Smoothie Love

Smoothie Love

The official start of summer is still a few weeks away, but with the weather warming up, and schools around us getting out much earlier this year, it feels as though summer has made an early appearance. And what better way to kick off the summer than with some delicious smoothie recipes?!

Summer Smoothies

As a lifelong Southern Californian, I am – and always have been – a big fan of smoothies, and since receiving my Cusiniart blender as a Christmas gift a few years ago, I’ve treated myself to a smoothie almost daily. Unfortunately, the frozen fruit that typically serves as a smoothie base can be a bit cost prohibitive for an everyday treat, so I have traditionally used cheaper ingredients (like frozen bananas and canned pumpkin) in my homemade smoothies.

    My awesome blender, which doubles as a food processor. It's not quite a Vitamix, but it has held up well over 2+ years of heavy use.
My awesome blender, which doubles as a food processor. It’s not quite a Vitamix, but it has held up well over 2+ years of heavy use.

A few weeks ago, I was shopping at my local Dollar Tree when I discovered an entire freezer section dedicated to frozen fruit. Sixteen-ounce bags of pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, peaches. . . all were being sold for just a dollar! Since this was such a huge discount, I assumed the fruit was part of a special sale, but the cashier informed me that Dollar Tree carries a wide variety of frozen fruit year-round. Sweet!

Dollar Tree Frozen Fruit

Thanks to my newfound source of crazy-cheap fruit, I’ve been experimenting with different smoothie combinations and flavors. Here are some of my favorite new smoothies! Each recipe yields 1 large or 2 small smoothies.

Mixed Berry Smoothie

Mixed Berry Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 cup yogurt of choice (I used vanilla, but a berry-flavored yogurt would be really good)
  • 3/4 cup vanilla almond milk (any milk should work)
  • 1/2 cup lemon-lime soda (I used Diet 7-Up)
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • sweetener to taste (I added 1 packet of Splenda)

Directions: You probably don’t need me to tell you how to make a smoothie, but just in case . . . place ingredients in your blender and blend until fully smooth. Thanks to the chia seeds, the smoothie will thicken up if you let it sit for a few minutes before drinking it.

Pineapple Banana Smoothie

Pineapple-Banana Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana, frozen and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup almond-coconut milk blend (or other milk of choice)
  • sweetener to taste, optional (I found this smoothie to be sweet enough without any extra sweetener, though honey might be a nice addition)

Directions: Place ingredients in your blender and blend until fully smooth.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

// This recipe doesn’t include any of my new fruit finds, but it’s my old standby, so I thought I’d include it here. Contrary to popular belief, pumpkin smoothies can be enjoyed year-round, and not just around Thanksgiving! //

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 medium ripe banana, frozen and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • sweetener to taste (I added 3 packets of Splenda)
  • handful of ice cubes
  • whipped cream, for garnish

Directions: Place ingredients in your blender and blend until fully smooth. Top with whipped cream. Enjoy!