Can You Warm Up Smoothies? – Winter Smoothie Alternatives

One of the best alternatives for cold smoothies in the winter is warm winter smoothies. This kind of smoothies is slightly different from the smoothies we drink in other seasons. We can dispense with ice and use most of the ingredients in the smoothie at room temperature.

If a frozen item has to be included because they are not available fresh, it can be taken out of the refrigerator a night before so that it thaws properly by the time you are going to use it. Since most of the items used in the smoothie are nutritious, you should make sure you don’t lose the nutrients during the process of smoothie making.

You can warm up smoothies in a microwave – the microwave will not harm the quality and the nutrients of the smoothie. You can also use warm water or warm milk in the making process.

Smoothies for winter – How Can you Warm Up Smoothies?

To make your best winter smoothies, you can warm up your smoothies by using hot liquids and other ingredients at room temperatures. You can also use some spices which can warm up your body if you ingest them.

You may love the nutrition and energy that smoothies bring to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But in winter, the smoothies can be too cool and can slow your digestion. But the good news is that you can warm your smoothies. This will help you continue with your daily dose of green, especially when you need more energy and nutrients to fight the cold.

Photo by Harry Cunningham @harry.digital from Pexels

Smoothies are typically more popular during the summer months when you can use ice and your favorite fruits to make smoothies that quench your thirst and also provides you with energy, nutrition, and freshness.

But in winter, things change dramatically. The smoothies for winter will be a bit different. Ice is no more an option. Even frozen fruits and ingredients can make your smoothie so cold that it is not an ideal choice. However, things can turn for the better once you hit upon the idea of warming up your smoothies.

Smoothie alternative winter options are not piping hot like bowls of soups. It is at room temperature and consuming it is enjoyable rather than braving a cold drink on a cold morning. This ensures you can consume the season’s fresh farm produce in an easy, cordial, and enjoyable manner. It won’t slow down your digestion because it is too cold. On the contrary, its nutrition-rich content can give you energy and a positive mindset to take on the challenges that the day has to offer.

Here are some quick tips for winter smoothies:

  • Warming spices such as black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, clove, cayenne, gives an overall warming effect inside the body. They also stimulate and promote digestion.
  • Use dairy-free milk as also coconut milk which can have a cooling effect on the body.
  • You can replace frozen banana with butternut squash, roasted sweet potato, and roasted winter squash.
  • You should drink your smoothie in the afternoon rather than in the morning. In the afternoon, your body has a stronger digestive power than in the morning.
  • These are small measures but can give your smoothie a completely new character to your smoothie.

Can you heat the smoothie in a microwave?

If your winter smoothie is too cold for your comfort, especially on winter mornings, you can warm it up in your microwave with any qualms. You will only warm it, meaning you will not leave it in the microwave for more than 20-30 seconds. You will surely not cook it like you may do with blended soup with is a good alternative for smoothies in winter.

Warming up your smoothie mildly in your microwave will not destroy or alter the nutrition profile of your drink. You can warm any kind of smoothie in a microwave for a few seconds.

Can you replace a meal with a warm smoothie?

To some of you, smoothies in winter probably sound like a weird decision, but can a smoothie replace your normal meal? Yes, it can and there are a great many reasons why you are more likely to choose it as a meal replacement. But it is important to know the limits – for more information check out the link below.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Here are some of the most compelling reasons to replace a meal with a smoothie in the winter:

  • It loads up nutrients without being heavy
  • It is the healthiest “fast food” available
  • It’s refreshing, energizing, and raw
  • It’s very quick to prepare and drink
  • It’s less bloating than a normal meal
  • It helps you in your weight loss plan

Relevant articles:
Why Should You Replace Your Breakfast With A Smoothie?
How Many Smoothies Should You Drink A Day

How can you make your smoothie a perfect meal replacement?

Your smoothie is already rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. For it to be a complete food, it has to have two more things: Protein and Healthy Fats. So, when you are preparing your meal replacement winter smoothie, make sure you have put in enough protein and healthy fats. Once you have added these items to your smoothie, your drink is ready to provide you all that your normal meals offer to you in terms of nourishment and energy. When choosing protein, go for plant-based proteins. They give tons of energy and keep the body full. These proteins also help repair muscles after your workout.

Here are some important plant-based proteins that you can add to your winter smoothies:

  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp hearts
  • Plant-based protein powder
  • Tofu
  • Rolled oats

Which healthy fats should I choose for a winter smoothie?

Healthy fats promote heart health, boost energy level, promotes metabolism, and reduce bad cholesterol. Your smoothie should have healthy fats and in good measure. You don’t need to be scared of it. You can use the following ingredients to provide healthy fat content to your smoothies and to also give them a creamy texture.

  • Coconut oil
  • MCT oil (source)
  • Avocado
  • Chia seeds
  • Almond butter

When you add plant-based protein and healthy fats to your smoothie, it becomes a complete perfect replacement for your normal meal.

Here are some recommended combination of proteins and fats for your smoothie (for two persons):

  • 120 ml silken tofu + 4 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • avocado + 4 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil + 4 tablespoons of plant-based protein powder
  • 4 tablespoons of rolled oats + 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil + 4 tablespoons of chia seeds

What is the alternative for smoothies in the winter?

Sometimes the best winter smoothies are actually not “smoothies” as we know them. Blended soups can be a worthy alternative for a smoothie. Soups by default are piping hot. It is nutritious and healthy.

Blended soups have the same importance and advantages that smoothies have in the spring and summer. Blended soups can stay longer in the stomach than chunks of vegetables. They can keep you feeling full for longer and this can promote weight loss.

But while blending the soup in the blender, you have to take necessary precautions because the hot liquid and steam might explode through the lid. So never have more than half of the blender filled with the soup materials. You should also loosen or remove the center cap. Do whatever is necessary but make sure the hot soupy material does not push through the lid. That can leave you with a mess and burn injuries.

Winter smoothies for kids

Your kids need to eat seasonal fruits and winter is the right time to introduce them to bright, delicious, and nutritious fruits. You can make kids-friendly smoothies with winter fruits that will strengthen their immune system. This will help them fight the common cold and viruses that thrive in this season.

You can find below a few great winter smoothie ideas for your kids:

  • Citrus Bliss: Cherry Pineapple Smoothie
  • Casual Craftlete: Spiced Pear Smoothie
  • Super Healthy: Green Julius Smoothie
  • Walnut Apple Cranberry Smoothie
  • Orange Carrot Smoothie
  • Dairy-Free Coconut Tropical Green Smoothie
  • Pomegranate Wild Blueberry Smoothie
  • Cold Buster Green Smoothie
  • Wild Blueberry Zinger Turmeric Smoothie

Winter smoothie bowl

Smoothie bowls are extra thick and nutrient-enriched smoothie preparations ideally eaten with spoons.
They are often topped with seeds, nuts, fruits, and granola (for more information about smoothie bowl topping click here). Smoothie bowls are prepared like any other smoothie but keeping this in mind that it has to be extra nutritious and thicker than a drinkable smoothie. For this reason, most of the ingredients are taken in larger portions while the liquid is less but qualitative. Once the smoothie is ready, it is poured into the bowls. To make warm or winter smoothie bowls, the ingredients are used at room temperature and the warm or hot liquid is used. But using a microwave to warm the smoothie bowls just enough is also quite common.

Winter smoothie recipes

Here, we are going to discuss some of my best winter smoothie ideas that you will find helpful in battling the oncoming winter. We will discuss the steps that can not only make your smoothie warm to drink but also make you warm from inside.

A mug of cold smoothie on a chilly winter morning is not an exciting way to begin your day. But you can turn the situation in your favor by choosing to go with warm winter smoothies. Winter does not need to keep you away from the nutrient-packed smoothie. With a little twist, you can enjoy these savory natural energy drinks for your breakfast, or as meal replacements.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

You can keep your smoothies ice-free and prepare it at room temperature. You can also use hot liquids to add extra warmth to your smoothie.

But while preparing a warm winter smoothie, you need to take care that the hot liquid does not cross the safety limits and result in an accident. The lid of the blender can blast off if the steam of the boiling water or milk. Even the serving bowl can get shattered with extra hot liquids. You should follow the basic rules of using the blenders. Use warm liquid, not hot.

To be able to get your smoothie hot, you should heat the liquid alone. When you are blending the mix-ins, use only a small amount of hot water or milk along with a little cold water. The idea is to create a kind of puree of all the solid ingredients in the smoothie. You can add the hot liquid to the blended puree after it has been transferred to a serving bowl or a cup.

Here are some amazing winter smoothie recipes for you to keep the chill away from your smoothie:

1. Oatmeal Chocolate Banana Smoothie

This smoothie is going to give you a warm and nutrient-rich kick to your day. It’s packed with complex carbs and proteins. Bananas and oats supply vitamin B6 and tryptophan to your smoothie that helps in the production of serotonin which is a mood-enhancing neurotransmitter. This will keep you in a good mental frame irrespective of the dreary weather.

Ingredients:

  • Milk: 1 cup (almond, coconut, or any milk)
  • Protein powder: 1 scoop (optional)
  • Coldwater: 2 tablespoon
  • Cocoa powder: 1 tablespoon
  • Rolled oats: 1/4 cup
  • Banana: 1 medium, sliced
  • Medjool date: 1 pitted
  • Vanilla extract: 1/4 teaspoon

Instructions:

  • Heat the milk, and set aside
  • Add a little cold water to 1 cup of hot milk and pour the mixture into the blender. Put all other ingredients into the blender and turn it on. Blend until the mixture becomes smooth and homogenous.
  • Add 2-4 tablespoons of hot water to the smoothie/puree you have in the blender
  • Stir it well with a spoon
  • Pour the smoothie into the bowl or a glass. Garnish the smoothie with cocoa powder, oats, etc.
  • If you want a shot of caffeine or want the coffee flavor, you can use a cup of freshly brewed espresso in place of the hot milk
  • If you are not quite fond of protein powder, you can use silken tofu for a creamy texture
  • You can use nuts, chia seeds, hempseed, or flaxseed in place of oats
  • Consider using butternut squash or pumpkin puree to make your smoothie thicker and healthier

2. Oaty Chocolatey Smoothie

Here is a smoothie recipe that brings together antioxidant-rich cacao and fibrous oats. This is a great choice for your morning kick of energy (for more superfood energy smoothies click here). This is one more way to add chocolate to your diet.

Instructions:

  • Cacao: 1 tablespoon
  • Almond milk: 1 cup
  • Oats: ¼ cup
  • Ripe banana: 1 medium, sliced
  • Almonds: 6
  • Chia seeds: 1 tablespoon
  • Coldwater: 1 tablespoon

Direction:

  • Warm the almond milk to room temperature. In the microwave, it should take about 30 seconds.
  • First put in the blender the almonds, and crush them for 10-15 seconds – it will make the smoothie smoother, and less chewy.
  • Put all ingredients along with the heated almond milk into the blender. Blend it for about a minute.
  • Your warm smoothie is ready to be served and enjoyed!

3. Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

This is a great winter smoothie recipe. This warm smoothie brings healthy fats of avocado and almonds, and nutrients together with minerals of blueberry. This is so wholesome that you feel full for a long time until lunch.

Ingredients:

  • Spinach: 1 cup
  • Pear: 1 – sliced
  • Almonds: 4
  • Water: 1 cup – room temperature
  • Avocado: 1/2 avocado
  • Blueberries: 1/3 cup
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

NOTE: If you find blueberries are out of season and there is no choice but to buy them frozen, you can take it out of the fridge and leave it in the open to thaw. In the morning you can warm it a bit in the oven to bring it to room temperature.

Instructions:

  • Put all the ingredients into the blender.
  • Blend them for a minute.
  • Your Blueberry Avocado Smoothie is ready to be served and enjoyed.

4. Banana spinach zucchini carrot protein smoothie (source)

(https://minimalistbaker.com/warming-winter-smoothie/)

Here is a winter smoothie recipe that draws on Ayurvedic knowledge. It uses some fresh vegetables and fruits.

Ingredients:

  • Ripe banana – 1 medium
  • Carrot – 1/2
  • Zucchini – 1/4
  • Protein powder
  • Hemp seeds – 1 tablespoon
  • Ginger – 1/3 teaspoon
  • Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Black pepper – 1 pinch

Instructions:

  • Use all the ingredients at room temperature
  • Frozen ingredients must be thawed and heated before using
  • Put them all into the blender
  • Blend it for 60-90 seconds

5. Veggie fruits warming Smoothie

Here is a winter smoothie inspired by Ayurvedic principles of using warming spices and ingredients to fight cold. This can be a morning or afternoon drink that offers you tons of freshness, energy, and a great mood.

Ingredients

  • Ripe banana: 1/2 – sliced
  • Carrot: 1 small – chopped
  • Zucchini: 1/4
  • Protein powder: 1 scoop plain or vanilla
  • Dairy-free milk: 3/4 – 1 cup
  • Hemp seeds: 1 tablespoon
  • Fresh ginger: 1 tablespoon, peeled, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric* (or sub 4x the amount fresh turmeric)
  • Cinnamon: 1/8 teaspoon
  • Black pepper: 1 pinch
  • Spirulina: 1 tablespoon (you can also use spinach or kale)

Instructions:

  • Put all the ingredients into a blender. But only a small amount of dairy-free milk and blend it until it becomes smooth and creamy.
  • Add some water or more of the dairy-free milk as per the need. The addition of Spirulina or the greens would add the striking green color along with nutrition and fiber to your drink.
  • You can use banana or protein powder for enhanced sweetness while you can add ginger for a spicy taste.
  • You can garnish the smoothie with hempseeds or turmeric powder.
  • Serve and enjoy your warming smoothie immediately – this smoothie may separate if it will be left aside (for more information click here).

Final thoughts

Smoothies are the staple foods for many people. There is perhaps no other way to integrate seasonal fruits and vegetables into our daily food. They are easy and quick both to make and drink. They pack up tons of nutrients, healthy fats, and plant-based proteins. They keep you energized yet light. During winter, making smoothies can be a problem because of its inherent quality of being cold, sometimes with added ice. But the concept of warm winter smoothies makes it possible to drink your favorite smoothie all year round. If your smoothie is by any means too cold, don’t mind putting it inside the microwave for a few seconds. It will do no harm to your smoothie.

Maxim

My name is Maxim, I am a part-time blogger and the owner of the Funky Smoothies blog, where I really love writing about smoothies, juice, coffee, and tea. On my blog, you will find solutions to all the common problems that people have with these drinks.

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