There’s a reason smoothies are the food trend that’s here to stay. They’re quick to whip up, easy to drink on the go, and a delicious way to eat a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables. Smoothies are also a great way to showcase some of your favorite garden produce. Here are six easy-to-grow fruits and vegetables that will keep you busy blending all summer long.
Peeled or unpeeled, the cucumber’s high water content makes a refreshing base for sweet or savory smoothies. On top of that, this summer vegetable garden favorite is high in vitamin K, fiber, and antioxidants.
Bursting with fiber, iron, and vitamins, spinach is the main ingredient in most green smoothies. And because you can pick spinach well after the last frost and then overwinter it for an early spring crop, you’re likely to have this ingredient on hand when not much else is blooming in your garden.
There’s nothing better than the first sun-ripened strawberries in the spring–except maybe a fresh strawberry and cream smoothie made with your own strawberries. It’s such a treat that it’s easy to forget how good this fruit is for you: It bolsters the immune system and even helps fight off unhealthy microbes.
Blueberries are another ingredient you’ll want in your smoothie if you’re going for the cleansing benefits of foods high in antioxidants. And though they take a couple of years to bear fruit heavily, once established, blueberry bushes can feed your blender for many years.
Pair this prolific herb with cucumber for the most refreshing smoothie for a hot summer day. Add berries to the mix, and you’ve got a dessert smoothie that will have your kids swearing off sugary sodas forever.
It’s not just for pesto anymore! Basil gives a sophisticated twist to almost any other combination in a smoothie. And it’s easy to grow year round: from seed in the garden during the summer and in a pot on a sunny windowsill the rest of the year.
Smoothies are fun family projects, mainstays of healthy eating plans, godsends to athletes and others on the go. They are tasty and portable, healthy and lo-cal. And maybe best of all, smoothies can be made from ingredients you grow in your own backyard.
We’d love to hear about your favorite smoothie ingredients. Tell us more in the comments area below.