Missing summer’s cool, fresh, fruity smoothies? Winter smoothies (some served warm) can help boost your immune system and fortify you against the season’s chill. What’s more, scientists have found that holding a warm drink (as opposed to something iced) at a business or social gathering can influence one’s perception of others in the room. Hypotheses range and include an early association with parental and/or caregivers’ warmth—the first warmth we experienced out of the womb—and how safe we felt in close proximity to it. No doubt everything looked rosy from there! Perhaps paramount to that, the insula part of the brain is where temperature warmth is processed, and also where judgments about others are formed.
Warm drinks with ingredients like canned pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw oats, almond milk, ginger, and maple syrup give your body what it needs to dash headlong through the snow – all the way into summer. Spices including cardamom, cinnamon, anise, cayenne, and even black pepper are known to create internal heat. Cloves, nutmeg, once more the versatile cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice can give winter smoothies a real holiday tang, and chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, even peanuts add the kind of yummy substance that can spur you through the long, dark, frigid days of winter.
Try these recipes to power you from December to June with the right amount of winter vigor!
Warm Banana Maple Walnut Winter Smoothies
- ¾ cup hot water
- 1 peeled ripe banana
- 3 tablespoons chopped raw walnuts
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼-inch knob fresh ginger
- 2 or 3 pitted organic dates
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
Blend in high speed blender until smooth.
NOTE: If blender has glass container, let water cool a little first as glass can crack or even shatter if too hot.
Warm Spiced Apple Winter Smoothies
- 3 apples
- 1 celery stick
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
Juice two of the apples and place in a blender with celery, nutmeg, and the remaining apple that has been peeled and cored. Blend until smooth. For a thinner smoothie, add some water or the juice of another apple.
Transfer mixture to a saucepan along with cinnamon stick and star anise. Simmer and allow to cool slightly before removing the spices.
The following two smoothies are not served warm, but ingredients that include spinach, cayenne, oats, flaxseed oil, and raw honey can help generate internal heat. They’re just the vitamin and antioxidant boost the body needs to help fortify it against winter colds and flu.
Green Power Winter Smoothies
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, preferably raw
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 small frozen banana
- 1 handful baby spinach or other greens
- Pinch of cayenne
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 2 cups water
Combine in blender or food processor.
Ginger Pear Oat Winter Smoothies
- 1 cup nonfat milk or plain nonfat yogurt
- 1 small ripe pear, cored, skin left on
- ½ banana
- ½ cup uncooked oatmeal
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil, optional
- 4 ice cubes
Blend until smooth – may take upwards of five minutes (even more) until ginger and oats are fully macerated and blended.