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Published: Friday, 8/13/2010

Sweeten Summer with Cool, Refreshing Smoothies

(ARA) - Warm summer days call for the perfect frosty refreshment. Try homemade fruit smoothies -- sweetened naturally with pure honey. Creating your own creamy concoctions is easy. Simply blend together your favorite fruits with ice cubes, milk or yogurt and a touch of honey. Honey is the secret ingredient to enhancing the sweet flavors of the fruits.

Blend up your own delicious smoothies with these easy tips:

* Add variety: Experiment with different combinations of fresh fruits. Try melons, berries and tropical fruits such as mangoes, bananas and pineapple.

* Make it thick: Add a few more ice cubes for a creamier mix.

* Keep it cold: Instead of using fresh fruit, use frozen fruit for a colder and thicker beverage. You can buy frozen fruit or freeze your own.

* On the go: Make smoothies ahead of time and store in the freezer.

* Prevent sticky situations: Add honey and any additional liquids to the blender first to prevent it from binding up on the frozen fruit and getting stuck.

Try these simple smoothie recipes from the National Honey Board.

Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie

Makes 2 servings


1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries

1 large kiwi, peeled

1 container (8 ounces) low-fat vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup honey

12 to 15 ice cubes


In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Tropical Smoothie

Makes 4 servings


1 1/2 cups low-fat milk

1/4 cup honey

2 medium ripe bananas, peeled

1 cup plain yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla (Substitute vanilla yogurt for plain yogurt and vanilla, if desired.)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

5 ice cubes


Combine milk, bananas, yogurt, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in blender or food processor; process until thick and creamy. Add ice cubes, one at a time, and blend until smooth.

Honey Breakfast Drink

Makes 4 servings


2 cups milk

1/2 cup orange juice

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup low-fat dry milk

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 large banana, peeled and sliced

4 to 5 ice cubes


Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and mix well. Courtesy of ARAcontent

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