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THE RECIPE BOX: Banana smoothie a healthy alternative to ice cream

Drinking this banana smoothie is a good way to have a sweet treat without the extra calories of having ice cream in a cool summer drink.

Drinking this banana smoothie is a good way to have a sweet treat without the extra calories of having ice cream in a cool summer drink.

Two things have been rising lately -- the daily pollen count and the outdoor temperatures. When the warmer weather arrives, there is nothing like having a cool drink for the hot and humid Georgia days.

I usually go for the fruitier smoothie over a thicker, heavier smoothie, but I came across a banana smoothie recipe that caught my eye. I changed the recipe quite a bit from the original one I jotted down.

Although the picture of this week's recipe appears to be more of a chocolate smoothie, it is really the color of chocolate because of the Nutella used in making the smoothie. The original recipe called for three to four tablespoons of Nutella, and I didn't like that much. If you feel even the two tablespoons listed in the recipe are too much for you, then adjust it to your liking.

Speaking of warmer weather, I'm looking for some great summer recipes. If you've got a to-die-for cucumber salad recipe, or some kind of killer barbecue sauce, email the recipes to julie.wells@rockdalecitizen.com.

Banana smoothie

1 cup of ice

1 cup of milk

2 tablespoons of Nutella

One large banana, sliced

6 ounces of vanilla or plain low-fat yogurt

1 teaspoon of cocoa (optional)

Combine all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Tip: Refrigerate 30 minutes to one hour before serving.