With the advent of summer, we think of myriad ways to beat the heat and take a chill pill. The intolerable heat not withstanding, we still enjoy the summer to the fullest, thanks to frozen desserts, which cater to our incorrigible sweet tooth. Ask anyone what they look forward to most during summer, and most of them will go for food in general and frozen delights in particular. But they are also laden with a whole lot of sugar, which we all know does immense harm to our bodies. Now if we substitute all those unhealthy drinks with all natural drinks and juices, which are healthy and quite high on the taste radar as well, then hopefully we will satiate our sweet tooth and also nourish our body with the right nutrients.
Health and Taste – Do They go Together?
Most of us nurture the thought that healthy equates to yucky food, and unhealthy equates to yummy food. But does this thought of ours hold any truth? Health is regarded the most important thing in our lives and a key to happiness as well. So little sacrifices, giving up little things can do a lot of good for our health. But are we willing to give our health that chance?
Juice it Up This Summer!
Why Should you Have Juices and Smoothies
- Stay hydrated – Not really a substitute, but juices can hydrate you in the sweltering summer heat.
- Quick-fix meal plan – No elaborate planning needed, just blend and you have your ready meal.
- A daily fix of vitamins and minerals – It’s always not possible to have five to six helpings of vegetables daily, so the next best option, put it in a blender and whizz away!
- Good replacement for fizzy drinks – These juices and smoothies are a healthier alternative to sugar-laden fizzy drinks.
- Kids love it – Kids sometimes are averse to eating healthy vegetables like kale and broccoli, so getting them a juice containing all these ingredients can give them the nutrients, and also boost their energy, during the long summer months.
- Light and refreshing – Sometimes in the summer months, it’s difficult to have heavy meals. In substitute for all these meals, one can chug away at a glass of healthy juice drink.
Recipes for Juices and Smoothies
- 1 1/2 cups pink grapefruit juice
- 3/4 cup wild blueberries
- 1/2 cup organic strawberries
- 1/2 cup ice
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 kiwi, peeled (optional)
- 1 1/2 frozen bananas
- 1 fresh banana
- 1 cup soy, almond milk or oat milk
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 heaping Tbsp. almond butter
- optional: 1/4 cup ice or frozen watermelon cubes
- optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Add all ingredients into a superfast blender and blend away.
Cocoa Banana Shake A frozen banana can be the creamiest of desserts. This one is a delectable wonder. Gulp it down for your own good!
- 2 Tbsp. vegan cocoa mix
- 2 cups vanilla soy/hemp/coconut ice cream
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup vanilla soy milk
- 1/4 cup ice cubes
- 1 frozen banana (optional)
- Blend until it’s super smooth.
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ginger powder
- 5 dates, chopped
- drizzle: 2 tsp. date syrup
- garnish: 1 date, thinly sliced
- Blend until smooth. Pour and serve.
Mixed Fruit Punch Fruits are the healthiest resources of sugar and this juice can give you a healthy dose of antioxidants.
- 2 cups diced stone fruit, (apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines)
- 2 cups apricot juice
- 2 cups sparkling cider
- 1 cup seltzer
- Combine the fruits, cider, and seltzer and enjoy the delicious fruit punch!
Refreshing Orange Juice Increase your vitamin C intake with this lovely juice filled with the goodness of oranges, carrots, grapefruits, and beets.
- 2 Oranges
- 4 Carrots
- 1 Grapefruit
- 1 Small Yellow Beet
- Combine all, and blend well. Ice the sparkling fluid and guzzle away.
- 4 Carrots
- 1 Apple
- 1 Mango
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Zucchini
- 1/4 Fennel
- Blend for a super sweet and nutritious drink.
Melon Punch If you are not too fond of broccoli, add it to your juices and get the nutrients from your glass of juice!
- 1 cup watermelon
- 1 apple
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 1/2 large beet
- 3 carrots
- 4 pieces of broccoli
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/4 fennel bulb
Blend all the ingredients till they are smoothly blended.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1 head of chard
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 2 green apples, chopped, with cores removed
- 1-inch ginger, peeled
- 1 handful parsley
Tomato Juice Rev up your day with this lycopene-enriched drink. The zest of ginger adds the right punch to this effervescent drink.
- Red Ripe Tomatoes – 4 chopped
- Ginger – a small piece
- Sugar – 2 to 3 tbsp
- Salt – a pinch
- Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp.
- Lemon Juice – 1 to 2 tbsp
- Water as needed
- Ice cubes as needed
- Take all the ingredients except ice cubes in a blender, puree till smooth.
- Sieve this mix, add more water if needed.
- Put a few ice cubes in a cup, pour in juice and serve immediately.
Grape juice A black grape juice makes for a cool drink in sultry afternoons. Also, if you are not on great terms with your weighing machine, skip the sugar, use honey, or blackstrap molasses, for your sugar fill.
- Seedless Black Grapes-1 cup
- Sugar-2 tbsp
- Lemon juice-1 tbsp
- Ice cubes
- In a blender, put grapes, sugar, lemon juice, ice cubes and blend it until smooth.
- Use a large holed sieve to strain the juice and use a spoon to press the pulp and extract as much juice as possible.
- Pour into a glass and serve chilled.
Strawberry Smoothie Wake up and smell the coffee! Isn’t that what you do everyday? Wake up and get your caffeine fix? Well, that’s what you do most mornings and some even skip breakfast as they don’t have time to sit down over a heavy breakfast. No sweat, because you can smoothie your way to health, by churning up this awesome recipe!
- 1 quart (4 cups) ripe strawberries
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 thin orange slices (optional)
- Hull all but 4 of the strawberries. Add the hulled strawberries to a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients as yogurt, orange juice, and sugar. Keep processing on the highest speed until well-blended puree forms. You can sweeten according to your taste.
- Pour into tall glasses. Slit the 4 whole strawberries and the orange slices halfway through the centers. Fix strawberry and orange slices at the rim of the glass.
Avocado Mango Smoothie What is it about avocado that is making everyone go gaga over the fruit? Alpha-linolenic acid and oleic acids are the two important fats required by the body, and avocado is full of that! It’s also full of vitamins and minerals, which make it a very nutritious fruit. Add to that the richness of mango, and you get a must-have drink for summer.
- 1 cup chopped ripe mango
- 1/4 Haas avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped
- 1/2 cup mango sorbet
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/4 cup crushed ice
- 2 mango slices, 1/2-inch thick
- 1 lime slice
- In a blender, combine the chopped mango, avocado, sorbet, milk, honey, lime juice, and ice. Blend on high until smooth.
- Pour into a tall glass. Slit the sliced mango and the sliced lime halfway through to the centers. Fix them to the rim of the glass before serving.
Breakfast Smoothie If you are always racing against time and losing on valuable nutrients from food, this smoothie on the go can help you fix your nutrient needs pretty well.
- ¾ cup (185 ml) orange juice
- ½ cup sliced banana
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ice cubes
- Mint sprig
- In a blender, combine orange juice, banana, sugar, and almond extract. Add ice cubes and blend until thick and smooth. Garnish with mint sprig.
Beet and Yogurt Smoothie Can you ever have enough of yogurt in summers? There’s something about this creamy white food that cools us, just at the sight of it. And it’s such a healthy thing to add to your summer smoothies. Full of probiotics and calcium, you can find new and novel ways of adding yogurt to your diet.
- 150g cooked beetroots, coarsely chopped
- 60g fresh or frozen raspberries
- 250ml cranberry juice, chilled
- 225g low-fat plain yogurt
- Chilled raspberries, to garnish (optional)
- In a food processor or blender, purée beetroot, raspberries, and cranberry juice until smooth.
- Pour purée through a strainer into a large jug. Whisk in most of the yogurt.
- Pour into four glasses and top with remaining yogurt. Garnish with extra raspberries, if you like. Serve immediately.
Cucumber Juice Cucumber is full of water and has very few calories. So, as it is cucumber must be added to your summer diet to cool your body and also to stock on the all-important vitamins and minerals. The addition of kale and bell peppers can make it your go-to drink this summer.
- 1 cucumber
- 3 to 5 celery stalks, bottoms removed
- 2 to 3 kale leaves
- 1 yellow bell pepper (yellow capsicum)
- Handful of basil (3 to 4 leaves)
- ½ lemon, peeled (optional)
Wash the cucumber, celery, kale, bell pepper, and basil. Remove the top and seeds from the bell pepper and cut into pieces that will fit through your juicer. Run all ingredients through your juicer, and enjoy its rich goodness!