7 Smoothies to Kick Off Summer

For a fast, cooling treat that thankfully requires no heat to make, check out these seven smoothie ideas from CHOW’s community of inspired cooks.

1. Get in your daily vegetable requirements with this fruit and veggie smoothie: 2-3 pitted dates | 1 head of kale or 4 cups baby spinach, washed and dried | 1/4 avocado | 1 banana | 1/2 cup frozen berries | 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt | 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal | juice of 1 lemon. Process in a blender until smooth. esquimeaux

2. Delicious summer cherries make this Black Forest smoothie a rich yet healthy snack: 1 cup almond milk | 1 cup frozen dark cherries | 1-2 tablespoons almond butter | 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon | 1-2 tablespoons cacao powder | 1 tablespoon freshly ground flax seed | stevia or another sweetener to taste. Process in a blender until smooth. apple342

3. If you like vegetable juice, try this green savory smoothie (works best with a high-speed blender): 1 red bell pepper, seeded | 1 large ripe tomato | 4 ounces white cabbage | 1 carrot, in chunks | 1 celery stick, in chunks| 1 scoop of ice. Process in a blender until smooth. Matahari22

4. Kale has an intense flavor, but it mellows out when you pair it with an equally strong flavor like pineapple: 1 banana | 1 pear | 1 orange | 1/4 pineapple, peeled and chopped | 1 handful kale | ice (add water if you like a thinner consistency). Process in a blender until smooth. lyndak

5. For the best purple berry smoothies, buy fresh fruit in season (on sale), freeze in a single layer on baking sheets, and store in freezer bags: 7 ounces frozen blueberries | 4 ounces frozen blackberries | 1 cup vanilla yogurt | 1 1/4 cups 100 percent grape juice. Process in a blender until smooth. MichaelBeyer

6. Cool off with this simple smoothie that has a hint of tropical fruit: 1 apple, unpeeled | 1 pear, unpeeled | A few chunks of frozen mango | 1 1/2 cups water | 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds | parsley to taste. Process in a blender until smooth. sandylc

7. Try using coconut milk to give your smoothie a fruity, unexpected twist: 1/2 cup coconut milk | 1/2 cup almond milk | 4-6 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt | 2 tablespoons milled flax | 2 tablespoons wheat germ | 1/2 banana | 4-5 frozen strawberries. Process in a blender until smooth. jsr2836

Smoothie photo by Chris Rochelle

Leena Trivedi-Grenier is a Bay Area food writer and cooking teacher with an undying love for pot stickers. She earned her master's in gastronomy from Le Cordon Bleu. Besides CHOW, her writing appears on her blog Leena Eats and in various food-based encyclopedias.