By Justin Han, Dietetics student at Cornell University
Reviewed by Jinan Banna, PhD, RD
Smoothies are great ways to incorporate healthy ingredients into your diet, while being the perfect drink for a hot summer day. This banana and watermelon smoothie is a refreshing and sweet beverage to start off your day or for a midday snack. Bananas contain fiber which can enhance digestive health, and both bananas and watermelon contain several antioxidants, which can protect our body from damaging free radicals and aid in preventing various cardiovascular diseases. Research also suggests that watermelon consumption can lower blood pressure, improve blood lipid profile, and also assist in weight management. This makes for a smoothie that is not only delicious, but also nutritious!
The combination of basil and ginger in this recipe provides the perfect herbaceous note to complement the other ingredients. Using both orange juice and coconut water also provides Vitamin C, important for iron absorption and the repair of body tissue, and electrolytes, critical for maintaining fluid balance in our body. For this smoothie, and also for others, I also recommend using chia seeds. Chia seeds are high in fiber, like bananas. Fiber can not only help in overall digestion, but it can also slow the absorption of glucose in the body. This can help prevent sharp increases in blood glucose. They’re also a great natural thickener and can even be used as a vegan substitute for eggs in baking!
Start by adding the watermelon and bananas to the blender. Using frozen bananas instead of ice works very well in this recipe as it does not dilute the flavors of the other ingredients. A good tip for freezing bananas is to squeeze some lemon juice on the peeled bananas before freezing, as this will help prevent browning.
Add coconut water and orange juice. You won’t need a lot of either since the watermelon already contains a lot of water. Once all these ingredients have been added, blend until the product is smooth and all the ingredients are blended together. Once blended, add the remaining ingredients (basil, chia seeds, and ginger).
Add more basil and/or ginger if you prefer a more fragrant or peppery taste. You can also add extra chia seeds if you prefer a thicker mouthfeel. Also feel free to omit any of these ingredients if you want a more mellow taste or a smoother consistency. Blend until everything is broken down.
Pour the smoothie into glasses and serve! Garnish with frozen banana slices and cubed watermelon.
Questions & Answers
Q: Can I use pre-cut watermelon?
A: Yes! Using pre-cut watermelon can also be much more convenient compared to cutting up an entire watermelon if you’re on a time crunch.
Q: What type of blender should I use?
A: You can use any blender that’s available to you, as long as it’s powerful enough to break down the fruits and the chia seeds!
Q: If I can’t find some of these ingredients, what are good substitutes?
A: If you’re unable to find coconut water, you can just use orange juice or another liquid such as other 100% fruit juices. Chia seeds can also be substituted with flaxseeds or oats!
Q: What are some other add-ons you can include?
A: Yogurt, honey, and spices such as cinnamon can be good ingredients to add to complement your smoothie!
Below is a recipe card with the list of ingredients, the amounts, and step-by-step instructions. Hope you enjoy!
Have questions? Comments? I would love to hear what you think below!