What better way to enjoy the first day of summer than fresh, ripe stone fruit in a cool, creamy, dairy-free drink. Did you know that an apricot has just 17 calories? Seriously! Not to mention, those sweet little packages are a good source of beta-carotene (nature’s vitamin A), vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. With such a healthy profile, I thought it perfectly suitable, if not downright responsible, to put three whole apricots into this delicious vegan apricot smoothie. If you’re feeling like a total health nut, you could even add a fourth apricot … and while you’re at it, toss in a fistful or two of baby spinach. It changes the color, but not the taste.
Apricot season is relatively brief; the fresh fruit is harvested in the Northern hemisphere from May through August, and even during those peak months apricots can be hard to find in some areas. So when you do spot these sunny gems, I recommend stocking up and freezing any ripe leftovers (pit them first!), so you can enjoy an apricot smoothie on one of those warm fall days.
Unlike many stone fruits, apricots typically pull away from the pit easily, making them excellent for cutting and adding to recipes. When in season, you may come across a variety of apricots, but my favorite are the Blenheims (common on the west coast), which are somewhat large, sweet, and aromatic. I use Blenheims in most of my recipes, but pretty much any variety will work very well in an apricot smoothie; some are just less sweet than others.
Since I enjoyed this non-dairy recipe for breakfast, I didn’t opt for a super-sweet treat, but feel free to up the sweetener or play around with one of the options that I’ve listed with the recipe. Also, I see no reason why you couldn’t sub in another stone fruit if you don’t have ripe apricots available. Try peaches, cherries, or even nectarines!
Special Diet Notes: Summer Spice Apricot Smoothie
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally paleo, optionally vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For the sweetener in this apricot smoothie, it really is a matter of taste and depends on how ripe / sweet your fruit is. When I use a vanilla protein powder like Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Booster, I often don’t need any more sweetener. If not, I add 1 teaspoon of honey (paleo option), because I love honey with stone fruit. Other good options that are vegan include 1 to 3 teaspoons of agave nectar or organic sugar, or 3 to 7 drops of liquid stevia.
For a banana-free apricot smoothie, use about 1/2 to 3/4 cup frozen ripe mango chunks or about 1/3 cup of your favorite dairy-free yogurt, adding ice as desired. Or for a more indulgent shake, stick with just the apricots, double the cashews, add in ice, and extra sweetener to taste.
- 3 medium or 2 large ripe apricots, pitted
- 1 small to medium frozen, ripe banana (see sub options in post above)
- ½ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage or light coconut milk (for paleo), plus additional, if needed.
- 2 tablespoons vanilla dairy-free protein powder or ½ ounce cashews, ground in spice grinder
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed or chia seed (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch salt
- Sweetener, to taste (see options in post above)
- Place the pitted apricots, frozen banana, ½ cup milk beverage or coconut milk, protein powder or ground cashews, flaxseed, cinnamon, ginger and salt in your blender. Give it a few pulses to break things up, and then whiz away until smooth. Add more milk beverage or coconut milk if the mixture is too thick for your blender or your liking.
- Taste test and blend in sweetener, to taste, if desired.