Saturday, May 12, 2012

Strawberry Cucumber Smoothie

It's finally getting warmer outside!!! YEY!!!! As the weather gets warmer many times heavy meals and drinks just don't seem very tempting. In fact, they can be a little repulsive. I love drinking refreshing smoothies in the summer for this reason and many others (they can be packed with antioxidants and micronutrients). Watch out though, many smoothies are made with "juice" rather than fresh fruit and are loaded with sweeteners that add excessive calories and bring the overall nutritional quality down. It's best to make your smoothies at home and it's super easy! I got this idea from but switched things up a little bit.

If you remember from my last post on smoothies, these blended drinks can be a great way to sneak in a vegetable for picky eaters. This recipe may not be the best for that since it does have a "cucumbery" taste but it is delicious! Other mild vegetables to add into smoothies are carrots and celery. If you blend these with strong fruit flavors like apples, pears, and mangoes you won't really taste them!

Cucumber Strawberry Smoothie (serves 1) 

-1/2 diced english cucumber (skin on*, seeds in)
-1 cup frozen strawberries 
-3/4-1 cup light vanilla soymilk
-1 tbsp honey
-1/8 tsp almond extract
-splash (1/4 - 1/2 tsp) rose water**

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend away!

*the skin of fruit/vegetables contains a large amount of the fiber. English cucumbers have a very thin skin so go ahead and blend it right in! I try to make sure I buy organic produce to avoid all the extra pesticides and waxy coatings that may be on certain fruits/vegetables.
**You can exclude this but I love the flavor. Rose water is the liquid that comes out of pressed rose petals. I buy the bottles at middle eastern grocery stores. If you can't find it, it's really no biggie just skip it.

Alternative options:
-Try adding fat free greek yogurt for a creamier and protein packed smoothie!
-Swap out the frozen strawberries for another frozen berry like blackberries or raspberries.
-Use agave nectar instead of honey as a sweetener. You could also exclude the sweetener.