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DIY time! 5 refreshing homemade smoothie recipes
These unique and healthy smoothie ideas bypass the bland and will keep your blender busy this summer.
Nothing is as refreshing in the hot summer months as a cool and icy fruit smoothie. These blended beverages can be good for health, too: perfect for anyone looking to drop a few extra pounds packed on over the winter. Smoothies are a great addition to a diet plan as they consist mostly of delicious and healthy fruits and vegetables. Another perk of smoothies is their versatility. Substitute a hearty smoothie for a meal or sip on one for a snack. They are also easy to customize to your own tastes: experiment with different fruits, dairy, liquids and other additions. Your basic fruit smoothie is a no-brainer but you can do better than that. These smoothies are unique, healthy, and made to inspire. Get ready to smoothie up this summer!
1. Green Party
Green juices are all the rage for the super health-conscious, and so are green smoothies! Whereas green juices usually require an expensive juicer to make, green smoothies (and smoothies in general) just require a blender. What differentiates these smoothies from the rest are ingredients. Like the juices, green smoothies include dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale and chard, in addition to fruits. Since smoothies are perfect for catering to specialty diets, you can also decide to leave out dairy. To make the perfect green smoothie, start with a liquid. This will ensure the smoothie does not get too thick and can still be blended, the cardinal rule of smoothie making. Lots of smoothies use milk or yogurt, but there are plenty of dairy-free options too, like fruit juice, nut milk, soymilk, or coconut water. After the liquid is in, add a base fruit to provide a thick, creamy consistency. Fruits like bananas, mangos or even avocados are good bases. Then, add a few more flavorful fruits to spice up the smoothie and help compliment the vegetable taste so it is not too overwhelming. Lastly, add your leafy greens and blend away!
2. Savor Your Smoothie
Savory smoothies are a surprising way to put a totally different spin on the smoothie. These can be especially nice as a snack if you get a savory craving instead of a sweet one, and can even be used as a dip or an appetizer. A savory smoothie is a good substitute for a meal, because it tastes like one. Blend together milk (soy or regular), celery, a tomato, fennel, curry powder, turmeric and cumin for a delicious savory smoothie that works as a meal, snack or even a sauce to accompany a dish. The key for savory smoothies, since they tend to have less water-filled fruits than conventional smoothies, is to make sure there are enough liquids and creamy or soft ingredients.
3. Peanut Butter?!
You heard it right. Peanut butter smoothies do exist! Peanut butter contains healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals so it’s healthier than some might think. Plus, lots of people are crazy about it. There are actually quite a few different smoothie recipes that taste great with peanut butter. Try it combined with bananas and chocolate (you can use chocolate powder, chocolate protein powder or raw cacao for added antioxidants). Peanut butter tastes great and satisfies a sweet and a savory tooth. Try a twist on peanut butter and jelly by blending peanut butter with strawberries or raspberries. Milk, oatmeal and fruit yogurts are other popular ingredients to try out in your peanut butter smoothies. Like bananas, which are a frequent and tasty accompaniment, peanut butter can also add a smooth, creamy texture to your smoothie.
4. Perky Smoothies
Coffee is another surprising but tasty smoothie additive that can be used in a number of ways. Instead of a sugary coffee drink to wake you up in the morning or keep you going in the afternoon, try a smoothie with nutrients that will fill you up and perk you up too. Blend frozen bananas, cold espresso, milk, cocoa powder and ground flax for a cool take on coffee that won’t leave you hungry for more. Or, for a more indulgent smoothie, espresso, milk, vanilla ice cream, orange juice, cocoa powder and a touch of sugar can be combined for anyone who likes fruit and chocolate together. Of course if you’re watching your diet, skip the ice cream and add something of comparable consistency, like yogurt. A simple online search will bring up lots of coffee smoothies to try, from the classic to the exotic.
5. Boost It Up!
Once you’ve established your repertoire of tried and true smoothie recipes, why not up the ante with some healthy additions? Since everything is blended together, it’s easy to sneak in super-powered healthy goodies. Protein powder, chia or flax seeds, Greek yogurt, kelp, and almost any other healthy food you want to add into your diet can easily be disappeared into a smoothie. Do your research and figure out what you want to increase in your diet, or what you are lacking, and head to a local health store. Here, you’re likely to find bins with all kinds of raw ingredients that represent an array of vitamins and minerals to choose for your next smoothie.
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