B.Before you let the grueling heat wave plunge you into sweat-induced fury and spiral down Dante’s nine circles of hell, a super-cool, hydrating smoothie just might be your salvation.
Between “Watermelon Sugar” playing on repeat and strawberry-flavored everything popping up everywhere, summer is the time to indulge in this all-time favorite fruity combination. So what better way to celebrate the power duo than by making a refreshing dairy-free and vegan Strawberry Chia Watermelon smoothie recipe from Minimalist Baker that is packed with health benefits? This might really be *the* secret to staying cool as a cucumber (and well hydrated) like always all season long.
Aside from its deliciously sweet and tangy flavor, this smoothie recipe is packed with heart-healthy omega-3s, essential antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Oh, and did we mention that it also contains fiber to help you say goodbye to heat-induced constipation forever? Enough said, I’m sold.
Health Benefits of This Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie Recipe
Each of the ingredients in this six-element smoothie recipe packs a punch of flavor, from the strawberries, watermelon, and bananas to the lime juice, almond milk, and chia seeds. Best part? They all come together to form a vibrant pink Barbie drink that’s tart, sweet and ridiculously refreshing.
But aside from its great looks and palatable taste, this recipe is also loaded with health benefits. For starters, one of the recipe’s star ingredients, watermelon, is packed with three essential antioxidants (lycopene, ascorbic acid, and citrulline) that help reduce inflammation and fight free radical damage. Additionally, studies show that consuming antioxidants, such as lycopene, may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. “Lycopene is an antioxidant and anticancer nutrient that can be consumed raw and is bioavailable or usable by the body,” Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition, told Well+Good.
Additionally, watermelon and strawberries are packed with vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system, encourages collagen production, and benefits skin health. Strawberries are also high in antioxidants, fiber, potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
Meanwhile, the banana is nutrient-dense and the perfect ingredient to munch on right before a sweaty training session (the fruit’s potassium helps regulate fluid balance and increases stamina). And if you were wondering where all the longevity-boosting omega-3s came from, it’s thanks to the mighty little chia seeds, which are the richest plant-based source of this fatty acid. “The omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds come in the form of alpha-linolenic acid [ALA]which has been associated with anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic and antiarrhythmic properties, and so [it’s] really good for your heart and your total circulatory system,” Julieanna Hever, RD, a plant-based dietitian, previously told Well+Good. A two-tablespoon serving of chia seeds contains about four grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, and also 18 percent of the daily recommended amount of calcium.
Watermelon Strawberry Chia Smoothie Recipe
Photo: Minimalist Baker
Makes 2 servings
Ingredients 1 1/2 cups fresh watermelon, cubed and seeded 1 cup frozen strawberries 1/2 medium frozen ripe banana, peeled and chopped 1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk 1 medium lime, juiced 1 tablespoon chia or hemp seeds (optional)
1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until creamy and smooth, adding more almond milk to thin or more frozen strawberries or ice to thicken.
2. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more lime for tartness, banana for sweetness, or watermelon for a more intense watermelon flavor.
3. Top with additional chia seeds to mimic watermelon seeds. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep covered in the fridge for a day or two.