watermelon - teaser

Drinking a smoothie is a great way to get lots of nutrition in a tasty treat, and in the hot summer months, they tend to sound even more enticing.

There are lots of reasons for making a smoothie, and tons of recipes to fit those needs. Here are my favorites, based on what you may be looking to achieve with your frosty drink. Use a high-powered blender or smoothie maker for best results. Each recipe below makes one serving.

Refreshment

If you need extra hydration, choose a recipe with added ice, 100% fruit juice or water-filled fruits and vegetables. This one will surely quench your thirst:

1 cup watermelon chunks, seeds removed, preferably frozen

2 sprigs mint

1 tablespoon lime juice

Ice, as desired

Recovery

For recovery, you need carbs and protein, in a ratio of about 3 to 1. This smoothie fits that bill, and can provide you with the amino acids you need to heal and prevent muscle soreness:

½ cup frozen cherries; try the tart variety for its antioxidant effects

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 ounce protein powder

¾ cup skim milk

Ice, as desired

Meal replacement

Sometimes, we just need a meal on the run. Or, you might be looking for a nutrient-dense meal that provides energy and is full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

1 individual container of vanilla Greek yogurt; look for more protein than sugar grams

2 tablespoons nut butter

1 small banana, preferably frozen

1 ounce protein powder

½ cup milk

Ice, as desired

Rejuvenation

If you want a smoothie that can wake you up and provide nutrients to your skin, muscles and intestinal tract, try a recipe that provides great hydration and antioxidants, such as vitamin C from citrus fruits.

½ small orange, peeled

¼ small banana, peeled, preferably frozen

½ cup strawberries

½ cup spinach

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

Ice, as desired

Jill Koegel is a sports-certified registered dietitian, certified personal trainer and owner of Certified Nutrition of Omaha. Jill blogs regularly for livewellnebraska.com.

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