Hot days just make you want a smoothie. I have not had much luck making smoothies at home - they seem easy enough to make, but for some reason I could never make one that I was really satisfied with. My husband thought it was silly that I would look for smoothie recipes online ("Just take some fruit and yogurt and throw it in the blender Ruth"), but I didn't want to waste good fruit on a so-so smoothie.
I bought peaches and strawberries from the farmers market yesterday (from South Carolina, so at least they were kind of local...) and wanted to make a good smoothie out of them. I found this recipe that is so simple, yet made an excellent smoothie. Previously I had been using fruit, ice, and yogurt to get the texture that I wanted, but the smoothie always tasted diluted. I want my smoothies to burst with fruit flavor. Then I found this recipe and I realized - duh! Frozen fruit. I could achieve the consistency and coldness that I wanted if I just used frozen fruit. So I cut up a cup of strawberries and a peach, froze them for an hour, and then blended them with some soy milk and some vanilla extract. Delish! I've found what I have been looking for in a smoothie recipe. We always have soy milk and vanilla, so I don't have to buy any extra ingredients when I'm hankering for a smoothie. The freezing the fruit thing does require a little planning, but worth it to avoid adding ice and getting a more intense fruit flavor.
Tip: One kitchen item that I love having, especially for smoothies, is a stick (handheld) blender. I got one for Christmas and I love it. It's so easy to use, and you can make smoothies quickly and with little effort. I have one that comes with a beater attachment and a food processor attachment, and also used it this weekend to make homemade whipped cream and to chop up fresh cranberries for scones. I highly recommend one if you use a blender, hand mixer, and/or food processor on a regular basis.