The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

August 1, 2012

Cool Summer Drinks

Karen Freeman

TARBORO — It has been sooo hot! I guess that we are paying for the mild winter that we had. I know I felt that heat here in Charleston, where I'm working right now. So, when it feels like 110 in the shade, it's a great time to cool down with icy cold and delicious summer drinks. Especially since you can find fresh fruit to go in them right now!

The recipes for this week will make you feel cooler even just reading them. But, I hope that you will give them a try! Let me know how you like them.

The first is one I've used before but I love it so much that I couldn't leave it out. It's orange juice, banana and pineapple. That is a great combination and you can't go wrong with this one. This also has no added sugar, so it's great and great for you.

The second is banana, strawberry and apple juice. However, you can substitute blackberries, blueberries, etc. for the strawberries. Again, no added sugar to this one either. It won't need any extra sweetness.

The third recipe has a strange name. It's called June Bug. That is just to be cute, it has nothing to do with the ingredients, so relax! This one uses OJ, ginger ale, grenadine and sherbet. You could also sub lime juice and lime sherbet for the orange flavor. I love lime, so that's my preference.

The last recipe uses melon. Any time you can make a smoothie type drink with melon, it's going to be a winner. This will be one of your favorites!

Remember that you can make a smoothie out of almost anything or a cool summer drink out of almost anything. If you have an interesting drink recipe, let me know.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).

Berry Banana Smoothie

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.

June Bug

3 cups ginger ale

4 tablespoons grenadine

4 tablespoons orange juice

3 scoops orange sherbet

Blend together ginger ale, grenadine, orange juice, and sherbet. Pour into ice-filled cocktail glasses. (To make a version with alcohol, add white rum.)

Fresh Melon Quenchers

1-1 1/2 cups cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon puree*(about a quarter of a 4 lb. melon)

3 ice cubes

1/4 inch slice fresh ginger, grated

Plain low-fat yogurt

1 - 2 teaspoons honey

Shredded lime peel (optional)

Plain or flavored sparkling water

Frozen Melon Drink Skewers (recipe below)

In blender container combine melon puree, ice cubes, ginger, a teaspoon or two of yogurt, and honey. Blend just until mixture is frothy and smooth. Pour into serving glass. Add additional honey to adjust sweetness. Stir in lime peel to taste. Add sparkling water to fill glass. Serve with Frozen Melon Drink Skewers. Serve immediately.

To Puree Melon: Coarsely chop melon and transfer to blender container. Cover and blend until smooth. If needed, stop motor and press fruit down into blades with rubber spatula or spoon and continue to blend until smooth.