|Transform Cool Summer Smoothies Into Winter Warmers|
|Written by Jessica Reeder|
When you're a smoothie girl, winter can seem pretty bleak. The refreshing, light and cool smoothies of summer are singularly unappealing -- not to mention out of season -- when the trees are all bare. But be brave, and don't pack away your blender just yet! Instead, try some new strategies for smoothies that'll warm your bones.
Don't be fooled, though: Smoothies can pack plenty of calories. A good smoothie will replace your lunch, not accompany it.
Add Ginger and Spices
Spices don't just add flavor. Adding ginger to a pear or apple smoothie (or just about any green smoothie) gives it a serious kick and some health benefit too. Spices like cardamom, anise and cayenne warm the stomach. For banana- and milk-based smoothies, use brewed chai instead of water for major deliciousness. Also try goji berries, black pepper, cloves and nutmeg.
Use a Milk and Yogurt Base
No ice allowed in winter smoothies! Instead, use organic milk or any non-dairy substitute. The flavor will be milder and creamier, and if you're using low-fat milk, the remaining fat will warm you up. Similarly, ditch the ice cream for yogurt. Try plain Greek yogurt, which is an excellent source of protein, and add your own sweeteners as desired.
Like Greek yogurt, nuts add protein and fat, which your body needs to keep warm. They also add dimension and richness to the flavor of your smoothies. Try pistachios with kiwis, or walnuts with apples. Coconut (flakes, milk or even oil and butter) goes with just about everything. And whatever you do, don't forget about peanut butter!
Actually warm it up
When all else fails, just take one of your summer smoothie recipes and warm it up! Try blending mango, banana and juice to a consistency you like, then warming it on a saucepan briefly. Alternatively, cook 1/4 cup of oats in milk, then blend with berries and yogurt. Drink it while it's still hot.
Here's a winter smoothie recipe I love, from Yam Rethinks Food:
Blend and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
imsgr: Quinn Dombrowski