Yummy Summer Smoothies by Catherine Lanigan & Rula Sinara

Rula's mixed berry yogurt smoothie

RULA: We're here to help you beat the heat this summer and we'd love you all to chime in with your favorite summer smoothie ingredients! I always keep a bag of frozen berries on hand for a quick smoothie. They're full of antioxidants, naturally sweet and delicious. Sometimes I keep it simple and stick to the berries, but if I or my kids need a more filling snack, I'll add yogurt for protein.

We are a gluten free household, so I don't add things like wheat germ, but I have added chia seeds before. As for greens...well, I eat plenty of vegetables and greens (and actually like them), so I don't need to sneak them into my shakes. Catherine and I both deal with dietary restrictions and/or family members with them, so substitutions are often necessary. Some good dairy substitutes are coconut, almond, hemp, soy or other nut/seed milks. I can handle yogurt, but not straight cow's milk, so I've used all of these alternatives in my recipes before. The shake I've been making lately uses yogurt, but feel free to switch things up!

Note - I just dump and eye the amounts when I make smoothies so these are approximate proportions. Don't sweat the measurements! This is supposed to be a cooling treat!

Rula's smoothie recipe:

2 cups mixed frozen berries (my mix has strawberries/blackberries/raspberries/blueberries)

Enough water to barely cover the berries (less if you want it thicker)

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons maple syrup

(Optional: 1 teaspoon sugar or a packet of Stevia if you want it extra sweet. I personally stay away from artificial sugar substitutes. However, I will use the herb stevia on occasion. It can have a bitter taste if you're not used to it but I find that yogurt masks it.)

Enjoy! And remember, the fun thing about smoothies is you can't go wrong. You can add or substitute whatever you want. Then kick back and relax!

CATHERINE: I hope everyone is enjoying this summer weather. If you ask me, icy cold smoothies hit the spot. Due a new twist of plot in my life, I have a new way of eating directed by my doctors and nutritionist. Therefore, my smoothie, is gluten-free, non-dairy, no artificial sweeteners and is organic. It is part of an auto-immune diet I may wind up being on for the rest of my life. However, I highly recommend this all-fruit smoothie for simple summertime fun as well!

Catherine's smoothie recipe:

1 cup blueberries 

1/2 small papaya

1 cup cantaloupe

1/4 cup coconut milk

Ice cubes.

Do we have you craving summer smoothies yet? What's your favorite smoothie recipe?

Rula & Catherine

Coming January 2021: Second Chance Christmas (book 3, Turtleback Beach by Rula Sinara)

Out now:

Caught by the Sheriff
(Turtleback Beach Book 2)
March 2020

If she follows her heart…

Will he follow the law?

Turtleback Beach, North Carolina, would be paradise—if Faye Donovan wasn’t on the run. With her sister’s life in danger and her small niece to protect, Faye tries to avoid handsome town sheriff Carlos Ryker. But Carlos offers her a refuge, and Faye feels she’s finally found home. And yet he’s still the sheriff. Can she trust him with the truth…even if it means risking everything?

Home for Christmas
(Shores of Indian Lake Book 12)
Nov 2019

Can a magical Christmas under glass…

…bring them back together for good?

Widowed dad Adam Masterson still doesn’t understand why Joy Boston left Indian Lake and broke his heart all those years ago. Now she’s returned to sell her grandfather’s beloved poinsettia greenhouse—and Joy and Adam’s connection is as strong as ever. But Joy has a life in New York. And Adam has only until Christmas to convince Joy that she belongs in Indian Lake—with him.


  1. I hope you all like our smoothies. They are very healthy. But there sure are some more variations. My daughter-in-law makes smoothies a couple times every week. She puts Kale in hers. And there's banana and lots of berries. What are some of your favorites? Ice Cream anyone? Lol.

  2. Your post has got me dusting off my blender, ladies. For some reason I haven't had a smoothie in years but the current heat wave where I live is exactly the right time for one. Although I don't have any dietary issues, I like coconut milk and will try that one first. Thanks for the idea and the recipes. Stay healthy!

    1. Boy, staying healthy these days is a test of will, isn't it? I want to recommend Dr. Amy Meyers, "The Autoimmune Solution" book. It really tells all about the junk chemicals and truly dangerous ingredients in anything that doesn't come out of our own kitchens where we know what those ingredients are. We hope. There is a cookbook of hers I bought as well and the recipes are very good!

  3. These look delicious. I don't have issues, either, but am on Weight Watchers (permanently, I think!) so I have limitations. Smoothies are like fancy coffee--I love them, but I want them to be fixed for me. :-)

    1. Hi, Liz! I hear you. The hardest thing about this new life for me is no coffee. No latte! I was freaking out for a week. Then I found some lovely teas and I'm converted. Done. And like you said...cooked for me. Due to Covid or thanks to it, I can't go to a restaurant so I haven't been challenged except for the funeral luncheon yesterday for my brother-in-law's mother, but since I planned the food with the caterer, I had her make a chicken breast I could eat. And four bits of cantaloupe. Sigh. No chocolate mousse.

  4. I sometimes get on a smoothie kick. And I've been known to add a small smoothie to our dinner menu. Here are my two favorites. Green smoothie (green apple, banana, fresh spinach and ice/water). It comes out bright green and tastes very refreshing. Purple smoothie (frozen blueberries, banana, fresh spinach, ice/water, a little whole milk or cream). It comes out a deep purple color and it's delicious. I've tried kale but spinach (dare I say this) is sweeter. Love the ideas, ladies! I'm going to try your recipes!

    1. Oh, Elizabeth! I love the color spectrum here. In a few months I'm told I can try organic baby spinach a bit at a time. I think I'll try it with my smoothie! Thanks!

  5. I find a banana is a natural sweetener. My mother took to adding a couple to the pot of rhubarb and that helped to take away some of its eye-squinting tartness. To make it more of a full meal deal, I've added avocado to smoothies. Love the recipes, given we're a diet-restricted household, too!

    1. You're so right. A banana is fabulous in a smoothie. Even better sautéed with butter, sugar, Cinnamon and bourbon and then poured over ice cream. But that was decades ago. Ah. the Days of Yore. Bananas Foster.

  6. These sound great. I'll have to try them. Hope you both are feeling strong and healthy these days.

    1. I actually feel pretty darn good on this nutritionist's heaven of a food regime. My mother was a dietician. And she must be dancing all over heaven, watching me cook every single morsel Im allowed to eat. For Rula, this is all old hat. I'm just catching on.

  7. I just sat down with my smoothie of berries, milk, yogurt and ice and started reading this blog.

  8. Thanks--good recipes, especially for those of us avoiding gluten and other things. I love the way blueberries fit so well with green smoothies and even not in a smoothie, avocado and blueberries are a great salad combination. Hope you're both having a great summer!

  9. Had one today with whey powder, soy powder, bananas, pomegranate, mandarin oranges (they're getting an old flavor for just eating) and blueberry. I also like using plain Greek yogurt, and any other fruit on hand, but no sweeteners. My smoothies are different every time because I don't use a recipe. No problem here eating veggies, so they don't need to be added.

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