Summer is upon us, finally, it seemed like winter just didn’t want to let go this year. Now is the time to celebrate cooling foods and start to break into the seasonal fruits and veggies. I still recommend a good green smoothie, year round, but now you can start to reduce the heat in the ginger etc. and start to add in more cooling herbs and spices to cool down the body.Raw foods are more cooling to the body so think cucumber, radish, spinach and kale for example.
Summer is a yang season, think expansion, lightness, growth, brightness, outdoor creativity, awakening earlier in the morning and retiring later at night as the nights become lighter.
This is the perfect time to use bright and colourful fruits and vegetables and eat with your eyes. Smoothies are particularly great during the summer as they require no cooking, and therefore all the nutrients are available to us in even greater abundance. If however, you are overheating, drink a hot cup of herbal tea or take a hot shower to cool down the body, particularly as you prepare for bed, this will help you sleep more comfortably.
Some fruits and vegetables to consider adding to your cooling smoothie would be, cucumber, apples, watermelon, lemon and lime, a cooled tea such as a lemon, camomile or mint would add a delicate flavour and coolness to your smoothie.One of my absolute favourite foods right now is rhubarb. Rhubarb is packed full of fibre, protein, vitamin C, vitamin K, B complex vitamins, magnesium, potassium, calcium and manganese and its delicious!
Here is one of my favourite smoothies that incorporates the bitter, sweet profile of rhubarb with the sweetness of strawberries: Strawberry-Rhubarb Smoothie ~get recipe here
Consider limiting your sweet smoothies to just a few times a week however, as they still contain sugar, although a healthy version, they can still add to your daily sugar intake. Try a fabulous green smoothie to even things out during the week, this one is not too sweet and you can gradually reduce the fruit as the summer goes on to get more “green” with your smoothie: Beginner Friendly Green Smoothie ~ get recipe here
If you’re like me, I prefer a juice, so for a great alternative, and to give your digestion a break add in a green juice a couple of times a week. You won’t get as much fibre as you would do in a smoothie but if texture is an issue for you, or if you have below par digestion, opt for a fabulous green juice, preferably made at home.
I don’t usually follow a recipe when it comes to juicing, its all by taste for me, but I do have a few staples I always add in: kale, green apple, pineapple, carrot and a touch of ginger. You can play around with flavour combinations and make it as tart as you like, again, stay away from making it too sweet.
If smoothies or juices are just entering into your diet, you might want to start off slightly sweeter and work your way up to more tart - that’s where the greatest benefits will come from, and you’ll cut down on your sugar consumption, even if it is a healthier sugar.
What is your go to summer smoothie?