Despite an unseasonably warm Iowa winter this year, the temperatures are finally reaching well into 70 degrees, with summer right around the corner. Spring sports like soccer, tennis and track have all kicked in to high gear and practices have moved from the indoors to the out. More time spent outside is typically the first inclination of summer time arrival and also means dealing with the seemingly constant urge to “cool off” after practice or just time spent enjoying the outdoors. Many of us will reach for water or sports drinks to quench our need for thirst this time of year, but one drink is sometimes overlooked.
Smoothies are typically great sources of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including Vitamin C, E and Iron and can be customizable to one’s liking by adding a variety of ingredients. Combined with milk or yogurt, these drinks can satisfy both your thirst and hunger after long practices or hours in the sun with necessary protein.
Many Iowa City area restaurants including Mia Za’s, Panera Bread, Capanna Coffee & Gelato, The New Pioneer Co-Op, Orange Julius, T-Spoons, Starbucks and The Java House serve a wide variety of smoothies with a range of prices and flavors. Finding that most cost around $4-$6, many smoothie concoctions can be made in the comfort of your home in 5 minutes or less for more more than half the price you would pay at a restaurant.
Mixed Berry Smoothie
-1 cup of mixed berries (i.e. raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and/or blackberries)
-2 Tbsp. low fat or fat free yogurt (plain and vanilla will do fine, but you can try adding a flavored yogurt that is the same flavor as the fruit you use. Ex: strawberry yogurt for strawberry smoothies)
-1 Tbsp honey
-1 to 2 cups of cold milk (soy, almond, low-fat, 2% or whole)
(optional:add ice for a colder consistency)
Start by adding berries, honey and yogurt in the blender. Follow by adding milk. Start to blend on low speed, adding more milk until blended to your desired consistency.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
-1o oz. fresh strawberries, stems removed
-2 ripe bananas
-3 Tbsp. honey or sugar
-1 cup ice cubes
-3/4 cup milk, yogurt, kefir or coconut water
Wash strawberries and remove bananas from peels. In a blender, puree all ingredients until smooth. For added flavor, use a few drops of vanilla or almond extract.