Cool off with this quick, nutritious summer smoothie

By American Heart Association News

Bluey smoothie

Who needs ice cream this summer? A nutritional blended drink like the bluey smoothie can be the ultimate treat to cool off.

"Using whole fruit to make this smoothie is a great way to get all of the properties of fruit you don't get from juice – including antioxidants and fiber – while also taking in other essential nutrients like calcium," said Marie-Pierre St-Onge, an associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University in New York.

In addition to blueberries, peaches and spinach, the recipe's other main ingredient is fat-free milk, an excellent source of protein. St-Onge suggests upping the protein level by mixing in Greek yogurt and boosting the fiber content by adding flax seeds or oats. She also recommends adding nuts to keep you feeling full longer.

Another selling point of the bluey smoothie recipe is how simple it is to make. Grab frozen fruit and spinach from the freezer and you're halfway there.

"Frozen fruit is good because it retains the nutritional value of fresh fruit, and it makes it easier to have a cold beverage with a thicker consistency," St-Onge said. "I'm not usually a proponent of liquid calories, but I understand the appeal of nutritious beverages for on-the-go nutrition."

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