Summer Drinks to Conquer Your Superfood Fears

By
Staff Writer
Summer Drinks to Conquer Your Superfood Fears

So the thought of a green super-smoothie sounds less appealing than Bikram in August. We get it. Exotic ingredients that promise perfect skin and everlasting youth often appear somewhat unpleasant — but that doesn't mean they are.

That's why we're defending two of our favorite rising stars — kale and lychee. We say: If you can't eat 'em, drink 'em. One sip of these mouthwatering recipes, and we're sure you'll be convinced too.

Kale Smoothie

Though once associated with World War II, this dark leafy cabbage has come a long way since being served boiled with a side of potatoes.

Kale is teeming with more than 45 types of flavonoids, packing a serious punch of skin-smoothing anti-inflammatory capabilities. Studies have shown that kale lowers the risk of bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancers, and it's also thought to buttress the body's detoxification system.

To get your daily dose of this cruciferous veggie, toss the leaves (stems removed) into your next smoothie. The trick to avoiding its otherwise metallic flavor is to cap your kale intake at 50 percent of what's in the blender. The other half can consist of a fruit of your choice, like blueberries and bananas (for creaminess), and a hint of lemon or ginger to give the elixir a tangy kick.

Lychee Martini

Ever since Dr. Oz hyped its ability to ward off breast cancer, the lychee has exploded as one of the hottest new superfoods at raw food counters everywhere. Native to southern China, the juicy, fleshy lychee is part of an edible group of fruits known as the soapberry. A serving of lychees has just 65 calories and healthful doses of potassium and vitamin C.

Many lychee-haters dislike this new-age fruit for its inconvenience (the fruit has to be peeled and pitted first) as well as its cloying taste. Yet the lychee's sweet flavor is what also makes it the perfect addition to your next summer cocktail.

You've probably come across lychee martinis on swanky bar menus before, so why not concoct your own? Fresh lychees can be found at gourmet supermarkets and Asian markets; just remember, the redder the shell, the more ripe the fruit. (Or, a much easier trick is to buy canned or jarred lychees.) In a shaker, combine your lychee juice and fresh lychees with vodka, a splash of vermouth and a sprig of fresh mint leaves for a refreshing touch. Cheers!