The kids are out of school, and summer is almost upon us. What could be more refreshing than cooling down with an ice-cold smoothie, in the heat of a summer day?

The kids are out of school, and summer is almost upon us. What could be more refreshing than cooling down with an ice-cold smoothie, in the heat of a summer day?

A smoothie is a thick, creamy drink reminiscent of a milk shake. Smoothies are blends with real fruit pieces and fruit juices , often made fresh. Make sure the smoothie is made with milk (low-fat or skim to cut calories) or a milk product. Not only will you meet part of your calcium and other nutrient requirements for the day but also quench your thirst.

Smoothies are easy to make with the correct equipment, such as a blender, food processor or an immersion blender. Once you decide what ingredients you want in your smoothie, be creative. Blend milk or yogurt with fruit and ice to make your own delicious fruit drinks. The preparation process is basically the same regardless of what fantastic concoction you create. Put all your ingredients in a blender with a few ice cubes and puree until smooth. Adding one or two ingredients to one cup of milk can give milk a refreshing, new flavor. Try adding:

1⁄2 cup of fresh or frozen pureed berries, such as strawberries, raspberries or blueberries. 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate and 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1⁄4 teaspoon almond, amaretto or maple extract. 1 pureed banana with 1⁄2 teaspoon honey, 1⁄2 cup cranberry juice cocktail and a small scoop of low-fat vanilla ice cream. 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter and 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup.

So make it a habit. These creamy smoothies are perfect for a quick breakfast, a healthy lunch or a refreshing mid-afternoon snack.


Saralee Jamieson is a human development specialist for MU Extension. For more information, contact her at jamiesons@missouri.edu or 417-646-2419.