Planning summer picnics are a great way to spend time together and enjoy the gorgeous weather. Healthy, delicious choices for our picnic fare rate far above fast-food fried chicken, bags of potato chips, and sugar-laden pops and juices.

These choices, loaded with saturated fats and simple sugars will eventually just drain your energy and make you feel sluggish. Nutrient-rich smoothies and other lower sugar drinks are great alternatives to take-along in your Thermos alongside your picnic pleasers.

Mango-Strawberry Limeade Smoothiemango

Mangoes, strawberries and limes are all excellent sources of vitamin C (all more than oranges, in fact), which is a powerful antioxidant that aids in keeping our bones, gums and teeth healthy, and our immune system optimal. If it’s just the adults, feel free to add a few splashes of a fruity white wine.

3 ripe mangoes, cut into chunks
3 limes, juiced
8 large strawberries
water
agave nectar to taste

In your blender, combine the mangoes, lime juice, strawberries. Puree until smooth, adding water to desired consistency.
Give it a taste — depending on how you like it and how fresh and ripe the fruits are, add agave nectar to taste. Store in a Thermos on ice.

Iced Coffee

Adding a few splashes (okay, maybe more than that) of Kahlua is a great addition to this creamy cold drink, perfect for a hot day. With just a few simple ingredients, it’s a killer, cooling combination.

4 cups strongly brewed coffee, cooled
4 cups milk/dairy-free milk of choice (Almond Breeze is delicious in this)
agave nectar to taste
about 10 ice cubes

Shake all ingredients together in a large Thermos, and take along!

Agave Mojito

Using agave nectar instead of sugar is a variation on this refreshing favourite. Use an all-natural ginger ale (such as Whole Foods’ 365 Brand)to replace the alcohol for a virgin version. It’s also really easy to make your own ginger ale; check out this easy recipe from the NY Times.

10 limes, juiced and pulped
30 fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup agave nectar (add a little more to taste)
1 cup white rum
club soda, chilled

In a pitcher, place lime juice, mint and agave nectar. Using a muddle stick, mash to release mint oils, and mix the agave into the juice. Add rum, plenty of ice, and top with club soda.

Garnish with additional mint and lime, unless you’re taking it along, then store in a Thermos.

Try our recipe for Sun Tea, too!

Images courtesy of naturecenter.org and ginews.blogspot.com


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