4 Warm & Way Healthy Winter Smoothies

4 Warm & Way Healthy Winter Smoothies

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Cool weather often means cravings for comfort food, and hankerings for anything that will warm you up. Enter warm winter smoothies! Read on for hot drinks recipes that fuel your body and warm your bones.

These warm, filling drinks nourish your body and soothe your soul. Seasonal flavors call to mind holiday favorites but replace empty calories with fiber, protein, and vitamins.

Hot Apple Pie Smoothie

This drink calls to mind Thanksgiving morning in Nana’s kitchen. One whiff of the spicy aroma, and you’ll feel the warmth of the holidays. Bonus: cinnamon is an antioxidant superstar and an anti-inflammatory to boot.

Yields 1 12-ounce smoothie

1 medium apple, cored and cubed (do not peel)
1/4 cup yellow raisins
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup almond milk
3/4 cup water, warm
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Cinnamon stick, for garnish

1. Combine the apples, raisins, cinnamon, clove, and almond milk in a small pan, and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes.

2. Once the apples are fork-tender, remove the pan from the heat, and cool to nearly room temperature. (You can skip the cooling if using a Vitamix or other heat-friendly blender.)

3. Add the apple mixture to a high-speed blender along with the water and the walnuts. Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute.

*If using a blender with a glass carafe, vent the top to allow steam to escape, and start on the low setting before increasing the speed to high.

4. Pour into a mug, garnish with the cinnamon stick, and serve hot. (If a hotter beverage is desired, microwave for about 45 seconds.)

Warm Chai Latte Smoothie

If you love your morning Starbucks drink, but you want to reduce the caffeine and sugar, this smoothie is your ticket. Tea offers just enough caffeine, and honey, just enough sweetness, while almond butter provides long-lasting energy.

Makes 1 12-ounce smoothie

1/2 cup coconut milk, warmed
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup brewed chai tea, hot
2 tablespoons almond butter
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled (about the size of your thumb)
1 tablespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for garnish
Ground allspice, for garnish

 

1. In a heat-safe measuring cup, combine the coconut milk and vanilla. Microwave till warm, about 45 seconds, and pour into a high-speed blender.

2. Add the brewed tea, almond butter, ginger, honey, and cinnamon. Blend on high until smooth, about 2 minutes.

*If using a standard blender with a glass carafe, vent the top to allow steam to escape, and start on the low setting and increase the speed to high.

3. Pour into a coffee mug, and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon allspice. (If a hotter beverage is desired, microwave for about 45 seconds.)

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The PB, B & C Hot Cocoa Smoothie

Craving a comforting cup of super-thick hot chocolate? This smoothie is your new best friend. With the decadent feel of an ice-cream parlor treat, this drink also serves up substance in the form of peanut butter and bananas.

Makes 1 12-ounce smoothie

1 cup almond milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 medium banana, sliced into thin rounds
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for garnish
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Cinnamon, for garnish

1. In a small pan, over medium heat, combine the almond milk, vanilla, and banana slices. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until bubbles form around the edges, about 3 or 4 minutes.

2. Pour the mixture into a high-speed blender. Add the peanut butter, cocoa, and salt. Blend on high until smooth, about 2 minutes.

*If using a blender with a glass carafe, vent the top to allow steam to escape, and start on the low setting before increasing the speed to high.

3. Pour into a coffee mug, and garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa and cinnamon. (If a hotter beverage is desired, microwave for about 45 seconds.)

Warm Pear-Ginger Oatmeal Smoothie

If you love a good pear tart, but want to skip the fat and calories, this smoothie is for you. Cold-weather spices and fall fruit will transport you to a Paris patisserie, while the ginger boosts your immune system and the oats lower your cholesterol.

Makes 1 12-ounce smoothie

1 cup rice milk
1 large ripe pear, cored and sliced (unpeeled)
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled (about the size of your thumb)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup rolled oats
Cinnamon, for garnish

1. In a small pan, combine the rice milk, pear, ginger, and maple syrup over medium heat.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, until bubbles form around the edges, about 3 or 4 minutes.

2. Pour the mixture into a high-speed blender and add the rolled oats. Blend on high until smooth.

*If using a blender with a glass carafe, vent the top to allow steam to escape, and start on the low setting before increasing the speed to high.

3. Pour into a coffee mug, and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon. (If a hotter beverage is desired, microwave for about 45 seconds.)

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Lynn Marie Hulsman

I'm a New York City-based novelist, cookbook writer, and ideation agent whose former jobs include stand-up comic, bookseller, and medical editor. Interests include nutrition, pop psychology, British culture, and dogs. My very favorite thing is reading.
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