Try as I might, I cannot bring myself to be excited about drinking a cold green smoothie in the morning for breakfast. Or as an afternoon snack. Or, well, anytime. My excuse is that I live in Michigan. Gut reaction to “winter + smoothies” = noooooo. At least, that was the response the boyfriend gave when, on a recent dog walk, with icy snow blowing in our faces, I asked if he wanted to split a smoothie when we got back inside.
So I’ve given up on trying to trick myself into liking things that resemble liquefied peat moss, but I refuse to let go of the entire concept of smoothies, winter weather be damned. There’s just something so refreshing and empowering (okay, perhaps this is mostly a mental thing?) about slurping down a few servings of fruit with their multitude of vitamins and minerals all in one glass. How. Ever. This cranberry-apple smoothie recipe comes with a couple caveats:
- This is not a smoothie from Jamba Juice. It will not taste like it has sherbet in it, because, well, it does not have sherbet in it. In fact, it doesn’t have any added sugar. It’s January and we’re trying to be healthy, right?
- I cannot in good faith recommend that people in cold climates eat this for breakfast after crawling out of a warm bed or upon returning home after struggling through an ice storm. It is, however, great as a post-workout snack or as part of dinner, mixed in with some warm, comforting fare (chicken pot pie, anyone?).
Now that we’ve got the caveats out of the way, let’s talk about the perks of this cranberry-apple smoothie! First of all, it’s got oodles of fresh (or frozen) cranberries, which, despite their reputation for being high in anti-oxidants, most people avoid unless they’re cooked down in a vat of sugar, stuffed inside baked goods, or some combination of the two. This recipe makes fresh cranberries actually palatable, since the frozen banana provides enough sweetness to counteract the cranberries’ pucker-inducing tartness. Next, the almond milk gives you a boost of calcium while the almond butter adds a little protein, together lending a subtle nuttiness to the overall flavor and texture of the smoothie. Finally, each serving has an entire apple, so hopefully this smoothie will help you keep the doctor away! I’m never sure how much truth there is in that, but at any rate, be sure to keep the apple skins on to get all the nutrients.
TL;DR? This cranberry-apple smoothie tastes pure and refreshing, has all sorts of nutritional perks, and will make you feel virtuous. Just maybe don’t drink it first thing in the morning during the winter if you live in the Midwest.
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 apples, diced (skin on)
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 frozen banana, broken into chunks
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- Put the cranberries, apples, applesauce, and almond milk into the blender and blend until smooth. Add the frozen banana and almond butter and blend until smooth. If the blender is having difficulty, you may need to add an additional tablespoon or two of almond milk.
- I use Fuji apples, but any sweet variety will do. I would avoid tart varieties such as Granny Smiths, on account of the tartness of the cranberries.
- This recipe was tested using unsweetened applesauce and unsweetened almond milk; with that being said, feel free to use any kind of applesauce or almond milk.
HomeSweetJones (@HomeSweetJones) says
Yes! I want to feel virtuous!!
I think we might be psychically connected – I fell asleep last night thinking of cranberry drink recipes. And this morning my dreams come true!
How funny! I hope you get a chance to try this 🙂
I feel you with the cold weather + smoothie thing…but I think I actually end up drinking more smoothies (ahem and eating ice cream) in the winter than I do in the summer! 😉
Oh wow, I’m impressed! Perhaps I have bad circulation and that’s why I can’t seem to stay warm. Just the other day I was wearing gloves in the living room because my hands were like ice blocks!
Tracy | Baking Mischief says
Man, I LOVE green smoothies and I can’t even stomach them in winter. I had no idea smoothies in January were a thing until they were everywhere this year. This one does look so good though. I could definitely put on some gloves and enjoy it. And I like that it uses whole cranberries. I love the taste of cranberry juice in my smoothies, but not all the added sugar, so I am going to have to try the real things!
Yes – I love your idea of putting on gloves to help stave off the chill while drinking this! Do you have a favorite green smoothie recipe? (I still haven’t completely given up on finding out that I’ll like!)
Tracy | Baking Mischief says
Gloves are the only way to drink smoothies in winter, in my opinion. 😉
This is the green smoothie I make, minus the celery and optional ingredients, and sometimes with two apples instead of a pear. It’s definitely very green, but I find that the lemon cuts through most of the green taste. https://www.vitamix.com/Recipes/Glowing-Green-Smoothie/C-Series/Variable-Speed/Classic-64-Ounce
Well hey, that recipe doesn’t look too scary (the way you make it, anyway)! I’ll have to give it a try sometime…maybe when it’s a few degrees warmer outside 😉
Liquefied peat moss, you crack me up! As I sit in my 50° home, I also have a hard time getting excited about smoothies, but your Cranberry Apple Smoothie could make my breakfast a little bit sweeter. Thanks for sharing.
Oh I hope you’re exaggerating about the 50 degrees indoors! That makes me cold just thinking about it. I hope you get a chance to try this…and that it doesn’t give you the chills!
Patty K says
Totally feel you! I need my hot coffee in the mornings, even in socal. I’m really liking your use of cranberries in this smoothie…Much more preferred over cranberry sauce!
Even though the temperatures outside in southern California can’t compare to those in other parts of the country, the houses themselves can still get pretty chilly – I remember that well! I’m glad this caught your eye!
Lu | Super Nummy says
Hahahaha I laughed out loud at your two caveats, even though I’m all about the winter smoothie. I also ate gelato outdoors in sub-zero temperatures though, so maybe that’s just me… Getting a healthy dose of cranberries without drowning it in sugar – I’m all in! Frozen bananas ftw!
I just don’t want to mislead people, you know? Wow, gelato outside when it’s below zero – you must have nearly superhuman powers! No wonder smoothies in the winter don’t faze you.
Julie is Hostess At Heart says
I am not really into the green stuff too. This cranberry apple looks pretty and sounds delicious!
That is probably half of my problem with green smoothies…we eat first with our eyes, right? Thanks for stopping by!
This looks amazingly delicious. 🙂
I’m glad it caught your eye! I hope you’re having a great weekend.
I did think about smoothies but couldn’t make myself enthusiastic about liquefied kale and broccoli (I wish I could) but I like the sound of this. I like the tartness of cranberries an I like the colour as well!
Happy Fiesta Friday 🙂
I know! I so wish that I could be enthusiastic about green smoothies. I like to think of this cranberry one as a smoothie for people who *want* to like healthy smoothies 🙂
Justine @ Born and Bred in Brooklyn says
I think smoothies are perfect for any time of year! Awesome recipe 😀
I’m glad to hear you’re an all-season smoothie fan! Thanks for stopping by!
This looks Fabulous & so simple! I love smoothies & can’t wait to give it a try!!
Thanks, Angela! I hope you find this one to your liking!
Claire (@x2mum) says
I avoid green smoothies too apart from kiwi fruit. This one looks great #recipeoftheweek
I never thought to use kiwi in a smoothie! In fact, I tend to overlook kiwi entirely, but I should change that soon. Thanks for stopping by!
I’d never though to add apple sauce to a smoothie. It sounds great although I have to admit I read far more about smoothies than I ever get around to making!
I think most of us probably read about smoothies more than we make them – you’re in good company! And yes, back in high school when I became lactose intolerant I started adding apple sauce to smoothies to take the place of yogurt.
Dragons And Fairy Dust says
I agree re green smoothies. Pink is more enticing and this one sounds lovely
I’m glad to hear that we’re on the same page! Thanks for stopping by!
This smoothie looks amazing!
Stephanie | Worth Whisking says
Oh, Mara! I must try this! My husband and I drink smoothies with breakfast several times a week, and it’s so easy to keep drinking the same ones over and over. This one sounds delicious, and I think it just might need to join the rotation! 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!
I think it’s especially easy to fall into the same routine when it comes to breakfast…our brains are hardly awake yet! I hope you get a chance to try this 🙂