Turns out I’m not the only one who doesn’t feel like eating as much in the summer as I do during wintertime. Eating habits change, and much of the influence has to do with the weather. Those living in beautiful Montana, as I did for a short while, will surely attest this — summertime heat waves not only change eating patterns but induce you into this dreamy state of lethargy, wherein you feel completely unproductive and totally don’t care about it.
However pleasant the feeling, you probably wouldn’t want to spend your entire summer doing absolutely nothing. The pineapple raspberry banana smoothie is a remedy of sorts for exactly this heat-related dilemma.
Back to my idyllic Montana years, living in the southwestern city of Bozeman (on that note, if you’re thinking of moving there, on account of this funny though acerbic article, you should seriously reconsider it), my solution to the summertime lack of appetite was eating loads of fruit- and vegetable-infused smoothies and salads. Very hydrating, thirst-quenching, and — in contrast to a hot soup of chicken broth — appealing during summer’s merciless heat.
By the way, has anyone else noticed that summers have been becoming bewilderingly hotter?! I mean, on some days I bet some of us would consider wearing nothing — unless you’re Karl Lagerfeld…
Back to the life-saving smoothie, let’s break down what makes it so great and summer-suitable.
Its appropriateness is a no-brainer, summer is the season of fruit and vegetable abundance. So, for anybody attracted by the eat-what’s-in-season lifestyle, smoothies are a great and easy way of enjoying summer for what it has to offer. And I mean smoothies needn’t be exclusively consumed as desserts (quick spelling tip: “desserts” — unlike the single s-ed and sandy ‘deserts’ — have two s’s because you always want more of them), besides treats, they can be eaten as breakfasts, lunches, or even dinners. Admittedly, the dinner-kinds need be slightly more protein-loaded, and likely more vegetable-rich — but still, the point is that smoothies are very versatile and can even be made to serve as meals.
The first ingredient in our smoothie creation is pineapple. Though these tropical guys don’t grow all year round (at least not where I’m at these days, that is Toronto), they’re still readily available. March to July is their prime time. Being very vitamin C-rich, pineapples are vital for the proper functioning of your immune system. It’s “a pineapple a day keeps the doctor away,” right?
Next up, raspberries. In season in Ontario June through to August. These cuties are loaded with quercetin and kaempferol, effectively making these little berries anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cardio-protective, as well as anti-cancerous and anti-allergic!
Bananas — whose fact of us eating them Ali G infamously used as proof of our evolution from monkeys — are rich in magnesium (making them an excellent period food – besides leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, dried fruit, and dark chocolate), which is a mineral that helps keep blood-pressure levels in check, and whose deficiency is linked to insulin resistance, heart diseases, and osteoporosis (bone fragility). And did you know bananas’ peels are not only edible, but actually contain even higher levels of magnesium than bananas themselves? The easiest way to consume peels is to cut them up, freeze ’em, and drop into you smoothies!
Adding hemp hearts — yes! marijuana’s (nonactive) relative — to your smoothie will protein-boost it, like complete-protein-boost it. As well as charge it with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, the latter of which helps reduce inflammation, making these seeds sought after by sports people (so, like, totally not me). Hemp hearts’ lavish fiber and omega-3 fatty acid composure also makes the seeds a very viable substitute for meat-abstainers. These little, yellowish, grain-like kernels can be bought at your local health store, or on Amazon here.
Now that you got your “thick, smooth drink of fresh fruit pureed with milk, yogurt, or ice cream” (that’s smoothies’ official New Oxford American Dictionary’s definition for you, very aptly said indeed), sweeten it with honey! Make it the dark, raw, organic kind, and get it at your local farmers’ market — in my case, that’ll be St. Lawrence Farmers’ Market —, or better yet, go hunt it down, shirtless, in the wild forests of Montana. (Alternatively use maple syrup, which’ll de facto make it vegan.)
From my experience, adding lemon to a water base will give the smoothie a natural tangy taste, allowing all of the flavors to come out — feel free to substitute with yogurt and let me know how delicious it turns out!
Stay cool, stay in school, and drink your smoothies (to keep the doctors away)!
- 1.5 cup (350 mL) cut pineapple
- 1 cup (250 mL) frozen rasperries
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup (250 mL) water
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- 2 tsp honey
- Place all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Garnish with frozen raspberries. This recipe will yield two servings.