Written by: Claudia Haller NBC-HWC
Who says smoothies are only for the summertime? Smoothies are an undeniably quick and delicious breakfast option on busy mornings. They are also a great way to pack nutrients into your diet as an afternoon snack or midday pick-me-up. When it's cold outside, and you can't seem to warm up, there are a few smart tips you can follow to add warmth to your usual smoothie and make it more winter-friendly. Aren’t you glad you don't have to kick your favorite homemade smoothies to the curb until summer? With these tips and tricks you can craft custom cozy blends for the colder seasons.
The seasonal foods that we fill our plates with during winter take longer to grow, but are so nutritious. For example, citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and clementines add a zesty kick, infusing your smoothie with immune-boosting vitamin C. Pomegranate seeds, rich in antioxidants, add a burst of color and flavor. Or you can even think of winter squash and collard greens. The produce of the winter tends to have a warmer profile than things that grow quickly in the summertime, so try to work seasonal produce into your smoothies! They'll add a grounding element to your smoothies that you'll love and provide you with a variety of health benefits.
Nutrient Rich Greens
Don’t let the winter blues keep you from your dark greens. Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are all nutrient powerhouses, packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. These leafy greens can easily be blended into your smoothies to complete a well-rounded and satisfying smoothie. Adding leafy greens into a smoothie is a great way to sneak greens into the diet of picky eaters too!
Another way to warm up your winter smoothies is by sprinkling in some comforting spices. Cinnamon, basil, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, and nutmeg are perfect ways to add a festive flair to your smoothies and get more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to thrive during the colder weather. These spices will make your smoothie taste like a cozy treat, without the guilty feeling sometimes associated with holiday desserts.
Let It Defrost.
Frozen berries are a fantastic ingredient in smoothies when it's hot out, but winter is a different story. Did you know that when something is frozen, it can actually slow down your digestion in the colder months? Let your frozen berries thaw out in the fridge while you sleep. Taking the frigid chill out of them will help significantly add warmth to your smoothie and provide your body with extra health benefits.
Save tropical fruits for summertime.
There's nothing more summery than mango or pineapple, especially together. But to serve your winter wellness better, choose foods grown in temperate regions. Apples and pears are great examples of the bounty of this season and the ways that you can use seasonal produce to warm things up.
Pack in the protein!
You will never feel full or satisfied if you only fill your smoothie with fruits and vegetables. When incorporating fats, choose healthy options like avocado and coconut oil. And don't forget about sources of protein such as seeds, nuts, or hemp. Greek yogurt, almond butter, or a scoop of plant-based protein powder are also excellent choices. Not only do these additions enhance the creaminess of your smoothie, but they also provide the necessary fuel to keep you going through the holiday rush.
Cozy and colorful.
Warmer colors equal a warmer winter smoothie. Choose fruits, vegetables, and spices that are red, orange, and yellow over the cooler colors. Think beets, carrots, pumpkins, etc. Forget about pumpkin spice lattes and hot cocoa; your smoothies can have that same winter aesthetic appeal and provide you with an abundance of nutrients!
What are the warmest foods?
As they've believed since ancient times in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, foods actually can have warming, cooling, or neutral effects. So, what are some examples of foods that can scientifically warm up your smoothies? You can't go wrong with apples! Blackberries are another great choice, especially if you tend to include blueberries in your smoothies throughout the summer. Pumpkin, winter squash, walnuts, pear, kale, and sweet potatoes all have their place in the warming food sector too.
This winter, give your body the gift of balance by incorporating nourishing smoothies into your routine. Embrace the flavors of the season, indulge in nutrient-rich ingredients, and savor the satisfaction of a lighter alternative to heavy holiday meals. A winter smoothie can be a delicious and health-conscious way to navigate the festivities, offering a moment of rest for your body to recover and recharge. So, blend up your own winter wonder and toast to a season of health and happiness!
The theory of foods having warming or cooling characteristics originates from ancient Chinese medicine practices. To learn more about the effects of each category of foods, reasons why you may need them, and examples of them, check out this article: https://www.pingminghealth.com/article/581/warming-and-cooling-characteristics-of-common-foods/
If you’re looking for healthy, cozy beverage recipes that are lighter than a smoothie, check out our recent blog here for some ideas: https://www.virtualhealthcoaches.com/blog/sip-and-savor-5-nourishing-fall-drinks-to-embrace-the-season
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