Summer is in full swing, which means it’s time to break out the blender and whip up some ice-cold smoothies!
If you’re looking to keep cool and refreshed this summer, the Florida Medical Clinic team has put together a few of our favorite healthy smoothie recipes that are great for the whole family. Plus, we’ve included some tips for creating your own recipes at home!
Health Benefits of Smoothies
According to the Centers for Disease Control, only one in 10 Americans eat enough vegetables per day. Most adults need between two and three cups of vegetables and up to two cups of fruit per day.
When you’re busy trying to juggle work and family, it can be hard to find the time to prepare healthy meals. But there’s a reason health experts recommend those daily amounts—eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to lower your risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.
If you’re struggling to eat well, smoothies can be an easy and delicious way to get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Smoothies from chain stores often come with added sugars, which are a major source of calories and may have other negative health effects. By making your own smoothies, you have better control over the amount of sugar and other ingredients you consume.
Tips for Making Your Own Healthy Smoothie Recipes
Making your own healthy smoothies at home is easier than you think. Experimenting with different ingredients and flavors may lead you to a delicious discovery—and is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen by letting them choose their own smoothie ingredients.
- Use frozen fruit and vegetables. Frozen ingredients are key to having a thick and creamy smoothie. If you’re trying to use up fruit that’s starting to develop soft spots or greens that are starting to wilt, just add in a handful of ice cubes before blending.
- Skip the extra sugar. Most fruit smoothies will be sweet enough on their own because of the natural sugars in fruit. If you’re making a green smoothie that needs a little extra sweetness, consider adding a natural sweetener like honey, Medjool dates, or pure maple syrup. But don’t go overboard—try to use as little as possible.
- Include fiber and healthy fats. Fiber and fats keep you feeling fuller for longer, which then helps cut down on snacking urges later on. Bananas, whole grain rolled oats, olive oil, spinach, and nut butters are all great sources of healthy fiber and fat.
- Juice your own fruits or buy 100% fruit juice. Avoid buying juices that contain added sugar and preservatives. Better yet, juice your own fruits at home!
- Use a blender, not a food processor. Food processors aren’t usually equipped to blend a lot of liquid ingredients and can make a big mess. Stick to using a blender for these tasty treats.
A nutritious smoothie is only one way to incorporate healthy foods into your diet. If you’re interested in learning about more tasty ways to eat healthier, schedule an appointment with our Nutrition & Diabetes Education specialist.
Recipe #1: Blueberry Pie Smoothie
Your favorite blueberry pie recipe—in smoothie form! Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and relatively low-calorie, making them a perfect choice for those trying to eat a healthier diet. This recipe is perfect for summer days that are just too hot for pie baking. For a twist of tartness, add in a handful of frozen blackberries.
- 2 cups wild frozen blueberries (plus a few extra for garnish)
- 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- ⅓ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or cashew milk
- 2-3 pitted Medjool dates (or 2 tsp honey)
- 2 tsp fresh lemon or lime juice
- Remove pits from Medjool dates if not purchased pre-pitted.
- Pack all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a glass, top with a few more blueberries, and enjoy!
Recipe #2: Garden Smoothie
Those with a sweet tooth may shy away from nutritious green smoothies, but don’t worry—this garden smoothie recipe uses plenty of naturally sweet ingredients to balance out the greens. Plus, fiber-packed spinach and banana will help keep you fueled throughout the day.
- 2 (tightly packed) cups spinach or Tuscan kale
- ½ carrot
- 1 banana
- ⅓ cup low-fat plain yogurt
- 1 cup unsweetened soy, almond, or cashew milk
- 2 tsp honey
- Rinse spinach or kale thoroughly. Remove stems from kale. Slice banana and carrot.
- Pack all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Recipe #3: Florida Sunset Smoothie
This fruity smoothie is as pretty as it is delicious. If you’re trying to cut back on added sugars or artificial sweeteners, this recipe is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth with natural ingredients. You can also easily substitute any of the fruits for peaches, papaya, kiwis, or apricots.
- ½ cup frozen mango chunks
- 1 banana
- ½ cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- ½ cup 100% orange juice (best if you can squeeze oranges yourself)
- 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
- Mint leaves for garnish (optional)
- Slice banana. If using mint leaves, pluck from the stem and set aside.
- Pack all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a glass, garnish with mint leaves, and enjoy!
Recipe #4: Piña Colada Smoothie
Nothing says summer like a piña colada! This tropical treat is non-alcoholic for the entire family to enjoy. If you prefer less tartness, skip the lime juice and add an extra few teaspoons of coconut milk instead.
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 banana
- ⅓ cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp lime juice
- Lime wedges for garnish (optional)
- Desiccated coconut for garnish (optional)
- Slice banana. Dice pineapple into chunks if not purchased pre-cut.
- Pack all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a glass, wedge a lime onto the rim, sprinkle with coconut, and enjoy!
Have an idea for a summer smoothie recipe? Share it with us! Post your smoothie pics on Instagram and tag the official @FLMedClinic account.