5 Seasonal Smoothies

A treat any time of year

Photo: denio109/Shutterstock

Smoothies hit the sweet spot between convenience food and better nutrition for noncooks and the time-pressed. With a little bit of imagination you can enjoy them year round, pairing seasonal fruits and vegetables with basic ingredients like milk, yogurt, ice and bananas. Produce picked at the height of its season tastes better and costs less than at other times of the year, making it well worth the few minutes of kitchen time needed to create smoothies from scratch.

For late summer: Fig Smoothie

Photo: denio109/Shutterstock

Late-summer figs picked straight from the garden are succulent, bite-sized fruit bombs. Fig Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 4 fresh figs, halved
  • 1 banana, previously peeled and frozen
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 ounces vanilla soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
  • Sprinkle coconut flakes (optional garnish)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Cooking directions

  1. Combine figs, banana, ice cubes and yogurt in a blender. Puree contents until smooth, about 1 minute. Add soy milk to thin and honey to sweeten.

Yield: Makes 2 smoothies

For fall: Carrot and Apple Smoothie

Photo: atsurkan/Shutterstock

Carrots are cool weather crops, making their appearance in the fall, just in time for apple season. Carrot and Apple Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 pound organic carrots, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 Fuji or Gala apple, cored
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Cooking directions

  1. Juice carrots. Makes about 1 cup.
  2. Combine carrot juice, apple juice, yogurt and ice cubes in blender. Process until contents are smooth, about 1 minute. Add cored apple and cinnamon. Blend until smooth.

Yield: Makes 2 smoothies

For winter: Citrus Smoothie

Enrique Gili.

While orchards in the northern climes sleep, the South bursts with ample crops of cheery citrus. Mix it up with tangerines, tangelos and oranges. Citrus Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 4 Valencia oranges, peeled and chilled
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk or whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey or light agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • Dash pure vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle orange zest, optional garnish

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes plus refrigeration

Cooking directions

  1. Peel oranges using sharp chef's knife. Cut off each end. Hold upright and slice downward, removing skin and outer pith. Freeze 30 minutes.
  2. Combine ingredients in blender. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Yield: Makes 2 smoothies

For spring: Mango Pineapple Smoothie

Enrique Gili.

Tropical fruits remind us that warmer weather is around the corner while the Northern Hemisphere shakes off the chill.

Mango Pineapple Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole pineapple, peeled and cored
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and sliced
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1/2 banana, previously peeled and frozen
  • 6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 ounces vanilla soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons light agave nectar or honey
  • 2 cubes pineapple, optional garnish
Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Cooking directions

  1. Combine pineapple, mango, ice cubes, banana and yogurt. Process in blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Add soy milk to thin and agave nectar to sweeten.

Yield: Makes 2 smoothies

For summer: Strawberry Smoothie

Enrique Gili.

Strawberries rank high among all-time favorite summer fruit snacks. Smoothies are no exception. Strawberry Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled
  • 4 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 ounces whole or low-fat milk
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint, divided
  • Handful fresh strawberries, optional garnish

Prep time: 5 minutes

Total time: 5 minutes

Cooking directions

  1. Combine strawberries, yogurt, milk, ice cubes, agave extract or honey, vanilla extract and 1 mint sprig in blender. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Garnish with remaining mint sprigs and sliced strawberries.

Yield: Makes 2 smoothies