Cold and flu season is upon us so it is important that we do everything in our power to support our immune systems so we don’t wind up sick. This Cranberry Apple and Ginger smoothie will definitely do the trick. Winter smoothies, though counter-intuitive, are a delicious, nutrient dense way to consume a variety of goodies including out-of-season produce which is still available frozen. Plus, I love playing around with seasonal flavors by using citrus, ginger and savory spices like cardamon and cinnamon which can even substitute for added sugar! Cranberries are rich in immune boosting antioxidants but we usually consume them in the form of “craisins” which (reality check) are loaded with sugar! I often encourage my clients to envision themselves sprinkling Skittles onto their salad when they reach for a handful of dried cranberries–yes, a bit dramatic but you get the point! I have also found that people are unsure of how to use cranberries if they are not dried and I am hear to tell you their are many ways…including smoothies! I like to balance out the natural tartness of cranberries with sweet fruits like mango and apple. Plus, frozen cranberries are available year round and they are less expensive than frozen berries of other sorts.
Ginger is known for it’s anti-inflammatory effects. I keep fresh, peeled ginger in my freezer that I can easily grate into a smoothie. If you don’t have that on hand dried ginger will work perfectly.
Cardamom is a wonderfully soulful spice and it adds a natural sweetness to this recipe. This robust spice is rich in nutrients and boasts a variety of medicinal properties including anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. It has been used as a digestive aid and is known to have anti-depressant and anti-cancer properties.
If you are new to this blog–I am not a fan of the “sugar bomb” smoothie so I aim to create balance with the addition of healthy fats in the form of nuts and seeds. Enter the hemp seed. Hemp seeds are wonderful in smoothies as they are mild in flavor and blend well due to their delicate texture. They are also an excellent source of fiber and protein a well as anti-inflammatory fats.
This smoothie is mildly sweet yet wildly flavorful. I think you are going to love it!
- 1 cup frozen cranberries
- 1 cup fresh or frozen mango
- 1/2 apple, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger or 1/4 teaspoon dried
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1 cup water
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and serve.