Spring/Summer is slinking in slowly to Central New York. Here and there, we get a burst of beautiful days where we can *gasp* actually see the sun and I don’t need a coat to go outside. Just the other day, it reached 90 degrees. When those days come along and I step outside for the first time that day, I feel like a vampire, cringing away from the sun like, “SUN?? What is that thing?” Then I hiss, bearing my fangs and pulling my cloak over my head as I retreat inside.
Wait…scratch that last part.
The problem is, when we get just a handful of these days, the weather then reverts to rain and 40 degrees for the next 2 weeks. Stop teasing me, Spring. Let’s get the ball rolling for real here!
Now, the arrival of warmth and sunlight is the signal for all the restaurants to break out their arsenal of frozen drinks: iced coffee, iced tea, lemonade, smoothies, slushies, frozen hot chocolate…the list goes on and on. I love a good cool concoction, but there are two major flaws when it comes to buying them from a restaurant or fast food chain: one, they’re vastly overpriced and two, they’re packed with unnatural, disturbing ingredients (not to mention gobs of calories).
Never fear. When your body is asking for something cool and thirsty quenching, there’s an easy solution: make your own frozen drink!
My Tropical Fruit Smoothie is the ultimate icy treat. One sip will send you straight to the shores of the Caribbean. It’s so light and refreshing, it could even quench a camel’s thirst. Plus, there’s no fattening ice cream or sickening amounts of sugar. The only “dairy” you’ll find is almond milk. The rest is an array of fresh fruit, plus a splash of orange juice for serious citrus flavor, and some crushed ice to make the drink nice and chilled. I even add a little coconut, so you’ll really be feeling tropical. Splenda makes it sweet, but you can use your sweetener of choice (or none at all) if you like.
As an extra something special, top this cool drink with some flufffy Light Vanilla Whipped Cream. It’s a balance of indulgence and smart choices. You get that decadent whipped cream, but it’s sweetened with Splenda instead of calorie-laden powdered sugar. Typically, when you order frozen drinks at a restaurant, you’re advised to say “no” when they ask if you want whipped cream on top, since it adds so many calories. Now you can feel free to indulge in that dollop of fresh whipped cream.
Guzzle this baby down with no guilt. You’ll be taking in tons of fruit while simultaneously quenching your thirst and boarding a plane to paradise. Happy Summer!
A Few Tips Before You Get
- Don’t like one of the fruits I used? Sub in banana, mango, or double up on one of the fruits already in there.
- Skim milk works well in this too if you don’t have almond milk.
- Cut in half to make a single batch.
Light Vanilla Whipped Cream
By The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield: 4 2-tbsp. servings
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 3 packets Splenda No-Calorie Sweetener
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, beat all three ingredients until stiff peaks form. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Tropical Fruit Smoothie
By The Smart Cookie Cook
Yield: 2 servings
- 6 ice cubes
- 2 tbsp. shredded coconut
- 3 strawberries, sliced
- 1 kiwi, sliced
- 1/2 a pineapple core, chopped
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 Splenda No-Calorie Sweetener Packets
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp. Light Whipped Cream, for topping
- In a blender, puree the ice and coconut for 30 seconds. Add the strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, lemon juice, orange juice, splenda, and milk and puree until smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour into 2 glasses and top with whipped cream. Enjoy!