Okay, I’ll say it: I am ready for the summer. I know we have six months to go. I know that there is a bounty of delicious stews, root vegetables and citrus fruits to be had at the moment, but I still miss strawberries, apricots, cherries and blackberries. I miss scones with fresh whipped cream and topped with berries. I miss peach ice cream at my friend Mollye’s house. I miss snowballs (no fruit there). I miss shorts. T-shirts. Flip flops. Margaritas (okay, that’s about pregnancy). I miss heat. Sweating. Jazz Fest. Open doors. Beach trips.
And smoothies? I miss blending up fresh fruit with a bit of yoghurt as a great mid-morning snack or afternoon pick-me-up.
I can do lots of things but I can’t rush time. I get it. And since I am not a big user of frozen fruits and I do my best to eat produce in-season, even with my desire to blend my way back into shape after the holiday blowout(s) I recognize that I need to find smoothies that work for the season.
The background here is that I have always been a big smoothie fan. I actually remember my first one. Ready? 1981. New Orleans. My mom was such a hippie! We shopped at Whole Foods before it was WHOLE FOODS and we would go to a little storefront in Mid-City and select our fruits – me, my mom and my sister, Tiffany – and they would throw them all in a blender with ice. The result was amazing. It was a drinkable dessert and I was hooked! From then until now smoothies have been integral to my diet for a healthy breakfast, a low-fat lunch or afternoon cravings. If I remember correctly they are also outstanding hangover cures.
When the in-laws headed back to the UK on December 28th, after 12 days of partying (the Brits are animals, I tell you!), I knew one thing above all else: There was NO way I was waiting for 2014 to start shaping up. I was going to be whipping up power smoothies, quinoa salads and brothy soups from then until this baby is born (February 7th) and waaaay beyond. In the spirit of everyone pulling it back a bit for The New Year I decided to take three of my favorite winter smoothies and measure out the ingredients so I could share the love.
The three recipes below my favorites for the winter. I rarely feel better in the mornings then when I start with a fresh juice or smoothie. It keeps my head clear and my body thanks me for laying off the carbs for a change.
A few notes:
You can add a scoop of protein powder to any of these if you are trying to add some extra protein to your diet. Protein is important if exercising more is at the top of your 2014 resolutions or if you are, say, growing a baby in your belly. For the chocolate smoothie you can also add a scoop of peanut butter. It isn’t lo-cal but it will keep you going all day long!
And adjust the ice as you see fit. I like my summer smoothies very slushy but my winter smoothies not so much so do whatever works for you.
Lastly, more powerful blenders will blend the ice more. I base my timings on a Blendtec (MY FAV!!) but any blender will do.
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1 cup (45g) of kale leaves (packed)
- 1/2 cup (110g) of Pineapple
- 1/2 cup (122 g) vanilla yoghurt
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) of milk (whole, skim, almond, soy....whatever you want)
- 8 pieces of ice
- Put all ingredients in a powerful blender starting with the banana and ending with the milk.
- Blend for 30 seconds in a powerful (Blendtec or Vitamix) blender or 60 seconds in a traditional blender.
- Pour into a very large glass and garnish with a straw.
- Drink up!
- Makes 24oz
- Remember that more blending makes the smoothie bubble up. That doesn't bother me but might bother you.
Lastly you’ll note a few additions at the bottom. The avocado thing might sound crazy but I swear it’s amazing.
- 1 banana
- 1 cup (235ml) of Almond Milk
- 1/3 cup (70ml) raw cacao powder (Cacao is raw food cocoa. Don't substitute cocoa.)
- 10 pieces of ice
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) of Manuka honey
- Place ingredients into blender in the order listed.
- Blend for 30 seconds in a powerful blender (Blendtec or Vitamix) or 60 in a standard blender.
- Pour into a tall glass.
- Drink up!
- Makes 20 oz
- There are three great additions you can make to this one.
- 1. 1 scoop of unflavored or vanilla flavored protein powder
- 2. A half of an avocado (don't knock it - it's SOOOO good! Makes it taste like chocolate mousse)
- 3. A scoop of creamy peanut butter.
- 1/2 cup muesli (soft, not crunchy, granola. Usually found on the cereal or health food aisles of the grocery store.)
- 1 cup (235ml) 2% milk
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) Manuka Honey
- 1 dash of cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) low fat vanilla yoghurt
- 10 pieces of ice
- Put ingredients into blender in order listed.
- Blend for 30-60 seconds depending on how powerful your blender is.
- Drink with a thick straw.
- Makes 24 oz.
- The muesli does not fully blend so if you don't love the texture, this one just isn't for you.