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smoothie

Spiced Butternut Apple Smoothie

Spiced Butternut Apple Smoothie

As soon as the first crisp days of autumn arrive, I subconsciously, and rather rapidly, begin to shift my diet to match the shifting environment that surrounds me. Outside my window, I admire the many shades of orange spreading across the sky. Then soon after, near as many orange hues start appearing on my kitchen counters.

Squash of every variety, and sweet potatoes too, fill up my empty wooden baskets, my ceramic plates, and now my mason jars, too.

Spiced Butternut Apple Smoothie

When Williams Sonoma kicked off this week with the theme of “Not Your Average Smoothie”, naturally I knew I needed to throw some squash into my blender.

I’m all about going outside the traditional smoothie box, and I’m also all about squash, so it seemed like a perfect platform for experimentation.

I turned on my oven, said bottoms up, and began getting to work.

Spiced Butternut Apple Smoothie

I decided upon butternut, loving its creaminess in soups that I often create with apples. I figured, why wouldn’t that be delicious iced and turned into a smoothie, too?

After testing out this smoothie several times, I finally came up with a recipe that’s a little weird, a little wild, yet totally straw-worthy and insanely refreshing.

Through my testing, I learned to save the oven for the squash soup, and stick to steaming for the smoothie. Steaming enables the squash to stay juicer and not as dense so you end up with a shake that has a nice light, whipped consistency. Along with some spirited spice – curry powder and a kick of cayenne (ow ow!) – this smoothie embodies some of fall’s best warming qualities while remaining refreshing till the last sip.

Feel free to try swapping the butternut with sweet potato, or even pumpkin. Just be mindful of possibly needing to adjust the liquid. If you want to step further out of the box, add some spinach. I did this to one batch, and the results were great (even if it sounds a little weird). To get a little wilder, top your smoothie with toasted walnuts or pecans. Or an extra kick of that spicy cayenne, if you like it hot.

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Spring Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

I bring you this recipe not because it’s a new, novel idea. Let’s get real. Green smoothies are so five years ago. However, a phased-out fad they are not. These powerhouse shakes can still be an incredibly life-changing diet addition and shouldn’t be forgotten. (Insert advertising slogan here. But seriously, they are wonderful.)

For that reason I must say, Green Smoothie, I am sorry for forgetting you. Once a daily drink, I let you leave my life for weeks and weeks too many. Never again.

I’m not sure when and how I fell off the smoothie bandwagon, but no fruit and greens have been spinning together in my blender lately. Kale, onions and herbs, yes, but no early morning, creamy green creations have been going down, that is, up until springtime finally hit.

I bring you this recipe because perhaps you, like me, need a reminder that green smoothies are a great way to kickstart your day and get your diet back in line. The nutrient-filled drink is packed with vitamins and minerals, meaning lots of energy for you.

As I use the spring season to take time to reorganize my life, I am realizing the value of clean eating and the energy it can provide. It is this energy that I need to prioritize what’s important to me and also to deliberate what is not. Lots of shifting, and changing, and goal reorientation is taking place for me right now. And with all of that, I want to revamp my diet too. A healthy body is a healthy mind, and a huge part of this stems from food.

I am excited to start bringing green smoothies back into my mornings and starting my days off on a high note. Whether you’re making some life changes or not, that’s never a bad game plan. Waking up with a healthy breakfast and a positive attitude is literally the best way to carry on life. Sometimes easier said than done, but I’d say this four-ingredient recipe is a pretty simple start. Enjoy.

Green Smoothie Ingredients

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Mango Lassi

Mango lassis were the milkshakes of my childhood. From time to time, I’d be taken out for an ice cream cone after a sporting event or other such activity, but I don’t think I slurped down my first real milkshake until I hit high school. However, whenever dining out at an Indian restaurant, one of my mom’s favorite cuisines, she nearly always let my brother and I ruin our appetites with a mango lassi. Mangoes were always my favorite fruit as a kid, but I rarely ever got more than a slice on the occasion that we’d split a fresh one between our family at breakfast. So getting treated to a mango lassi always felt like winning a glass of gold.

Even though now I’ll sometimes eat a whole mango to myself (oh, the luxury), a lassi still feels like gold. Smooth and creamy with hints of coconut, there’s really no way you can go wrong with this drink. In fact, I’d prefer a mango lassi any day to a traditional milkshake. It’s the kind of milkshake you want to wake up to alongside a bowl of oatmeal. And it’s also the kind you want to cap off your night with after a nice Indian meal. Just a handful of ingredients sent to the blender, and you can easily make this glass of gold in your very own kitchen. Enjoy.

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Pineapple Cilantro Lime Smoothie

If you are extra lucky, you’ll be drinking one of these green shakes for St. Patty’s Day. And you’ll be feeling pretty good too. If you’re unlucky, you’ll be swamping your diet with green beer (gross).

My friend just informed me that last year she was in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day. Although it’s more of a “touristy thing” over there, that makes us feel a little unlucky here, stuck hanging out in North Philly. But I bet they don’t have refreshing Pineapple Cilantro Lime Smoothies over in Ireland. Meanwhile, my refrigerator currently does. How’s that for living in the ghetto? I’ll take it and let myself feel pretty lucky again too.

This is a palate-cleansing, energizing smoothie perfect for days where you’re looking for something on the lighter side. It’s packed with refreshing flavor that adds a nice variance from traditional fruit-sweetened smoothies. Plus, it’s got a little silken tofu for a creamy touch of protein that will keep your tummy satisfied. Serve for breakfast or lunch, or as an after dinner pick me up, and if you’re smart, serve it tomorrow for St. Patty’s Day.

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Chocolate Strawberry Banana Smoothie



I’ve professed my love for simple fruit smoothies here: Blueberry Banana Smoothie. And it’s true, the key to a good smoothie is a ripe, frozen banana and a complimentary fruit of your choice. The other key is the exclusion of all those ingredients people always think you need to throw in the blender, like sugars, and powders, and ice. Rather, the banana will add all the frozen creaminess and sweetness needed.

However, sometimes I make exceptions, like with this chocolaty, no-ice-cream-needed shake.

Using frozen fruit, I made this spoon-worthy thick, which with the cocoa powder makes this smoothie feel extra rich. The kefir adds another boost of creamy richness and just a touch of sweetness to balance out the bitterness of the pure cocoa. The results make a good case for occasionally adding a couple extra ingredients to the blender, although you’ll notice that the list is still limited to under a handful of items. However, I might suggest a 5th addition, which is really the only thing missing from this picture — a wide-holed straw. Straws always make shakes more fun.

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