October 12, 2012

Cranberry Chai Smoothie

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
Serves 1

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

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