The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

April 18, 2012

Cool Summer Drinks

Karen Freeman

TARBORO — Before we know it, summer will be here. It felt like summer today. I love it! But, with summer comes very hot weather.  It won’t be long until we are looking for ways to stay cool. These summer drink recipes will help.

The recipes for this week deal with those wonderful drinks that we could have all year long but tend to think of only during the summer. You could build an entire menu and event around the colorful, tasty smoothies and shakes that can be made easily in the kitchen with nothing fancier than a blender.

If you are trying to watch you waistline this summer, as I always am, you can make these drinks healthy and lean as well as tasty.  I am including several quick and easily recipes for frozen or frosty drinks. Most of them could be made into cocktails with the addition of a jigger of white rum or vodka. They can also be made healthy by using low-fat milk or even skim milk instead of whole milk.

Most of these drinks can be made with non-fat milk and a sugar substitute. You can also make them thicker and add nuts for a blizzard-like frosty treat.

I hope you enjoy each of these drinks.

Banana Milk Shake

Combine the following ingredients into a blender:

1 Large Banana

6-10 oz. Non Fat Milk

2-3 Tsp Vanilla Extract

"Jelly/Jam" as a sweetener (try to use low cal jelly/jam if possible)

Blend ingredients and enjoy. Additionally, to add texture to the shake you may optionally add 1-2 PASTEURIZED egg whites (pasteurized eggs are safe from all bacteria and do not have to be cooked).

Orange & Pineapple Smoothie

Combine the following ingredients into a blender:

4-6 Oz. Orange Juice

1 Cup Non-Fat Milk

1/2 Banana

4 Ice Cubes

Several Pineapple Chunks

2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract (As A Sweetener)

Blend ingredients and enjoy. Blend until smooth and creamy. May chill in freezer for several minutes to thicken and make colder.

You may withhold any of the above ingredients if you wish; you are not required to use all of the ingredients. You may also use more or less of each ingredient, the above is just a "guideline" and may be changed (you'll find the right amounts for your own liking by experimenting).

Tropical Typhoon

1/2 Banana

4 Frozen Strawberries, washed & hulled

3 Frozen Peaches, washed, peeled and sliced

1/4 Cup Chunk Pineapple

1/8 Cup Coconut Milk

1/2 Cup Pineapple Juice

1 Cup Ice

Mix all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. May chill in freezer for several minutes to thicken and make colder.

Berry Banana

1 Banana

1/2 Cup Frozen Strawberries

1/4 Cup Apple Juice

1 Cup Ice

Mix all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. May chill in freezer for several minutes to thicken and make colder.

Creamy Blueberry Shake

2 Cups Fresh Or Frozen Blueberries, washed & sorted if fresh

2 Small Ripe Bananas

1/3 Cup Honey

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

11/2 Cups Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt

1 Cup Frozen Vanilla Low-Fat Ice Cream

4 Sprigs Of Mint

Combine blueberries, bananas, honey and lemon juice and puree on HIGH speed in blender. Add yogurt and ice cream and blend until thick and smooth.

Serve immediately in cold glasses decorated with sprigs of mint.

Power Gold Smoothie

2 Cups Chopped Or Grated Carrots

1-1/2 Cups Pineapple Juice

1 Cup Fresh Orange Juice

3 Tbsp Honey

3-4 Ice Cubes

1/2 Cup Vanilla Nonfat Yogurt

Place only chopped or grated carrots in blender and turn on HIGH. Through lid, slowly drizzle in about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the pineapple juice, allowing the carrots to be pureed until smooth.

Slowly pour in remaining juice with honey. Allow blending until smooth and somewhat frothy; then with blender on HIGH, add ice cubes. Blend until ice cubes are blended smooth. Stop blender, add yogurt, return lid and blend until thoroughly mixed.

Pour into chilled glasses. Makes 4 servings.

Note: Using raw carrots in this smoothie will produce a unique texture. If a smoother consistency is desired, microwave the grated carrot with 1 tablespoon of water in a covered microwave dish on high for 2 to 3 minutes.

Did You Know?

Did you know that eating 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day might help reduce the risk of cancer? Fruits and vegetables come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flavors.

As part of your 5 A Day, eat at least one vitamin A-rich selection, like cantaloupe, carrots, spinach, and sweet potato.

Want more fiber in your 5 A Day diet? Try eating oranges, broccoli, apples, or beans.

Did you know that most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium? They are also good sources of vitamin A and vitamin C, and contain no cholesterol!

Make eating fruits and vegetables fun for kids! Decorate dishes with fruit and vegetable garnishes.

Eating 5 A Day can be fun for kids. Top off a bowl of cereal with a smiling face featuring sliced bananas for eyes, raisins for a nose, and an orange slice for a mouth.

Let’s draw a picture. You can use broccoli florets for trees, carrots, and celery for flowers, cauliflower for clouds, and a yellow squash for a sun.

When you’re all done, you can eat your masterpiece and get your recommended 5 A Day!

Eat dried fruit instead of candy.

Make frozen fruit kabobs for kids using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and berries.

Go shopping with your children and let them pick out a new fruit and vegetable to try.