By MATT CRANE
While today marks the official beginning of summer, Starkville residents have been feeling the heat for some time.
On this summer solstice, take a moment to sit back, cool down and enjoy this nutritious, refreshing summer smoothie with a twist.
Made with frozen raspberries, fresh mango and all natural Greek yogurt, this drink packs a deliciously sweet and sour punch with an impressive nutritional resume.
Traditionally, smoothies are made with milk, ice cream or regular yogurt, but the substitution of Greek yogurt provides a thicker, creamier consistency loaded with healthy benefits.
Greek yogurt averages around nine grams or less of carbohydrates, and almost half the amount of sodium found in standard yogurts.
What Greek yogurt has more of, however, is protein. Compared to regular yogurt, Greek yogurt contains almost double the amount of protein.
The Greek yogurt has a bit of a tart flavor to it, which pairs well with the flavor of the raspberries and is complemented nicely by the sweetness of the mango.
The fruits for this smoothie recipe were chosen not only because of their great flavors, but their proven source of antioxidants as well.
Raspberries are low in calories and rich sources of dietary fibers and antioxidants. These berries contain high levels of phytochemicals which studies have shown have potential health benefits in the fight against cancer, aging, inflammation and some degenerative diseases of the brain.
Raspberries are also high in Vitamin C which help strengthen the immune system.
Mango, also rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A, contain polyphenolic antioxidant compounds that studies suggest offer protection against breast and colon cancers.
While this recipe calls for frozen raspberries, fresh berries can be substituted and more ice can be added.
The mango has a mild sweetness to its flavor which helps counteract the tartness found in raspberries and provide a balanced flavor that is refreshing with a small sour kick.
If more sweetness is desired, add two teaspoons of sugar or one tablespoon of honey.
Summertime in Mississippi is the perfect chance to slow down and cool down, and this healthy, flavorful drink alternative gets the job done.
Raspberry-Mango Greek Smoothies
1/2 cup of frozen raspberries
1/2 cup chopped fresh mango
1 5oz. container of Oikos nonfat, Greek yogurt
1/2 of crushed ice
2 tsp. sugar (optional)
1 tbsp. honey (optional)
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with a thin twist of lime for a festive flair.