The month of June marks the start of the summer season and with a new season comes a new sense of wellness. With a brand new season and a new sense of overall vitality and well-being, comes a chance to add new delicious and nutritious foods to our daily diets and weekly meals. Not to mention, June 21st marks National Smoothie Day. What better way to celebrate summer and stay cool than with this summertime staple - homemade smoothies!
Although the summertime sunshine can be enjoyable, heat indexes, higher temperatures and increasing humidity levels can leave us searching for ways to beat the heat during the dog days of summer. One of the best ways to stay cool is by staying well hydrated, but you can also beat the heat through food. Enter - summertime smoothies. Smoothies are super simple to make and even more delicious to enjoy. Smoothies are great for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks.
We tend to associate smoothies with being healthy, but a healthy smoothie is not always a guarantee. Like most foods, healthy isn’t only defined by the meal itself, but more importantly, the ingredients. Some store bought smoothies are loaded with added sugar and are void of any real substantial nutrition. Not to mention, they can be quite expensive! An easy way to avoid paying for an overpriced store bought smoothie, that may or may not provide adequate nutrition, is by making a homemade smoothie instead.
One of the best things about homemade smoothies is we can make them entirely on our own with whatever ingredients we have available in the kitchen. Plus, smoothies are a culinary creation that can easily support almost any diet, lifestyle and taste preferences. It doesn’t matter if it’s dairy-free, gluten-free, Kosher, low-glycemic, Paleo, soy-free, Vegan or anything in between, smoothies are incredibly versatile and can be catered to fit individual tastes no matter how unique.
Tips for Making Smoothies:
#1 Add Alkaline Foods
According to Ayurveda practices, there are certain foods that should be enjoyed during each season. In Ayurvedic tradition, it’s not a foods’ temperature that makes it cool, but rather its innate qualities. Each food is classified according to its energy and effects on the body.
For instance, during the fall we should focus on eating grounding foods to center our energy as the seasons change from the busy summer months to the slower pace of fall, but in summertime, we should shift our focus to more alkaline foods.
Alkaline foods contain a yin energy and can potentially create a more cooling effect on the body. Some alkaline foods include fresh blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries. Enjoy them on their own or add them to your summertime smoothie.
#2 Include Electrolytes
During the dog days of summer, our body naturally stays cool by sweating, but when we sweat, we lose electrolytes, so it’s important to replenish with beverages and foods that are naturally high in electrolytes. Some alkaline options that also include electrolytes are bananas, coconut water, kale, lime and spinach. There are plenty of delicious ways to incorporate these foods into summertime recipes, including homemade smoothies. Add a splash of coconut water to your smoothie, include a handful of fresh spinach leaves, top with some banana slices and finish it with a fresh squeeze of your favorite citrus fruit. Yum!
#3 Incorporate Water-Based Foods
During the hot summer months, it may seem logical to cool down with cold foods like ice cream or popsicles, but as we mentioned above, according to Ayurveda tradition, it’s not a foods’ temperature that makes it cooling, but rather its natural qualities and their effect on the body.
Instead of strictly focusing on foods that are cold in temperature, shift your palette to water-based foods that can help cool and hydrate. The best part, many of these foods pair perfectly with summertime smoothies and make great ingredients. Some water-based foods to include in a summertime smoothie include:
- Dark leafy greens
#4 Select Mindful Toppings
One of the best parts about making a homemade summertime smoothie is choosing the toppings. Some of our favorite additions to sprinkle on a smoothie include:
- Cacao nibs
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Fresh fruit
- Goji berries
- Hemp hearts
- It’s NOLA
- Nuts or nut butter
- Pumpkin seeds
- Shredded, unsweetened coconut
Use additional toppings mindfully as some of these toppings, like coconut and various nuts and seeds, include more calories.
If you’re making a homemade summertime smoothie and need some recipe inspiration, check out @MBVeganShare or join our CEO live @itsnolasnack every other Sunday when she shares some delicious and nutritious Vegan recipes. Don’t worry, even if you aren’t Vegan, you will enjoy these dishes.
Don’t let the summer heat and humidity keep you indoors this year. Instead, stay cool with a delicious and nutritious homemade summertime smoothie and stay cool all summer long. Remember, we want you healthy and happy no matter what the season!
Bonus Info: Smoothie your way to good looking skin. Check out these recipes below.
There are a number of really cool people sharing ideas about skin care using smoothies. Tasefulventure's Blueberry Collagen Smoothie; Sally's Baking Addiction's Glowing Skin Smoothie; Sarah Koszyk's Anti-Aging Smoothies and Cheene Today's Mango Kale Smoothie with Collagen to name a few.
Tag us @itsnolasnack so we can see your homemade summertime smoothies.