A Happy, Healthy Family


The Perfect Summer Smoothie

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When I was in college and in my early 20s, I absolutely loved smoothies, but I didn't realize just how terrible store-bought ones could be--they're often loaded with sugar, sometimes several days' worth! I started making my own several years ago but was still making some mistakes with ingredients, like adding honey, yogurt, or juice, all of which increase the sugar content significantly.

A few weeks ago, though, I came up with a smoothie that is absolutely perfect for summer, and it's dairy-free and has no added sugar.

The base is coconut water. Have you tried it? I love plain water, and it's really all I drink, so I don't know much about flavored waters or waters with added vitamins, but the idea of using coconut water as an ingredient intrigued me.

Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside young coconuts; eventually, coconut water turns into the coconut "meat" in a mature coconut. Although coconut water does have a little naturally-occurring sugar, it is also loaded with potassium, which is important for normal digestive and muscular function, and natural electrolytes.

You do have to be careful with your brand, though, as some labels contain extra ingredients. You want one that has coconut water as the only ingredient. Zico is a brand I've found that is as basic as it gets.

So the base is coconut water, and then you add a banana, frozen peaches (or mangoes or papayas--whatever you want) and frozen pineapple. That's it! It is so refreshing.

If you want to use all fresh fruit, that's fine, but your smoothie will be thinner than if you use frozen. You could always add a few ice cubes or freeze your fresh fruits ahead of time. I like a thick smoothie--just thin enough to drink with a straw--and the frozen fruit does the trick.

Try this one out and share with your kids. If they're hesitant about trying new fruits, smoothies are often a way to get them to eat something new!

print recipe
The Perfect Summer Smoothie
This smoothie combines classic summer fruits without the added dairy or sugar of store-bought drinks.
  • 1 c coconut water
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 c frozen peaches
  • 1 c frozen pineapple
1. Place all ingredients into blender and puree.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings


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