Summer is the perfect time to break out your favorite smoothie recipes. There is nothing better than a cold and refreshing smoothie on a hot summer day. And smoothie recipes are a great chance to replace sugar or sweeteners with pure maple syrup. Swapping out sugar for pure maple syrup is super simple and can help make your smoothies even healthier!
When it comes to making a smoothie, don’t overthink it. The best ones are often made from improvising with what you have on hand. Toss in your slightly browned banana, sprinkle in a handful of spinach that’s about to go bad, or use up that half can of coconut milk. Just a little bit of each can go far in a delicious blended drink.
While there’s no right or wrong way to make a smoothie, here are a few tips for making a healthy, well-rounded smoothie.
Making a Summer Smoothie
Choose a liquid base – Choose filtered water, coconut water, or any dairy-free milk (such as oat milk, almond milk, hemp milk, or cashew milk) for an extra creamy smoothie.
Start with fresh or frozen fruits – To keep your smoothie chilled and creamy, it’s best to use frozen fruits. You can use store-bought frozen bags, or chop and freeze fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is also good and easy to use.
Add vegetables for a dose of greens – Fresh leafy greens such as spinach or kale are an easy way to sneak in greens. But you can also add in frozen zucchini or frozen cauliflower to pack in extra nutrients and fiber in these low-sugar smoothies.
Consider adding healthy fats – Healthy fats will help absorb all those fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients from your fruits and vegetables! All you need is a dollop of almond butter, a drizzle of coconut oil, a slice of avocado, or a variety of seeds such as chia seeds or flax seeds.
Be creative – Don’t limit yourself. If you like blueberries and granola, add them in! A smoothie is an excellent way to experiment to find your ultimate summer treat.
Here are a few simple fruit smoothie recipes to get you started on your summer smoothie adventure. Bananas are a summertime staple for making fruit smoothies. To ensure bananas are at peak ripeness when you dig in, the best plan of action is to have some idea of when you’ll use them.
For immediate eating: Choose bright-yellow bananas with little to no green around the ends. Some light brown speckling, a sign of ripeness and sweetness, is okay.
For eating in a couple of days: Choose bright-yellow bananas with more green at the ends. Stored at room temperature, they’ll ripen over a couple of days.
Put all of the ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth. Start with a little bit of ice, taste, and add more if needed.
Serve and then sprinkle a little more almond butter on top of your smoothie.
This recipe makes 2 cups of smoothie, which serves 1.
For a strawberry smoothie, be sure to use sweet berries. While strawberries will continue to redden a bit after you’ve taken them home, it’s still important for them to have a nice, deep red color when you buy a carton. Even if they continue to redden, the newly developed red color doesn’t mean they will get any sweeter than when you bought them.
Once home, be sure to store the strawberries properly. Strawberries are a soft, delicate fruit that should be handled with care. Wash the strawberries just before you use them. Pre-washing and then storing in the refrigerator will cause the strawberries to start to get mushy quicker. Also, don’t let one mushy berry spoil the whole bunch. Just remove the bad berry, wash, and then use.
Maple Strawberry Smoothie
1 quart fresh strawberries (reserve 6–8 berries for garnishing)
For best results, use frozen banana (otherwise add ½ cup of ice).
If fruity tastes just aren’t your thing, then perhaps a nut-centered smoothie will tickle your tongue. Almonds are a nutritious way to bring flavor to your smoothie. Just bear in mind that the healthiest version of almonds is raw and comes with no added ingredients, including salt.
Almond Maple Smoothie
1/4 cup shaved or chopped almonds 30 g
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt 65 g, or dairy-free alternative
Since many smoothie recipes have fruit in them, a lot of added sugar isn’t needed. Using maple syrup is a great way to sweeten your smoothies without overdoing it. Even if the recipe doesn’t call for added sweeteners, a bit of maple syrup can kick your smoothie up a notch.