When you think “smoothie,” you don’t necessarily think about a winter treat. But, just like ice cream (and a whole lot healthier) a smoothie might just be the perfect way to warm the soul through the cold and dark months.
A good winter smoothie is a delicious and nutritious way to boost your immune system (all the more important when everyone around you has the sniffles), stay hydrated, and enjoy seasonal flavours guilt-free. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and, best of all, so many of the ingredients that you’ll need will be sitting right there in your Good & Fugly fruit box.
The ingredients you’ll want to have to hand
Smoothies are only limited by your imagination, of course, but there are several ingredients that are particularly useful to have to hand:
Oranges, grapefruits, and lemons are abundant during the winter season and are excellent sources of vitamin C. They add a perfect zing to your smoothies, while boosting your immune system.
Apples are a staple fruit for the winter, so it’s just as well that they go great into smoothies. Apples have natural sweetness, fibre, and a wide range of nutrients. They’re also very versatile, and there are so many seasonings and mixes that you can add them to.
Pears are a great alternative for when you’re in the mood for a break from apples. They also contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. They’ve also got a sweetness to their flavour profile that makes them exquisite when combined with creamy ingredients such as almond butter or yogurt
If you like a tart bite to your smoothies, then cranberries are a great go-to. They are in season during the winter and are exceptionally healthy thanks to their high antioxidant content. They also mix well with other fruits to give your smoothies a deep, rich flavour.
Don’t overlook your Good & Fugly veggie boxes for smoothie ingredients, either! You can incorporate nutrient-rich greens like kale, spinach, or Swiss chard into your smoothies for an extra dose of vitamins and minerals. They also help to balance out the sweetness of the fruits and provide a tantalising colour.
Now for the spices
As we’re looking to make some soul-warming treats here, having some spices to hand to add that extra kick of moreish flavour is a must. These are all common ingredients that you can easily pick up and store in the pantry for those times you pull the blender out.
The iconic winter’s spice, cinnamon adds warmth and depth to your smoothies. It pairs well with apples, pears, and bananas, creating a comforting flavour profile.
With its nutty and slightly sweet flavour, nutmeg complements winter fruits like oranges and pears especially well. You only need a sprinkle! But you’ll definitely enjoy being curled up in the warmth of your home while you sip that one.
Ginger isn’t just a great source of a heat kick in a smoothie. It’s also well-known for its immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. Combine this incredibly healthy root with citrus fruits or carrots for a spicy blend.
Finally, we come to the bases. No smoothie would be complete without one! What you want to do here is find a base that is fairly thick and “filling,” without resorting to something like ice cream that would add too much fat to the smoothie.
You can go with either Greek yogurt or plant-based alternatives like coconut or almond yogurt for a classically creamy texture, with the added benefit of the probiotics for your gut.
It might not be quite as thick as yoghurt, but the flavour profiles more than make up for it. Almond, cashew, or oat milk are particularly useful ways of having your smoothies dairy-free. The nutty hint that it will bring to the drink is another layer of flavour that makes the smoothie a delight.
Of course, avocados are a feature in smoothies as well! Adding a ripe avocado to your smoothie not only enhances the texture but also provides healthy fats, making the smoothie more satisfying, “thick”, and filling.
Boosters and Extras
Now that you’ve got your fruits (and veg!), base and spices, it’s time to add the final touches that really bring the favours and textures of your smoothies home.
These tiny powerhouses are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and protein. They can be added to your smoothie to boost nutritional content and they also help thicken it further, which is particularly useful if you’ve gone with a nut milk base.
Nuts and Seeds
Who doesn’t like nuts? There is a range of them that will enhance the other flavours that are packed into your smoothie. Almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, or pumpkin seeds are all excellent options. They’ll give the smoothie some crunchy panache, and you’ll get a good dose of healthy fats into the bargain.
Your smoothie is already going to be plenty sweet, but it is also winter so you may just want that extra boost for the sake of pure decadence. Just don’t ruin it with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Instead, use natural sweeteners sparingly, such as honey, maple syrup, or dates, to enhance the flavour of your smoothie.
The great thing about smoothies is that you can mix and match from the above to make something that uniquely suits you. Half the fun is experimenting! However, to get you started, here are some all-time favourite winter smoothie recipes:
Winter Citrus Blast
Blend oranges, grapefruits, pineapple, a handful of spinach, and a splash of coconut water for a refreshing and vitamin-packed smoothie.
Spiced Apple Pie
Combine apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond milk, and a tablespoon of almond butter for a creamy and comforting smoothie… it tastes like it just came out of the oven and cooled on the windowsill!
Blend cranberries, pears, a squeeze of lime juice, a tablespoon of chia seeds, and a splash of cranberry juice for a tangy and antioxidant-rich smoothie.
Green Winter Boost
Mix kale, banana, avocado, a handful of nuts or seeds, yogurt, and a drizzle of honey for a nutrient-dense and satisfying smoothie.
Winter smoothies provide a fantastic way to incorporate seasonal ingredients, warming spices, and healthy boosters into your diet… and have a delicious and comforting tweet through the cold, wind and rain.
Once you get going you’ll realise that there are endless combinations and variations, and you can easily create delicious and nutritious blends to keep you energised and satisfied during the winter months. Make the smoothies your own, and do tell us your favourite recipes as you discover them!