Well, Yogis, it’s officially summer!! ‘Tis the season for frosty, fruity beverages in Instagram-ready glassware. Nothing like liquefying the fruits and veggies you have to force yourself to eat in their natural form the rest of the year to remind you how much you love sunshine!
Don’t get me wrong; I love smoothies. I’m as down with antioxidants as the next person. Who doesn’t love fiber and vitamins and stuff? But, and maybe this is the New Orleanian in me, I can’t help but look as these fruity beverages and think that they are one critical ingredient away from a breezy stroll down Royal Street. I bought a Vitamix when I realized that, as a yoga teacher, I was contractually obligated to own one. But the first thing I made in it was a pitcher of margaritas.
Don’t drink? Don’t worry. Whether you prefer to get your buzz from Vitamin C or Vitamin V(odka), any fruit-based beverage can be kicked up a notch. Check out my guide for transforming your smoothies into a powerhouse of either nutrition or hedonism!
Start with the basics: your fruit base will determine your flavor profile. To make it healthy, we’ll add greens. If we’re boozing it up, we’ll match the alcohol type to the fruit vibe.
All healthy smoothies should include a dose of muscle-building protein and healthy fats to help slow their absorption and make them “last” longer in your belly. Healthy fat sources include avocados, chia seeds, and flax meal. For protein, check out protein powders made from peas (a vegan source) or whey (which will give your smoothier a creamier, milk-shaky texture.) Nut butters can do double-duty for healthy fat and protein. (Pro tip for drinkers: a little fat in your daiquiri will help you metabolize it slower, so the alcohol doesn’t hit you quite as hard.)
Your base is Berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
Make it healthy Berries are flavorful enough to stand up to a bolder leafy like kale or beet greens. You can add a nut butter for a PB&J effect, or stick with chia seeds to keep the flavor lighter.
Make it boozy While you can never go wrong with vodka, and fresh, frosty, berry blended with a lovely rosé is just begging to be sipped on a patio somewhere.
Your base is Citrus (oranges, blood orange, tangerines, mandarins, grapefruits)
Make it healthy A dark leafy can weigh down the bright, bracing flavors of citrus fruits. Stick with a lighter green like Romaine or leaf lettuce. A whey-based protein powder will offer an Orange Julius effect.
Make it boozy You have everything you need for a margarita (or in the case of grapefruit, a Paloma.) All you’re missing is the tequila and the salt rim! Skip the sugary, pointless triple sec and let the fresh fruits play the starring role.
Your base is Tropical Fruits (mango, papaya, passion fruit)
Make it healthy The natural, subtle sweetness of spinach will allow your tropical fruits to shine. Go with a pea-based protein to keep the flavor of the tropics front and center.
Make it boozy Add a shot of dark rum and a paper umbrella, and sail right off into the sunset.
Your base is Summer fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums)
Make it healthy Again, I’d suggest sticking with a lighter green—butter lettuce, romaine, or red leaf would be lovely. Flax meal would add a great textural component and plenty of omegas.
Make it boozy Top this baby with a splash of sparkling wine or prosecco, and you’ve just made the world’s freshest Bellini. Not feeling the booze, but still want to sparkle? Try club soda or ginger ale. Now go join your friends on the yacht!
Your base is Strawberry Banana
Make it healthy This one is a classic. Banana has a strong flavor that can stand up to most greens, so now’s a great time to use up your earthier chard or collards.
Make it boozy The banana says “rum,” the strawberries say “I’m flexible.” Now’s a good chance to experiment with some Cachaça, or whatever else you have hanging out in your liquor cabinet that you don’t know that to do with.
Your base is Apples and Cinnamon
Make it healthy This decidedly autumnal flavor profile is a perfect late-summer treat; perfect for when the sun is starting to set earlier, but it’s still too warm to sip hot cider by the fire. Add spinach and peanut butter to call to mind your favorite after-school snack.
Make it boozy Add a splash of whiskey or bourbon, and sip this guy all the way into October!
What do you think? Did I miss your favorite? If you have a great smoothie or daiquiri recipe, please share it in the comments!
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