Give your smoothies a cool makeover by serving them hot and toasty.
Photo: Jessica Cording Nutrition
If the idea of an ice-cold smoothie on a chilly morning sounds miserable to you, you're not alone. Passing up on holding a freezing cup when your hands are already icicles could mean you've been skipping out on your usual blend. But thanks to a new, healthy food trend hitting the internet, you don't need to wait until spring to enjoy your nutrient-packed smoothie.
Enter: warm winter smoothies. Sounds weird, yes, but give the concept a shot (or should we say “a slurp”?) and you'll be a convert for sure.
Ice-free smoothies made with room-temp or warm ingredients make for great winter smoothies, and the hot liquid takes them into a whole new realm of nourishing comfort food. Bonus: No worrying about a slushy melty mess because you took too long to take the perfect picture. (Admit it; you've been there, smoothie and açaí bowl devotees!)
Speaking of pictures, keep in mind that without ice to add a thick, frosty texture, warm smoothies will be on the thinner side and any heavy smoothie bowl toppings may sink to the bottom. So if you're going for an Insta-worthy shot, stick with light stuff like oats and coconut flakes. (And here’s the secret to prep-ahead smoothies that don’t suck.)
One big safety warning before you jump on the warm winter smoothie trend: Steam that's caused by boiling water can create pressure and cause the lid of your blender to blast off (!) or a serving bowl to shatter (!!), so you'll want to review these blender basics to avoid any burns or broken glass.
- Use warm (not hot) liquid if you want to be able to blend everything quickly.
- If you prefer your smoothie to be really hot, first heat the liquid separately. Then mix a small amount of the heated liquid with a tiny bit of cold water in the blender along with the mix-ins—just enough to help purée the solid ingredients—and then add the rest of the hot liquid to your cup or bowl after the smoothie is blended. (Related: The 10 Best Smoothies for Blenders, According to Healthy Foodies)
- Still nervous? Use an immersion blender, which you can safely dunk right into a bowl or saucepan.
Chocolate Banana and Oatmeal Warm Winter Smoothie Recipe
This warm winter smoothie is a delicious way to start your morning strong with a good balance of protein and complex carbs. Research shows that the tryptophan and vitamin B6 in bananas and oats can help support efficient production of the mood-regulating neurotransmitter serotonin, which will keep you on track for a great day despite the dreary weather.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk (or other milk of choice)
- 1 ounce cold water
- 1 scoop protein powder
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 medium banana, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pitted Medjool date
- In a small saucepan (or the microwave), heat almond milk to desired temperature. Set aside.
- Mix 2 ounces of the hot almond milk with the cold water and add to blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Pour hot milk over smoothie and stir with a spoon.
- Pour smoothie into a glass or bowl. Garnish with oats, cocoa powder, or other desired toppings.
You can also use coffee as your hot liquid or add a shot of espresso for a coffee smoothie that will give you a jolt of caffeine. Not a fan of protein powder? Try silken tofu for a rich, creamy texture. Swap out the oats for chia seeds, nuts, flaxseed, or hempseed for a twist. Adding puréed pumpkin or butternut squash is a smart and healthy way to thicken your smoothie.
Nutrition information (via USDA Supertracker): 369 calories, 27g protein, 7g total fat (2g sat fat), 56g carbs, 7g fiber, 21g sugar (from natural sources), 292mg sodium
More Warm, Winter Smoothie Recipes
Oats and Chocolate Hot Winter Smoothie
It only takes six simple ingredients to whip up this Oats and Chocolate Hot Smoothie from Kitchen Sanctuary. Doing the dairy-free thing? Seek out vegan dark chocolate and this winter smoothie is 100 percent vegan. (Related: 7 Vegan Trainers Share How They Fuel for Even the Toughest Workouts)
Warm Apple Pie Smoothie
This Warm Apple Pie Smoothie from The Iron You has all the taste of an old-fashioned, homemade apple pie—minus the hassle of baking. Plus, since this winter smoothie has just 124 calories per serving, we say, why not make it a double?
Wintry Warm Banana Smoothie
As mentioned, the tryptophan and vitamin B6 in bananas helps to boost your body's production of serotonin. That fruit, plus dates and walnuts, help Clean Cuisine’s Wintry Warm Banana Smoothie taste similar to fresh-from-the-oven banana bread.
Apple Cider Smoothie
Craving a healthy way to detox (that doesn’t gulping down an apple cider vinegar concoction)? This Apple Cider Smoothie from Jesse Lane Wellness packs a ton of fiber, iron, and antioxidants—thanks to ingredients like fresh apples and spinach.