It’s the dog days of summer — the perfect time for easy, cool recipes packed with delicious, fresh produce. To help you savor the season, we’ve collected some of our most popular, tasty, fruit-and-veggie-packed recipes, including rich smoothies, nourishing no-cook meals and ice-cold, flavor-infused waters that’ll keep you happy and hydrated.
Hydrate and Nourish with Easy-to-Prep Smoothies
There’s no more refreshing way to slurp your fruits, veggies and herbs than a cool, sweet smoothie. And all you need to make one is a blender, some liquid and some fresh or frozen produce. Try these smoothie recipes for their simple, clever flavor combinations and impressive nutritional benefits.
You can whip up this classic tropical smoothie in just five minutes with only five ingredients. The strawberries and banana provide fiber and vitamin C, and coconut milk gives it that unmistakable beachy flavor, no matter where you decide to sip it. See the recipe.
This smoothie pairs tart mango with savory tahini for a unique, scrumptious flavor blend. Together, the mango and lime provide fiber and a healthy boost of vitamin C, and tahini contributes a satisfying dose of healthy fats. See the recipe.
Have you been blueberry picking, or spotted beautifully ripe berries at the farmers market? This smoothie is the best way to celebrate. Mint adds a refreshing twist to blueberry’s tartness, while avocado provides a creamy texture. This smoothie is also a fabulous source of fiber and protein. See the recipe.
Keep Your Kitchen (and Yourself!) Cool with No-Cook Recipes
Summer is the best time to cool down your kitchen. These flavor-packed recipes deliver all the satisfaction of a home-cooked meal, and you never have to turn on the oven or stove.
This refreshing 25-minute recipe combines heart-healthy avocado and protein-rich beans for a cool, delicious, filling lunch or dinner treat that’s just right at home or in your picnic basket. It’s also a great source of fiber and vitamins A and C. See the recipe.
Make the most of crisp, sweet summer produce with this flavorful garden salad. It calls for peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes, but you can swap in your favorite farmers-market finds to make the most of summer’s bounty. The easy sour cream, chive and dill dressing adds a refreshing finishing touch to the mix. See the recipe.
This recipe is the ideal opportunity to enjoy tomatoes and cucumbers fresh from the garden or market. Chickpeas add a hearty boost, and you can double the cool, creamy dressing recipe for fresh veggie dip all week long. See the recipe.
You can make this cooling soup in the blender in just 10 minutes. Beyond its creamy, rich avocado base, this soup spices things up with some jalapeno, and adds a little strawberry for summer sweetness. It’s a good source of fiber and vitamin C. See the recipe.
This cold soup blends the flavors of tomatoes, cucumbers and spinach with delightful notes of parsley and basil for a perfect al fresco meal. It’s a great source of vitamins A and C and fiber. See the recipe.
Looking for even more no-cook recipes for hot days? Check out the whole collection on Zipongo.
Build Your Own Ice-Cold, Flavor-Infused Beverages
A subtly infused beverage adds an extra dash of delight to a warm evening out on the porch. You’ll hydrate, get a little vitamin boost and enjoy the flavors of the season all in a single glass. Here are the easy steps for making your own mixture:
Step 1: Choose Your Base
- Plain water
- Sparkling water or club soda
- Mineral water flavored with lime, lemon or other natural flavors
- Iced tea (green, white, oolong and rooibos contain antioxidants)
Step 2: Add Fruits and Veggies
- Citrus: Lime, lemon, orange and grapefruit all make great additions. They have vitamin C, which will also infuse into the water.
- Berries: Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries all have natural sugars and antioxidants.
- Fruits: Mango, pineapple, watermelon and peaches work well in infused beverages. Choose soft, juicy fruits (like melon) as opposed to firm fruits (like apples).
- Veggies: Cucumber and ginger are two of our favorites.
Step 3: Add Herbs and More
These delicious herbs and spices have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties:
- Cinnamon sticks
Step 4: Steep and Enjoy
Store your infused water creation in closed jars in the refrigerator to steep overnight for maximum flavor. When you’re ready to enjoy, simply pour your drink over ice and sip.
Our Favorite Combinations
There are endless possibilities for a delicious infused beverage, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to experimenting. But if you want to go with something tried-and-true, here are some of our favorites:
- Cucumber and mint sparkling water
- Lemon, grapefruit, lime and orange water
- Strawberry and basil iced tea
- Peach and mint sparkling water
- Orange, lime and rosemary water