The juicy natural sweetness of fresh fruit is one of the joys of summer. Fruit salads and fruit desserts are certainly warm weather pleasers. But don't neglect tangy, icy cold fruit drinks.
The summer drinks that follow are happy combinations of fruits and juices. Most are light and low in calories, taking advantage of the ingredients' natural sweetness rather than added sugar. The creamy drinks get their milkshake consistency from milk, yogurt or butter milk, plus pureed fruit and lots of ice. All can be frozen into popsicles. In fact, they may become more popular at your house as pops than as drinks.
To freeze, fill paper cups about halfway and add a popsicle stick when the mixture becomes firm enough to support it. Or use plastic popsicle forms. If you don't have sticks, serve with spoons. But be sure to remove from freezer awhile before unmolding and let them soften slightly to make removal easier.
Don't feel you must follow these recipes exactly. Experimentation is part of the fun. If you don't have a fruit that's called for, try whatever fruit strikes your fancy. PEACH AND BANANA SMOOTHIE (6 servings) 3 medium-sized ripe peaches,pitted and quartered 1/2 cup milk (any kind) 1 cup orange juice 1 ripe medium banana, cut into chunks 1/4 teaspoon vinilla 1 tablespoon honey (optional -- depending on sweetness of peaches) Mint sprigs (optional)
In blender jar or food processor, combine peaches, milk, orange juice, banana and vanilla extract. Blend or process until very smooth. Taste for sweetness and add honey if desired. Pour into storage container and chill until very cold. Serve with a sprig of mint. STRAWBERRY-PINEAPPLE DAIRY DELIGHT (4 or 5 servings) 2 cups sliced strawberries (hulls removed) 1 1/2 cups unsweetened pineapple juice 2 cups fresh buttermilk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Extra sliced strawberries for garnish
In blender jar or food processor, combine 2 cups sliced strawberries, pineapple juice, buttermilk and vanilla extract.Blend or process until almost smooth. A few tiny pieces of strawberry will remain. Refrigerate until very cold. Serve with a few extra strawberry slices floating on top. CANTALOUPE COOLER (About 6 servings)
This can be made with either tangerine or grapefruit juice. the latter, of course, will be much more tart and may require more sweetener. 2 cups cantaloupe cubes 24-ounce bottle white grape juice 6-ounce can undiluted, frozen tangerine or grapefruit juice concentrate 1/2 cup instant, nonfat dry milk powder 1/2 cup plain yogurt 2 tablespoons honey (optional, or to taste) 1 cup plain water or seltzer
Combine cantaloupe cubes, grape juice, frozen juice concentrate, milk powder, yogurt and honey in blender jar or food processor container. Process until almost smooth; a few tiny pieces of cantaloupe may remain. Pour into serving container. Add plain water. (If using seltzer, stir in shortly before serving.) MIXED FRUIT SHAKE (3 or 4 servings) 1 cup milk (any kind) 1 whole orange, peeled, seeded and quartered 1/4 cup frozen cranberry juice concentrate 1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice 6 or 7 ice cubes
Place milk, orange quarters, cranberry juice concentrate and pineapple juice in blender container. Blend until smooth. Add ice cubes one at a time, blending after each addition. Serve at once. BERRY SLUSH (About 8 servings) 1 1/2 cups raspberries, blackberries or blueberries (fresh or frozen) 8-ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice 6-ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate (not diluted) 2 1/2 cups buttermilk or yogurt 1/4 cup mild honey (or to taste)
Conbine all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour into large bowl or jug and place in freezer. Remove container and stir well about every 10 or 15 minutes until desired consistency is reached. While stirring slush, make sure to scrape off any ice crystals that form around edge of container, and mix them back into slush. DATE AND ORANGE WHIP (4 servings) 1/2 cup chopped, pitted dates 2 cups milk 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate 7 to 9 ice cubes
Place dates and 1 cup milk in blender container. Cover and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients (including the additional milk) and blend. Add ice cubes one at a time, blending well after each addition. Serve immediately.