–Photo by JellyBean Pictures
We’re grateful to Babytime! by Episencial founder Kim Walls for teaching us that sunscreen isn’t the only way to protect skin. Turns out nutrition matters, too: not only can antioxidants from fruits and veggies help keep sun damage at bay, but they can also help skin heal more quickly from burns, bumps, and bruises. At this time of year, the most fun way to eat these foods is in the form of cool and refreshing treats like smoothies and frozen smoothie pops. Here are Walls’s five favorite powerhouse recipes. (She encourages taking the specific measurements lightly, letting kids help with throwing in a dash of this and a splash of that, and playing around until you find your own perfect combinations.)
1. Creamsicle Breakfast Smoothie. Though this takes like a delicious popsicle from the ice cream truck, it’s balanced with carbs, protein, and electrolytes (essential during the summer months). Combine 1 cup cold coconut water, 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 cup frozen mango chunks, 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree, 3 tablespoons honey, and 2 cups ice and blend until smooth.
2. Strawberry-Kale Power Smoothie. Kids love the richness of this smoothie; the red color masks the healthy veggies that add an extra nutritional punch! Combine 1 orange (peeled and segmented), 7 frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen pomegranate seeds, 1 cup loosely packed kale, 1/2 banana, 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses, and 1/2 cup coconut milk and blend until smooth.
3. Avocado Smoothie. This superstar is packed with antioxidants that benefit the skin. Avocado enhances a smoothie’s texture and helps the body absorb nutrients. Combine 1 avocado (peeled and pitted), the juice of 1 lime, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 cup frozen mango chunks, 14 fresh or frozen strawberries, 2 cups ice, and 1 to 2 teaspoons honey and blend until smooth.
4. Cherry Pops. I have yet to meet a kid who doesn’t love these sweet summer treats! Combine 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, ½ cup almond milk, 1 cup frozen cherries, 3 cauliflower florets, and a dash of vanilla. Blend until smooth and pour into 3-ounce paper cups. Let set up until almost firm and insert popsicle sticks. When frozen, gently peel the paper cups away and serve.
5. Breakfast Pops. This recipe makes a delicious smoothie, too, but I really love freezing it into pops for an unexpected treat. Combine 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, 1 banana, 1/2 cup frozen berries (I like a mixture of blackberries and raspberries), 1/2 cup fresh spinach, 1/4 cup frozen peas, and 1 cup coconut water. Blend until smooth and pour into 3-ounce paper cups. Let set up until almost firm and insert popsicle sticks. When frozen, gently peel the paper cups away and serve.