Healthy Yet Refreshing Summer Drinks
On a hot summer day, you may be tempted to reach for an ice cold soda or a beer. Get the same refreshing taste from much healthier alternatives! Sodas contain a lot of sugar and corn syrup, both of which should be consumed in moderation. Smoothies are a tasty option, and they can also be made nutritiously by choosing nonfat milk and nonfat yogurts as the base. Iced teas and all-natural juices, alternatives to water, also contain nutrients. This summer, try some of these recipes and wow your family with some of these thirst-quenching drinks!
Mixed Berry Smoothie
Use this basic recipe and your choice of fresh or frozen fruits to make delicious fruit smoothies. If you are looking for an icy, cold drink, use frozen fruits to add a nice chill.
¼ cup frozen blueberries
¼ cup frozen raspberries
¼ cup frozen blackberries
½ cup frozen strawberries
¼ cup nonfat milk
2/3 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons honey
Puree all ingredients in blender.
Watermelon Mint Smoothie
Watermelon is a good-for-you food – the fruit is high in cancer-fighting lycopene and vitamins and has zero fat or cholesterol.
1 to 2 cups seedless watermelon chunks
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, or to taste
1 cup lemon yogurt
Puree watermelon, honey, and mint in a blender or food processor quickly. Be careful not to over blend. Pulse in the yogurt and cinnamon just until smooth.
Tired of plain old juice? Try freezing juice into ice cubes. Kids are sure to enjoy trying new juice combos!
1 ½ cups orange juice
2 ¼ cups light cranberry juice
Pour the orange juice into an ice cube tray and freeze until solid (at least two hours). Meanwhile, chill the cranberry juice cocktail in the refrigerator. To serve, pour cranberry juice cocktail into a clear glass, then add about five frozen orange juice cubes.
Iced Green Mango Tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants and is a much healthier alternative to coffee drinks. Enjoy this refreshing blend of mango and green tea.
1 cup strongly brewed green tea (2 tea bags to 1 cup water)
2 cups mango nectar
Mint sprigs for garnish
Mango slivers for garnish
Combine tea and mango nectar in a pitcher. Serve over ice, garnished with mint sprigs and mango slivers.
Summer Fruit Punch
Here’s a twist on the typical tropical fruit punch. Use summer stone fruits as the base for this nutritious drink.
2 cups diced stone fruit (apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines)
2 cups apricot juice
2 cups sparkling cider
1 cup seltzer
Combine diced fruit, apricot juice, sparkling cider, and seltzer. Divide among 4 ice-filled glasses.
Sparkling Mango Splash
Whatever the occasion, your guests will savor this fresh, crisp cocktail. Be sure to buy mangoes that have a pleasant, sweet aroma.
4 ripe mangoes
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 bottle ginger ale, chilled
Lime wedges for garnish
Remove mango flesh from skin and pit. Place flesh in a food processor or blender and puree. Add lime juice and sugar; pulse until blended. Pour about 2 tablespoons mango puree into each of 12 glasses, top with ginger ale, garnish with a lime wedge, and serve.