Fall in Jacksonville, FL is a bit schizophrenic. For example:
Three days ago the high was 71 degrees.
Yesterday is was 89 (90 with the heat index)...and Bo asked me if I wanted to go to the beach.
Yes...it is mid-October and we talked about going to the beach!
Some people might be thrilled with a mid-October day that is 89 degrees.
I miss the Aspen leaves changing to bright yellow in Santa Fe.
I miss dressing in layers.
(My poor scarves, coats, and boots are gathering layers of dust.)
I miss wanting hot oatmeal in the morning.
I miss craving pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce.
Oh wait, I still crave those things...even when it is 90 degrees outside!
So what is the solution to both respecting weather schizophrenia AND quenching my food cravings?!
Why, a smoothie of course!
But not just any smoothie.
This smoothie is cold enough to cool off even the hottest summer day, AND is exploding with antioxidant-rich fall flavors.
Cranberry Chai Spice Smoothie
1 very ripe frozen banana
1/2C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4C Oregon Chai Sugar Free Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
1/4C homemade cranberry sauce (I used half stevia, half sugar)
1/2tsp xantham gum
3 dashes of cinnamon
3-5 ice cubes
- Place all ingredients into a high speed blender.
- Pulse a couple of times to begin blending ingredients.
- Blend on high for 30-60 seconds until fully incorporated.
- Serve chilled, and topped with chunks of homemade Cranberry Orange Bread (Optional, but HIGHLY recommended!).
Bo and I can't seem to get enough of the Cranberry Orange Bread that I made. In case you were wondering, I did make a few changes to the recipe, including:
- using White Whole Wheat flour;
- reducing the sugar to 3/4C;
- using lemon peel in place of the orange peel (Hey, I use what I have on hand!);
- substituting Smart Balance for shortening;
- leaving the cranberries whole instead of chopping them;
- not adding nuts; OH and,
- cooking it for 1 hour and 15 minutes (instead of 55 minutes...it took FOREVER to cook through!).
This bread has an incredibly delicious muffin-like texture that Bo and I loved! We have eaten this bread simply with butter, crumbled it over yogurt, crumbled it over ice cream, and now used it as a topping for a smoothie. In fact, I can't wait to go to the grocery store this weekend to buy several more bags of cranberries just so that I can bake another loaf!
So, if fall is having a difficult time coming out where you live, think about smoothies. They are the perfect marriage for warm weather and fall flavors. :)
Question of the Day:
Do you ever make your own smoothies? If so, what are some of your favorite flavor combinations?
Ally and Bo