With summer temperatures on the rise, it’s time to clear a place on the kitchen counter for your trusty blender—smoothie season is officially upon us! Whether you’re drinking a full portion as an easy on-the-go meal or enjoying a half-portion as a healthy snack, it’s a great way to get more fruits (and even veggies) into your diet. Here are four healthy drink recipes that are sure to make your summer a little sweeter without derailing your weight loss progress.
Cherry-Raspberry Vanilla Smoothie
This sweet, satisfying fruit-dairy blend has just 99 calories, making it ideal for an afternoon pick-me-up. What’s more, cherries are one of the produce aisle’s unsung heroes: they’re rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate and fiber. Combine ½ cup nonfat milk, ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup each of unsweetened frozen cherries, unsweetened frozen raspberries and low-fat vanilla yogurt. Blend until smooth, and enjoy immediately! Makes 4 servings.
Watermelon Mojito Mocktail
This is a great option if you’d like a lower-calorie option to sip at your next barbecue or cocktail party. Bonus: watermelon is not only loaded with the healthy hydration of good old water, it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory that contains more of the antioxidant lycopene than fresh tomatoes! Cut ¼ of a regular-sized watermelon (or half of a mini-watermelon) into 1-inch chunks, and blend with a handful of mint leaves, the juice of one lime, and a cup of ice. Makes 2 ultra-refreshing, 175-calorie servings.
Green Apple Pie Smoothie
If you struggle with getting enough leafy greens in your diet, this smoothie is for you! Rich in flavonoids and high in fiber, apples can help regulate blood sugar to avoid the peaks and valleys that can send you running for unhealthy snacks. Spinach is a true superfood, containing more than 20 essential nutrients; most people find that spinach and spices cut the natural sweetness of the apples. Start with two peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith apples. Add 2 cups water, 1 cup chopped spinach and 1 cup ice. Add ½ teaspoon cinnamon a pinch of nutmeg, and blend until smooth. Makes about 2 servings (only 65 calories each)!
At a skinny 126 calories, this ultra-flavorful treat will cool you down on even the hottest of days. In a blender, combine ½ cup non-fat milk, 1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate, ½ sliced banana, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice and ¼ teaspoon coconut extract. Blend on high until mixed, then add ½ cup non-fat sugar-free vanilla yogurt (partially frozen) and ¾ cup frozen pineapple chunks. If your smoothie is too thin, simply toss in a few extra ice cubes at the end, and blend until smooth. Makes 2 servings.