Sweet delicious smoothies are a staple of the summer months, juicy blends of fresh fruits, dairy, nuts and ice -- but have you ever tried vegetable smoothies?
Vegetables can be just as sweet and refreshing as fruits, and blending them in unique combinations with each other and summer fruits brings out surprising flavor behavior along with stout nutritional contributions. Your favorite veggies at the dinner table or salad bar will blend into fresh smoothies that are perfect as a snack or as a meal.
Try the following recipes for vegetable smoothies and indulge in a rainbow of colors and flavors that nourish the body and uplift the spirit. Use organic ingredients whenever possible, and shop your neighborhood farmers market for the freshest local ingredients.
These smoothies are designed to be enjoyed immediately, so prep your ingredients and be ready to savor your handiwork! Start your blender on the lowest setting and work your way up, and if your ice cubes won’t chop, they are too big.
Cherry Cabbage Smoothie – Bright red cabbage and cherries create a fiery color, and honey and cinnamon add sweetness to this tasty vegetable smoothie. Combine in a blender for one minute: ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 1 cup frozen cherries, ½ cup red cabbage (chopped well), 1 heaping teaspoon honey, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 handful of ice (2-3 cubes). Top with fresh granola to add a funky texture.
Hot Broccoli Smoothie – The “hot” part of this smoothie comes from fresh salsa, which gives the raw food shake an added kick. Combine the following ingredients in a blender and mix for one minute, pouring the liquids in first: 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, ¼ cup fresh salsa, ¼ cup freshly squeeze orange juice, ½ cup broccoli (finely chopped), 1 tomato (chopped), ½ cup spinach (chopped), 1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds and 1 handful of ice (2-3 cubes). Garnish with a slice of lemon.
Apple Arugula Smoothie – Apples and arugula are two powerful health foods that combine in this green veggie shake to deliver a delicious taste. Mix in a blender for one minute: ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 1 cup of arugula (packed), 1 tablespoon pecans (or walnuts), ½ apple (cored and peeled), ¼ cup low-fat coconut milk (or yogurt) and 1 handful of ice (2-3 cubes). Add a small slice of apple for garnish.
Sweet & Spicy Carrot Smoothie – Orange carrots combine with sweet fall spices for a warming take on the vegetable smoothie. Add to a blender and mix for one minute: ½ cup apple juice, ¼ cup apple sauce, 1 cup cooked and chopped carrots, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ cup low-fat coconut milk (or yogurt), 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1 handful of ice (2-3 cubes). Sprinkle cinnamon on top to finish it off
Blueberry Beet Smoothie – This beautiful purple smoothie delivers antioxidants along with its royal hue and includes ground flax seed for added nutrition. Combine in a blender for one minute: ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1/3 cup diced beet (either roasted or raw), ¼ cup plain yogurt (low-fat is fine), 1 tablespoon ground flax seed and 1 handful of ice (2-3 cubes). Garnish with a slice of orange for a pretty contrast.