt and add the booze, if it’s that kind of party! (But make a pitcher of virgin smoothies for those who choose to abstain.)
Using frozen fruit keeps the smoothie thick and creamy and doesn’t dilute the drink the way a lot of ice would. Buy a bunch of bananas, peel them, and store them in individual plastic bags in the freezer so you can whip up smoothies anytime, or keep frozen strawberries handy. If you don’t have any frozen fruit, use fresh fruit and add two cups of ice to the blender (instead of the specified one cup). Or, use frozen yogurt instead of regular yogurt.
Summer Berry Smoothie
Preparation time: About 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 cup fresh (or frozen) berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries
1 fresh or frozen peeled banana
1 cup vanilla yogurt (nonfat, lowfat, or regular)
1 cup ice
1/2 cup orange juice, lemonade, or milk, plus more for thinning if necessary
Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
Blend on high until smooth. Add more liquid if the smoothie is too thick. Serve immediately.
Per serving: Calories 118 (From Fat 3); Fat 0g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 1mg; Sodium 44mg; Carbohydrate 26g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 4g.
Vary It! Try adding a teaspoon of instant coffee, a dash of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of chocolate or maple syrup, or some crushed peppermint leaves. If daiquiris and margaritas are more your style, eliminate the banana and yogurt, increase the orange juice or lemonade to 1 cup (don’t use milk), and add 1/2 cup (or so) of white rum, tequila, or vodka and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Serve in wine glasses or margarita/daiquiri glasses. Now it’s a party!