There's nothing better on a hot summer day than kicking back and relaxing with a cold, tasty and refreshing beverage — and there are so many great options to choose from. But why not add a little excitement to your summer by choosing something to drink that's fun and colourful, super healthy and delicious, too?
You can skip artificial flavourings or unhealthy refined sugar and opt to serve up a natural, fruit-based drink — a "mocktail"– when you're planning your next summer soiree, or to enjoy with friends and family of all ages anytime the weather heats up. A mocktail not only replenishes your vital fluids, hydrating you and providing important nutritional content your body needs, but it's yummy, fun and festive to drink.
When you add a super food like a banana to your mocktail, you're adding vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, which helps muscles function, boosts your immune system and helps with formation of red blood cells.
Bananas are also a great source of potassium, which can help level out your blood pressure, among other positive benefits. They provide fibre, protein, antioxidants, vitamin C, magnesium and other nutrients to your diet. Another plus? Bananas come in their own handy, naturally biodegradable, portable and easy-to-peel package.
No matter what kind of delectable mocktails or fruit smoothies you want to create this summer, adding bananas to the mix will provide a bonus of sweet flavour and a creamy texture to your beverage. Bananas will balance out the flavours of the more tart or acidic fruits you're using in your recipe, while they also boost the overall nutritional content of your drink.
Another great thing about mocktails? They are super easy to prepare, taking only about 10 minutes of prep time. All you need is a blender and the ingredients of your choice! Serve each mocktail over crushed ice or ice cubes in a fun decorative glass and add a tiny umbrella or a small fruit skewer with berries and banana slices for a festive and delicious party presentation.
Try one of these vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free recipes for delightfully refreshing, yummy mocktails:
Banana colada shake with coconut water (serves 2)
2 cups coconut water
2 cups mango juice
3 sprigs fresh mint
Chop the bananas in pieces and blend them together with the coconut water, mango juice and the juice of one lime. Pour the juice into the glasses and garnish with the other lime (sliced or quartered) and the sprigs of mint.
Pink sunrise mocktail with bananas and watermelon (serves 2)
3 slices watermelon
2.5 cups sparkling water
Fresh mint to garnish
Mix the two bananas with half of the grapefruit, 3/4 cup sparkling water and one squeezed lemon. Set this mixture aside.
Using another bowl, blend 11/2 cup sparkling water with the 3 slices of watermelon and the other half of the grapefruit.
Fill half of the glass with the red juice (with the watermelon in it) and pour the other juice (containing the blended bananas) on top. Garnish with a piece of watermelon and mint. -BPT