Summer is here! Running from your kids' early morning baseball game to the tennis courts for some practice in the afternoon sun requires you to be adequately fueled, nourished and hydrated.
Here are three simple, delicious and nutrient-rich drinks you can mix at home using just a blender! Unlike many store-bought, lab-created, "functional beverages" -- such as enhanced water (e.g. Vitamin Water) and sports drinks like Gatorade -- these homemade versions are all-natural.
Potassium and various electrolytes central to keeping you hydrated, as well as other nutrients in these recipes, come from whole and natural food sources, such as coconut water, sea salt and bananas. These yummy recipes take advantage of the deliciousness that comes with eating fruits that are fresh, in season and bursting with flavor!
Yield: approx. 2-3 servings (3 cups) This recipe is gorgeously refreshing. Coconut water is nature's answer to "sports drinks" and has been used for centuries in countries like India and Brazil as a key hydrator. It contains more potassium and electrolytes than many functional drinks, but loses the added, refined sweeteners. It can also help improve your sports performance and prevent cramping. Buy organic if you can. Ingredients: 2 ¼ cups watermelon flesh, de-seeded and roughly chopped 2/3 cup cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped 4-5 teaspoons lime juice 1 cup coconut water 12 fresh mint leaves, rinsed A pinch of paprika Unrefined sweetener such as coconut/palm sugar or maple syrup to taste (optional) Procedure: 1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until mint leaves are thoroughly incorporated. 2. Strain and serve over ice. Add sweetener to taste.
Yield: approx. 2-3 servings (2 cups) There's nothing better than summer blueberries! This recipe is great as a post-workout/recovery drink. Although not a whole food, hemp protein powder is a high-quality, vegan choice for these smoothies. As a plant food, hemp protein is very close to its original, whole food source, so its quality can be easily assessed (as opposed to dairy-sourced protein powders). There are a lot of brands out there and a lot of unnecessary ingredients can be added to protein powders so remember to choose organic, raw and cold-milled powders that list only one ingredient: "hemp protein powder." Ingredients: 4 tablespoons organic hemp protein powder 1 cup coconut water 4 tablespoons light organic coconut milk 1 cup organic fresh blueberries 2 pods cardamom, shells discarded, seeds crushed using a rolling pin or mortar and pestle 3-4 ice cubes (optional) Procedure: 1. Place all ingredients into a strong blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Cheers for chocolate! This is a divine blend of omega-3s and antioxidants from flax seeds and raw, pure cacao powder, as well as potassium from bananas. Have this drink to get you fueled first thing in the morning before you start your workout -- or after, to recover. Ingredients: 1 organic banana, cut in half (about 4 ounces) 1 ½ tablespoons raw cacao powder 1 ½ cup unsweetened organic almond milk 1 tablespoon coarsely ground flax seeds 2 pinches sea salt 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (or to taste) 4-5 ice cubes Procedure: 1. Place all ingredients into a strong blender and blend until creamy and smooth. Enjoy!
Pooja Mottl is a Natural Foods Chef and Fitness Consultant. She is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. You can find all her latest on healthy living, food and fitness at Pooja's Way.
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