It’s that time of year again… time to bust out the bug spray, don our tank tops and shorts, and fire off a rapid succession of explosives. In part to celebrate our independence, but also just to get together and blow things up. Oh, America…
It’s officially hot here in Michigan… calling it the “mitten state” just seems cruel… and when I say hot, I mean humid. I may have to sprout gills if I’m to stand a chance of not drowning. I firmly deny anyone the right to complain about the heat who lives in a drier climate, because they will never have the pleasure of stepping out of a nice cool shower only to realize they are sweating, and no matter how hard they try, they will never really dry off.
I’ve spent the last few days lain out on the floor under a fan, subsisting primarily on ice cream, because the last thing I want to do is turn on the stove, or worse, the oven. And so, in honor of our nation’s independence, but also just my desperate need to cool down, I made this smoothie. It was all the patriotism I could muster.
This is actually less of a single smoothie, and more of a franken-mash of three different smoothies — strawberry on the bottom, banana in the middle, and blueberry on top. Yes, I realize the blueberry is more purple than blue, and no, I don’t really care. I’ll gladly take blueberries over food coloring any day.
If a smoothie isn’t really your thing, or you’re looking for an even cooler way to beat the heat, you can just as easily layer everything into a popsicle tray and freeze them. I did this with a half batch of smoothie, which yielded three regular sized popsicles plus a little extra. One full batch should make at least six – eight, depending on how high you fill them. Also, I may have been slurping down smoothie while I made them, so for all I know it would’ve made more.
Fancy colors aside, these would be perfect to cool down with at any time. They make me feel like a little kid again, only now I am slightly better at not making a mess when I eat melty things. Just keep in mind that freezing the fruit can bring out its natural tartness, so if your berries aren’t very sweet to begin with you may want to add a little honey or coconut nectar. You can bet I’ll be doing this with more smoothie combinations in the future!
What’s your favorite smoothie flavor? Or flavors… I can never decide on just one!
4th of July Smoothie – Red, White, and Blueberry
Makes 2 large smoothies or 6+ popsicles — easily made vegan
For the Red:
12 fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
splash of orange juice, or other fruit juice, as needed
For the White:
1 large banana, peeled and frozen
1/2 cup almond or coconut milk, or as needed (or regular milk, if you prefer)
1/2 cup crushed ice
For the Blue:
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt*
splash of almond or coconut milk, as needed (or regular milk)
*To make these vegan, substitute the yogurt for a bit more dairy-free milk, or a dollop of dairy-free ice cream
1. In a blender, puree the strawberries. Add the orange juice slowly, one TBSP at a time, just to get things moving. Poor into a glass and place in the fridge to keep chilled.
2. Give the blender a quick rinse, then add the frozen banana, 1/4 cup milk, and the ice. Blend until smooth, drizzling in more milk as needed to get a smooth consistency. Pour into a separate glass and set in the fridge.
3. Give the blender another quick rinse, then add the blueberries, yogurt (if using), and a couple TBSP milk. Beginning blending, adding more milk as needed to keep things moving.
4. Once you’ve got all your colors you can layer them in glasses and serve, or pour into popsicle molds to freeze. You can start with the red, or start with the blue – I went with red first, but it’s up to you. Pour your first color into your cups or popsicle tray to fill a little less than 1/3rd of the way. Next, slowly and carefully pour (or spoon) the white smoothie over top. The slower you go the more separated your layers will be. Top with your last smoothie, and serve (or freeze).