It’s June, and you know what June means? Fresh strawberries and fresh basil! This recipe was a total no-brainer because it combines two of my favorite spring specialties, for a refreshing seasonal beverage. This Strawberry Basil Margarita Smoothie is great two ways: made virgin-style for a delicious light breakfast, or with a splash of tequila for the perfect Sunday-afternoon-on-the-back-porch drink.
I truly believe that good quality ingredients make for the best-tasting dishes, and this smoothie is no exception. That’s why I always use local, organic produce whenever possible, like the berries and basil in this smoothie! When it comes to produce that is not grown in my area, or for store-bought products, I always check the ingredients list and choose the cleanest possible products like New Barn Organic Almondmilk. It’s made with organic almonds, sea salt, and no funky ingredients (no thank you carageenan!), so it’s as close to homemade as it gets! I love their Unsweetened flavor but they also make an Unsweetened Vanilla, as well as a lightly sweetened Original for those of you that prefer a little extra sweetness. If you buy the right berries, you won’t need any added sugar though!
There’s nothing better than farm-fresh strawberries in June, straight from the patch. Super sweet, a little tart, and oh-so-juicy. For this recipe, I took fresh strawberries from the farm, picked at the peak of their ripeness, and froze them that day. If you want to just buy frozen berries, that’s fine too! I highly recommend choosing organic for strawberries because they have topped the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list for three years in a row! This means that they are ranked #1 in pesticide contamination, so you should definitely choose organic whenever possible! A strawberry basil smoothie just isn’t the same without quality strawberries and quality basil!
If you want to get fresh berries and freeze them yourself, here’s a great way to freeze them ahead of time. Wash your berries well (especially if non-organic!) and take a small paring knife to hull them. Angle your knife and cut in a circular motion around the green leafy top, taking off the light colored flesh directly underneath as you go. Dry your washed and hulled berries with a clean towel and lay them on a baking sheet pan. It’s helpful to place them carefully so they aren’t touching; they’ll be easier to separate later on! Let them sit in the freezer for at least an hour. Once they’re frozen solid, remove them from the sheet pan and freeze them in a freezer-safe bag or container.
You can of course use non-frozen berries in this recipe too, but it just won’t be as cold and refreshing. Totally an option though if you aren’t able to freeze berries ahead of time. If you aren’t using frozen berries, you can add in a few ice cubes to help lower the temperature of the final product.
The final ingredients include half of a lemon (peeled and de-seeded) as well as some lemon zest too. The zest adds a little extra kick of flavor, and the lemon (yes the flesh itself, not just the juice!) adds Vitamin C and antioxidants too. If you’re really feeling adventurous, you can include the peel too, but I find that the flavor is a little overpowering in this particular recipe. (Plus, it only works if you have a high powered blender.) Feel free to substitute lime instead of lemon if you are feeling a more classic margarita combination. I love the lemon for its health benefits in the morning, but it’s absolutely delicious both ways!
Last but not least in this strawberry basil smoothie is a pinch of unrefined salt; a natural flavor enhancer, an addition of extra minerals, and the finishing touch in any margarita! I hope you find this recipe as easy, simple, and addicting as I do! It’s been my go-to breakfast (without the tequila, duh!) especially during strawberry season but it can be enjoyed all year long with frozen berries!
As always, let me know if you try this recipe by tagging me @hashtagvegan and using #hashtagvegan on Instagram so I can see your creations!
For the animals,
A big thank you to New Barn for sponsoring this post! Recipe and opinions are 100% my own, and I only work with companies whose products I genuinely use, love, and recommend. For more info, check out my full disclosure here.