Hot spiced smoothies

I can't believe I am writing this blog on 1st October. So once more I say: "where HAS this year gone?" Autumn seems to have this effect on people where you realise the only things to look forward to are things that signify the year is in its final chapter. It's an exciting time but also quite a reflective one where you're hopefully celebrating some great achievements or milestones this year. If you had a weight or fitness goal, there's no better time to jump on the MC&L Autumn Awakening programme to throw yourself into the last stretch of the year. The plan is designed to invigorate and awaken your mind and body and help you shed pounds, feel energised and ready to take on the rest of the year.

As you may or may not know smoothies form a big part of MC&L plans as they're an easy way to get maximum raw fruit and veg into single meal without compromising taste or having to take hours to prepare. I would say I have consumed more fruit and veg this year than I have in the last 3 years… particularly greens. That's my reflective achievement... thanks MC&L!

Although as I was sat sipping my refreshing mint, cucumber, spinach and apple smoothie this morning, I tried to imagine myself enjoying it in the same way in a month's time when I would have just taken off my gloves and scarf, and would be trying to warm up in the office after a chilly school run… hmmnnn might not be as appealing. I'd want a warming drink to cup my hands round, this is where the temptation to get a gingerbread latte from Starbucks instead of my green smoothie might kick in, so what's the alternative? How about a hot smoothie? Some spiced berries, cinnamon spiked apples, sweetened with agave nectar and heated to warm those chilled bones... oh yes, bring on the temperature drop, we're ready!

These recipes are made with what I could find in my cupboard and fridge. As I was making them I was thinking of loads of variations and I look forward to hearing about your interpretations.

For instance, why not substitute the carrots in the first smoothie with the abundance of pumpkin many of you will have over Halloween. Roast it until soft with a sprinkling of cinnamon and drizzle of agave nectar and blitz with orange juice and ginger before heating.

You can add flaxseed, chia seeds etc as you would to cold smoothies. You could also add walnuts to the carrot cake smoothie, pecans to the pumpkin smoothie and you could serve the berry smoothie with whole almonds and raisins which would make it taste like a fabulous drink from Finland called Gloggi (minus the vodka!) Get creative and let me know what you come up with!

Carrot Cake Hot Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1 thumb ginger grated
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice or 1 whole orange squeezed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Water to blend if required

Method

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blitz using additional water if required to achieve smoothie consistency
  2. Transfer to a milk pan on a medium heat and warm through without boiling
  3. Taste and add more cinnamon if required
  4. Pour into cups and drink whilst warm

Mulled Apple and Berry Hot Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 apple diced (not peeled)
  • Handful mixed berries of choice
  • I sachet mulled wine spice (or 1 tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander seed ground together)
  • Water to blend
  • 2 slices orange to garnish

Method

  1. Place apple and berries and small cup of water into blender
  2. Blend adding more water if required until smoothie reaches desired consistency
  3. Transfer smoothie to milk pan and heat with mulled spice sachet or tsp of mixed spice and orange slices
  4. Taste and add agave nectar to sweeten if required
  5. Heat until warmed through but not boiling
  6. Pour into cups and garnish with more orange slices

Until next time,
Mandy xx