Apple Blue Smoothie from www.jilliansvideoproductions.com on Vimeo.

On a hot summer day, a nice cool smoothie is a healthy and refreshing alternative to sodas and other sweet drinks. The apple blue smoothie from Sweetness without Sugar is packed with fruits and vegetables so that it can also serve as a mid-morning or afternoon snack, or even as a quick, light lunch.

I like to use organic fruits and vegetables especially for the “Dirty Dozen,” those crops that are higher in pesticides. But if you want to save money, it’s less crucial to buy organic for produce with lower levels of pesticides, the “Clean Fifteen.” For both lists, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce for 2013.

I use a Vitamix but any blender will do. This smoothie features romaine lettuce, apple, blueberries, bananas (that I’ve peeled, put in a bag and frozen) along with sesame seeds for extra calcium, protein powder and a few other ingredients that pack this smoothie with nutrients and natural sweetness.

Pour it into conveniently sized mason jars, chill in the fridge and then you’ll have a cool, creamy smoothie that will help you add a little extra gratitude to your day.