Weekend Menu Planning: Keep Cool with Smoothies

BlogHer Original Post

Many spots in the northern hemisphere have been experiencing record-high temperatures for the last few weeks, even climbing above 100F in places like New York City. Even if it's not quite that hot where you live, it's hard to get enthusiastic about cooking on the hottest days of the summer. Fruit or vegetable smoothies can fill in as a meal when it's too hot to cook, and if they're made with ice, smoothies can help you cool off as well.

What's a smoothie? Wikipedia defines smoothies as "a blended, chilled, and sometimes sweetened beverage made from fresh fruit or vegetables." The definition goes on to say that smoothies can contain chocolate, crushed ice, frozen fruit, honey, or frozen yogurt, and they sometimes feature healthful add-ins such as soy milk, whey powder, green tea, herbal supplements, or nutritional supplements. Smoothies are popular for breakfast, but they can taste good any time of day, especially in the summer.

Of course, you can make up your own smoothie recipes easily enough just by adding some ingredients to your blender and giving it a whirl. But to get you started with some ideas, here are a few smoothie combinations from food bloggers that can help you beat the heat.

Cate at Sweetnicks has been focused on clean eating, and her family's favorite Pineapple Orange Smoothie has frozen banana and frozen pineapple as well as two kinds of juice.

At Sarah's Cucina Bella, Sarah has been having fun cooking with her kids, and when they make smoothies, Sarah lets the kids choose their own flavors. For herself, Sarah made a Banana Pineapple Smoothie, with coconut water adding a special twist.

There's no doubt that banana is a favorite smoothie ingredient, but I especially love the sound of Berry Banana Smoothies from Simply Recipes. This post also has a lot of good ideas in the comments for more smoothie combinations from Simply Recipes' readers.

When she wanted a vegan breakfast that her daughter would eat, Susan at Fat Free Vegan Kitchen came up with a Cherry Soy Yogurt Smoothie recipe that looks like a winner. Susan used frozen cherries, but when fresh summer cherries are available, they'd be great in this.

You may not think of cranberries as a smoothie ingredient, but the Cranberry, Banana, and Honey Smoothie from Food Blogga looks like it would be great any time of year. You can make this with frozen cranberries if they aren't in season.

Finally, at A Veggie Venture, Alanna admits that she didn't expect to like Green Smoothies when she tried them, but is surprised to find that more often than not, she likes the combinations that include one or two leaves of swiss chard.

Ten More Smoothies to Keep You Cool

Blueberry Yogurt Smoothie ~ from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Blueberry Acai Smoothie ~ from Healthy Happy Life

Watermelon Smoothie ~ from Home Cooking Rocks

Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie (and Tips for Nutritious Smoothies) ~ from Mostly Eating

Raspberry-Banana-Pineapple-Coconut Smoothie ~ from Gluten Free Easily

Cherry Fruit Smoothie ~ from Amanda's Cookin'

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie ~ from Ginger Lemon Girl

Summer Breakfast Smoothie ~ from Just Hungry

Raspberry, Lime, and Mint Smoothie ~ from The Perfect Pantry

How to Make a Green Smoothie ~ from Ultimate Money Blog

Do you like making smoothies? If you've got good ideas for smoothie combinations, we'd love to see your recipe or a recipe link in the comments.

(Every week on BlogHer, we spotlight five recipes with a common theme for a feature called Weekend Menu Planning, hoping one of them might make it onto the menu at your house. You can find previous recipes shared by checking the Weekend Menu Planning Archives or clicking the tag Weekend Menu Planning.)

Kalyn Denny also blogs at Kalyn's Kitchen where she's focused on creating low-glycemic recipes using fresh ingredients. When it's hot outside, Kalyn loves to make Mango Lassi.

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