Strawberries and frozen banana—again? Power out of a smoothie slump by blending new ingredients, like hemp seeds, winter squash, and dried figs, into a health-boosting beverage your taste buds will love.
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This bone-strengthening smoothie from New York City-based nutritionist Rachel Meltzer Warren, R.D., gets an extra punch of calcium from a surprising source—dried figs. Plus, the banana provides potassium, which helps restore electrolyte balance after a depleting workout.
1 medium banana, frozen
3 large dried figs, stems removed and soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
½ cup 1% milk
2 tsp blackstrap molasses
Tip: Make the Fignana smoothie vegan by opting for soy, coconut, or almond milk and yogurt.
2. Green Machine
Here’s proof that not all green drinks have a taste—or texture—that resembles dirt. This smoothie, from The Fresh Energy Cookbook: Detox Recipes to Supercharge Your Life, by Natalia Rose and Doris Choi, gets its creamy texture from banana and avocado. Full of monounsaturated fat and omega-3 fatty acids, avocados help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like A, D, and E, making the Green Machine a true power drink.
1 8 oz box organic baby spinach
½ cup ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
1 tray ice cubes
1–2 cups water
Stevia, to taste
Optional: Sprinkle dried, shredded coconut on top.
3. Cardamom and Carrot Sylk
This out-of-the-box infusion, from Gorilla Food: Living and Eating Organic, Vegan, and Raw, by Aaron Ash, is brimming with beta-carotene and vitamin E, two cell-protecting antioxidants. The easy orange drink also takes on a spicy sweetness thanks to cardamom, an exotic ingredient used in many Middle Eastern dishes.
1 cup carrot juice
½ cup water
¼ cup almonds
2–3 cardamom pods
Vitamin C and potassium-rich cantaloupe steal the show in this summery drink from Green Smoothies for Every Season, by Kristine Miles. Melon is made up of mostly water, so gulping this green juice will help keep you hydrated during warm-weather months.
1½ cups cantaloupe
1 cup raspberries and/or strawberries
1 cup water
1 large handful of greens (any variety will do, as the taste is masked by the fruit)
You just hit the gym and now you’re equal parts hungry and thirsty—which do you satisfy first? Well, Sarma Melngailis, owner of New York City juice joint One Luck Duck Juice & Takeaway and author of Raw Food Real World, serves up a smoothie that is as filling as it is refreshing. Avocado delivers a hearty dose of hunger-fighting healthy fat while coconut water pumps this post-workout smoothie full of hydrating potassium.
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
3 cups diced pineapple
2 cups coconut water
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp coconut butter (optional)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Tip: Sweeten to taste with agave, Stevia, coconut nectar, or a natural sweetener of your choice.
6. Blue, Green, and Blue Smoothie
Keep this immunity-boosting smoothie, another Aaron Ash creation, on regular rotation during cold and flu season. It’s packed with vitamin C-rich orange juice and blueberries plus a dash of disease-fighting blue-green algae. For staying power, add hemp seeds, a great vegan source of protein and essential fatty acids.
1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
1–1¼ cups orange juice
3–4 kale leaves
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
½ tsp spirulina
2 fresh or frozen bananas
Throw back one too many drinks at your buddy’s bachelor party last weekend? Try this cleansing tonic, courtesy of Aaron Ash.
4–6 cups seasonal greens, like kale, collard greens, lettuce, or spinach
1½ apples, cored and chopped
2 tbsp flax oil
1 celery stalk, chopped
1¼ cups water
8. Midas Touch
Another smoothie to strengthen your defenses against infections this fall, the Midas Touch, from The Fresh Energy Cookbook, gets a big dose of vitamins A and C thanks to winter squash. And you thought orange juice was your only cold-preventing potion.
1 cup raw cubed acorn or butternut squash
2 cups carrot juice
½ ripe avocado
Dash of nutmeg
Stevia, to taste