There comes a day each summer—sometimes in July, sometimes August—when it’s too hot to eat. A fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk day, except that a fried egg — oil splattering your range; a hot, runny yolk in your mouth - is literally the last thing you want to eat.
Enter smoothies to the rescue, made with the ripest summer fruits and herbs—and even a few veggies. They’re an easy way to get a ton of antioxidant-rich produce into your system, and they’re endlessly modifiable to your tastes. That means choosing the milk you want (nut, oat, cow, coconut, goat, soy, whatever!), adding extra protein for staying power (tofu, nut butter, protein powder), or swapping out mango for pineapple because that’s just how you roll—or shall we say, blend.
For this reason, we’re not much for smoothie recipes per se so much as smoothie improvisation. Sometimes the key to smoothie success is just a matter of having a few offbeat flavor ideas at your fingertips. We know you’ve got strawberry-banana on autopilot, and you’ve likely got a handle on banana-blueberry, too. When the old reliables are beginning to taste a little, well, stale, consider these ideas your smoothie reboot.
And fruit doesn’t have a monopoly on the smoothie front either. Who’s to say a savory smoothie isn’t what you want for lunch or an afternoon snack? We gotcha.
If you like your smoothie to do double duty with a caffeinated pick-me-up, this cold brew and cacao is a dream for busy mornings (and chocolate lovers). This would also make a great recovery drink after an especially heated vinyasa class.
To some, it may sound strange; to others, cauliflower in your smoothie has long been a thing. We like throwing some frozen riced cauliflower in the blender for the same reason we toss in some spinach leaves—extra vegetable nutrition that flies under the flavor radar. If you have leftover cooked cauliflower, it will add extra creaminess to your smoothie without stepping on blueberries’ toes and minus all the sugar of banana.
A super antioxidant (and a great source of vitamin B6), turmeric adds an earthy flavor to smoothies and turns them the sunniest color. (Just be careful with your clothes; turmeric stains.) Grate a little fresh turmeric into your smoothie or dried turmeric from your spice cabinet. To find your turmeric sweet spot, start small with a half-teaspoon of dried, a half-inch knob of fresh.
Woefully unsung, melon is magic in a smoothie. Cool and creamy, with the unexpected herbal hit, this flavor combo screams summer. Mix this one up when cantaloupe is at its most achingly sweet. Like, now!
Not all smoothies need to include fruit. This one takes a savory profile for the days you’re feeling more salty than sweet. Kick up the spice with a bit of jalapeno pepper thrown in the mix.
option 1: tahini + avocado + spinach + honey + milk of your choice
option 2: tahini + frozen banana + honey + milk of your choice + cinnamon
Beloved almond butter, step aside. Reliable peanut butter, you too. Tahini is at home with hummus and falafel, of course, but the sesame seed puree adds all the same richness to smoothies as the usual nut butter lineup while also being delightfully unexpected. Two options here: a green machine or a super creamy blond approach.
Because there’s no better shortcut to feeling like a glowy health goddess than a green smoothie. Hot tip: blend your greens with liquid first to make sure they are obliterated. Then add the frozen fruits to get everything creamy.
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