Cold weather tends to increase cravings for warm, comforting foods, but that doesn’t mean your blender has to be reserved for soups alone. Smoothies may seem like a summertime treat, but there are plenty of reasons to enjoy them year-round.
In addition to being a fast, no-fuss way to get a ton of beneficial nutrients in one glass, and a convenient, take-anywhere meal or snack, smoothies also help you meet your daily fluid needs, which can be easy to overlook in the cooler months. In fact, many of us fail to properly stay hydrated during the colder months, according to Mass General Hospital. While you may not be sweating constantly, dry outdoor air and indoor heating can be dehydrating, making getting your daily quota of liquids all the more essential.
Smoothies can also be a great way to get in your servings of fruits and veggies when fresh produce is in short supply. Frozen fruit can be as nutritious as fresh, plus some seasonal produce works surprisingly well in a smoothie.
Winter citrus including oranges, grapefruits, and kiwi add vitamin C, per the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), an antioxidant that plays a critical role in immune function, according to the National Institutes of Health. That can be a boon during peak cold and flu season. If it’s hydration you’re after, spinach is a cold-hardy green that is low in calories, high in vitamins, and 91 percent water, per the USDA. Plus, its flavor is mild and easily disguised by other ingredients when blended.
Another unusual smoothie addition: cauliflower (as detailed by the USDA). One cup of this crucifer adds 2 grams each of fiber and protein, plus calcium, vitamin C, and choline, a nutrient that plays a role in mood and memory, according to the NIH. Adding it to your blender can give smoothies a creamy texture without dairy, which means you get all that good stuff, and none of the saturated fat. (This is also a great way to make a smoothie vegan).
Nuts and seeds can be an excellent way to add protein, fiber, and healthy fats to your winter smoothies. These nutrients all help you stay full longer, which can help with maintaining a healthy weight or even losing some unwanted pounds that may be hanging around after holiday excess.
Ready to break your blender out of hibernation? Give one of these ten winter smoothie recipes a whirl.