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Across the United States, summer has arrived. In my unair-conditioned apartment in hot, humid Washington DC (a "beacon of democracy" built on literal swamp land), this means two important things:
1. We will try absolutely ANYTHING to stay cool, and
2. Berry season has arrived to our region!
Luckily for my roommates and me, these two phenomena overlap in ways that have encouraged us to experiment with several summer snacks. If you are looking for some cool, low-calorie treats that allow you to sample the summer fanfare of fruits AND help you get important nutrients into your diet, you have come to the right article.
All of the recipes below are easy, affordable and focused on foods that are available locally, meaning that when you make and eat these tasty concoctions, you are being good to your body, your bank account and the earth.
Just be willing to share with friends and family!
1. Berry Smoothie
In blender, combine:
1 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries
1 cup of frozen or fresh strawberries
1 cup of nonfat plain or vanilla yogurt (vanilla will make your smoothie much sweeter)
½ cup skim milk or soymilk
Splash of orange or lemon juice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
Enjoy immediately! Makes 4-5 servings
This smoothie is a perfect breakfast or after-school snack that is filling, frosty and nonfat. It is high in calcium and protein thanks to the yogurt/milk and chock-full of vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.
It will give you energy, boost your immunity, keep your bones strong and aid in digestion.
Fun fact: blueberries are just as effective as cranberries at preventing bladder infections!
2. Summer Salad
3 cups of watermelon, cut into small cubes
1 cup of blueberries
1 cup of raspberries
1 cup of plain nonfat yogurt
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Mix yogurt, honey and lemon juice in a bowl and gently fold fruit into mixture. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours in order to let flavors combine.
Serve chilled! You can also substitute or add any fruits that you have on hand.