Warm weather is finally here! What’s a better way to celebrate the sunshine than having a cool, tasty and healthy treat? It’s no doubt that smoothies are a great choice all year long, but they are especially great as the temperature continues to rise. So toss that ice cream aside and whip up your own smoothie!

Smoothies are packed with nutritional value. With their vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and healthyfats, these drinks make a refreshing, filling and healthy snack.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to make your perfect smoothie:

1.    Liquid

Dairy, such as milk and yogurt, is a popular choice as a liquid base. Try using soy milk as a healthy alternative. It’s a great source of protein and calcium, doesn’t have cholesterol and generally lasts much longer than dairy milk. Low-fat yogurt is also a healthy option, providing 30% of your recommended daily amount of calcium. Another popular liquid base is fruit juice—just keep an eye on the sugar content.

2.    Fruits and Vegetables

You really can’t go wrong in this department. The combinations are endless and all these ingredients have great nutritional value! Have fun with this creative process, and experiment with your favorite – fresh or frozen – fruits and vegetables and see what you like!

3.    Ice

If you’re using fresh fruit over frozen, you may want to add a few more ice cubes to your concoction. Ice gives your smoothie a cooler temperature and a better texture.

4. Blending

The blending process depends on the power of your motor and how full your jar is. Make sure the ingredients are fully liquefied and are freely circulating. Typically, blending a smoothie takes only about 30 to 45 seconds.

Whether it’s breakfast, a snack or a dessert, smoothies make the perfect, healthy treat! Sure, it’s easy to head to the coffee shop and have a barista make you one. But if you make your smoothies at home, you’re in control of the ingredients you add and you save a few bucks! Not only are you trimming you’re waistline, you’re saving money, too!

Stop at your local Sparkle Market today and stock up on your ingredients!

For more smoothie information and recipes, visit Perfect Smoothie!