The Banana Spice Smoothie Worth Braving The Cold For

135 comments

Thank you guys for your votes for my Challenge #9 post! So many of you are re-tweeting your votes and liking the post on Facebook. Thank you all for your support! :)

IMG 5182 thumb   The Banana Spice Smoothie Worth Braving The Cold For

Winter Rituals

The alarm goes off in the morning around 7am and the first thing I notice before I even open my eyes is the cool chill on my face. That would be the cold morning air trying desperately to find its way inside, which isn’t a rather difficult thing to do with old, leaky windows long overdue for replacement.

Sketchie is cuddled and folded up so tightly between us, I start to wonder if he can breathe the way his small body is contorted. The alarm goes off with this annoying music from Eric’s Blackberry and I look at Sketchie as he squints at me with one eye before closing it and resting his head back down on his paws. His tail wraps around himself tightly and his paws tuck underneath his chest as if trying to seal in his body heat.

The three of us linger in bed, neither one wanting to make the first brave attempt to remove oneself from the warm cocoon that 4 layers of blankets create. Not enjoying the chill on my face, I take a blanket and put it over my head before drifting off to sleep for 10 minutes until that annoying music goes off again.

I cringe.

I’m not really one for broken up sleep unlike Eric who will happily hit snooze 6 times in a row. I take a deep breath and remove a few covers from my body and then I bravely leap into the cold air, immediately throwing on my robe and slippers simultaneously and with great precision. I have nailed this routine down to an art. My robe and slippers are always within arm’s reach beside my bed during the colder months.

Once awake and washed up, I scurry downstairs, slippers clunking and dragging against the floor as I go. Sketchie is at my feet, or should I say underfoot, waiting anxiously for the clanking of his food in his dish. I realize that I probably look like a real sight for sore eyes, but I don’t care.

I have a mission.

The first thing I do on my mission is turn up the thermostat. Within seconds, Sketchie and I hear the loud humming noise of the heat pumping through the vents. It is music to our ears. Sketchie sits beside the heat vent, eyes starting to drift off into a blissful moment he has been waiting for all morning.

After my first mission is complete, I walk into the kitchen and pour 8 cups of water into the kettle, trying not to glance at the temperature outside. But I do, and it is never good.

This morning, the temperature reads -8C/17.6F.

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A chill runs down my spine, but I admire the pretty frost and snow from the kitchen window. I open the dishwasher and gather my loose leaf tea pot components and fill it with Japanese Sencha Loose leaf tea. Some mornings I enjoy French Press, but on cold mornings like this, tea is a quicker medium for warmth. It also makes 8 cups worth (versus 3 in my French Press) and I drink every drop.

Waiting for the tea to steep is the hardest part. It feels like an eternity before the tea is the right temperature for drinking. Still, I often drink it too soon, burning as it goes down and promising to myself I will wait a couple more minutes. While I play this charade, I often decide what I will have for breakfast. Most mornings- unless I am blogging about a special breakfast recipe- are quite simple. Lately I have been enjoying PB & J hot oatmeal, Green Monsters, or VOO depending on my mood. One thing is for sure, I have been avoiding pumpkin like the plague.

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Despite the cold this morning, I couldn’t stop thinking about a smoothie recipe that I saw in The Coup Cookbook. With my piping hot tea in hand, I braved the chill of the smoothie and I didn’t regret it for one second.

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Banana Spice Smoothie

This comforting smoothie is worth braving the cold for.

Adapted from The Coup Cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 heaping tbsp almond butter (or PB)
  • 1 pitted medjool date
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 1 large peeled banana, frozen
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder (optional, I didn’t have any)

 

Directions: Starting with the milk, add all ingredients to the blender and process until smooth. Add more ice if necessary. Pour into glass and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serves 1.

IMG 5147 thumb   The Banana Spice Smoothie Worth Braving The Cold For

This is quite possibly one of the best tasting smoothies that has ever crossed my lips! Despite the fact that it is a cold beverage, it is rich, buttery, creamy, and comforting.

The workday now begins.

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What are your winter morning rituals?

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{ 135 comments… read them below or add one }

Allison @ Food For Healing December 8, 2010

Mm love smoothies!

Pfft -8C only, i wish, that would be warm, currently it is -15C with a windchill of -24C, and its 11am, and its warmed up since this morning when i got up. Come live in Saskatchewan all winter, and go back to those temps, they will seem warm hehe

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Allison @ Food For Healing December 8, 2010

Mm love smoothies!

Pfft -8C only, i wish, that would be warm, currently it is -15C with a windchill of -24C, and its 11am, and its warmed up since this morning when i got up. Come live in Saskatchewan all winter, and go back to those temps, they will seem warm hehe

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2010

ohhh the Praries are cold…we usuaully don’t get into those temps in Southern Ontario until January

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Kath December 8, 2010

Girllllllllllllll you need a programmable thermostat!! How do you not have one JUST for cold Canadian mornings!? They are inexpensive and easy to install!

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Liz @ Blog is the New Black December 8, 2010

Banana anything is worth bravig the cold for!

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Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 8, 2010

I remember last year you did that winter challenge– do you think you’ll do another one like that this year? I have to FORCE myself out into the cold this year, but the fresh air is always worth it!

Also– that smoothie looks fabulous. Obviously. :-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2010

Last winter I realized that the roads around my house are too dangerous to exercise on (due to the main roads having lots of trucks and ice), so I am pretty much forced to workout indoors during the winter in our area. We don’t have many neighbourhood type streets around unfortunately!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 8, 2010

I hear ya on the thermostat…. wish my house could be warmer too! It seems my room is the coldest of them all. Smoothie looks delicious Ange!! Definitely going to try this on the weekend! :)

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Amber K December 8, 2010

It doesn’t matter how cold it gets, I can’t stop with the smoothies! Just absolute perfection.

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Allie (Live Laugh Eat) December 8, 2010

I have an enormous down comforter and you would not believe the cocoon that thing creates. I could hibernate under there for weeks!

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Melissa December 8, 2010

I guess I will stop complaining that it’s -0.5C here in Tennessee… :/

p.s. This post is beautifully written… In the most non-creepy way possible, I can imagine your morning routine step-by-step.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2010

hehe thanks!

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Camille December 8, 2010

I am totally with you on the alarm. It isn’t worth it to lie in bed having something screeching at you when you could just get up and greet the day!

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Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine December 8, 2010

That sounds AMAZING. I especially love the idea of coconut milk + banana…not tropical, but definitely warm-weather feeling.

It’s always so hard to get out from under the covers in the winter!! I have a down comforter that feels like a warm cloud :)

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Amy K. @ Onehealthypeanut December 8, 2010

I love a warm bed and a cool room!! Until its time to get up ;)

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Amy December 8, 2010

My husband installed the programmable thermostat – best invention ever! He has it set to turn the heat on at 5:25am then I get out of bed at 5:30am and the house is starting to get nice and toasty! As much as you hate it – you need to go to your Home Depot store asap!
Thanks for the great recipes!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2010

that sounds amazing…going to do this

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'Dee December 8, 2010

Definitely! After reading the post, I immediately thought this:

Woman, two words: Programmable Thermostat!!

Guess I wasn’t so original in thinking it, but once you have one, you will kick yourself for not getting it earlier.

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grocery goddess jen December 8, 2010

I always add cinnamon to my banana smoothies, but man, coconut milk and ginger and cloves? Oh my!

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lindsay December 8, 2010

i’d brave the cold for that! Since its been getting colder here, I know warm up my green monsters and add a little cocoa to them. Warm Frothy green goddess for post runs. Glad you survived that chilly run. Love the frost though! Beautiful.

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Heather (Heather's Dish) December 8, 2010

i always take a deep, deep breathe under the covers (b/c that’s where the warm air is) and then jump out of bed and put the covers back up to keep my hubby warm. i put on shoes and let the dogs outside, then workout so that i can warm up. then comes the blogging, the shower, the getting ready, and the breakfast. and the bundling. and then FINALLY the warmth :)

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ashley December 8, 2010

Right now, my morning ritual is to… Fight morning. The darkness is really getting to me right now (Alaska is great, but the darkness in winter is a beast) so the best I can do is snooze 3 times and find my slippers to turn the heat up to get ready for the day. It’s been around 15 F in the mornings this week… Much better than the 0 F it was last week!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2010

What time does the sun rise in Alaska?

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ashley December 8, 2010

The sun rises at 10 am, and sets around 3:45 pm right now. I go to work in the dark and go home in the dark. Solstice is soon, and I can’t wait to start gaining light again!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2010

that must be so hard!! I guess this will make me appareciate our 730am-5pm daylight a bit more!!

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ashley December 8, 2010

It is. Just this week it really started to bother me. SAD is no fun! But summers with seemingly never ending sunshine more than make up for it. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2010

Yes the summers would be amazing Im sure :)
Do you know of anyone that uses those SAD light boxes? Ive always wondered if they work.

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Bridget December 8, 2010

Yum! I have all the ingredients for this delicious drink in my house, so I may just have to make it tonight! Thanks for the recipe :)

I’m not sure if it’s a ritual, but I seem to enjoy successively larger cups of coffee in the morning as the days of winter go by. Coffee + Winter = Joy

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Leanne December 8, 2010

waking up, putting on slippers/robe, sipping on hot tea, kissing my guy goodbye, snuggling with my cat on the couch —– getting ready for work!

It’s like clockwork… :)

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman December 8, 2010

Mmm…looks even more special in a martini glass.

My morning ritual is as follows:

Alarm goes off.
Snooze.
Alarm goes off.
Snooze.
Alarm goes off.
Snooze.
Curse mornings.
Alarm goes off.
Let out a loud NOOOO so that everyone in the building wakes up. If I’m up this early, they should be too.
Shower.
Repeat “I’m so tired” at least 20 times.
Work.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2010

haha!!! Love that.

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Kris | iheartwellness.com December 8, 2010

I love reading stories like this!! What a beautiful writer you are :)

Your breakfast looks and sounds delicious! Keep up the inspiration!

xxoo

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Lauren at KeepItSweet December 8, 2010

i can’t believe you drink 8 cups of tea in the morning!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 8, 2010

Well 8 cups = 4 mugs…by noon…so that isnt so bad right?? lol

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Lauren at KeepItSweet December 8, 2010

LOL if I could tolerate the caffien i’d be drinking that much coffee:-)

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Madeleine@ Stepping to the Brightside December 8, 2010

WOO! You are brave for sipping on a smoothie in such cold temps! Does look good though… my morning ritual is similar to yours: hop out of bed without thinking about it, put water on for coffee, then I do any dishes left in the sink from the night before- this way, again, I don’t have to think about waiting for the coffee to steep. Once my coffee’s done and in my cup, the world is much, much better place ;)

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Healthy Chocoholic December 8, 2010

Its sooooooooooo cold!!! I don’t know if I would have been brave enough to have a smoothie, but it sure does look tasty!

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Lily's Health Pad December 8, 2010

It’s been in the 30s and 40s here. Not nearly as cold as Canada, but I have my morning warmth ritual down pat. It’s much like yours. There are layers of clothing and tea involved!!

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Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) December 8, 2010

Haha I SO relate to your winter morning routine! Mine is pretty much the same! Except I would have to say I’m probably a bit more like Eric in hitting the snooze a dozen times! :P

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chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 8, 2010

That looks so great – except I cannot do a smoothie in the middle of winter. It just WON’T happen! :)

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LisaG December 8, 2010

Alarm @ 6:15-turn on weather channel-robe & slippers-wake up kids-let 3 dogs out-make coffee-holler at kids to wake up again-make breakfast-wrestle with dogs and feed them-kids to school-me to work by 8 ish.

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faith @ gracefulfitness December 8, 2010

Sounds familiar, turn up the thermostat and head for the tea kettle!

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Clare @ Fitting It All In December 8, 2010

This is such a beautifully written post! Your told the story of your morning with vivid imagery:)

Just voted again!!

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Laurab @ foodsnobstl December 8, 2010

Love that you put that smoothie in a martini glass!

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Lauren December 8, 2010

I love the thought of adding a date into a smoothie!

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Jessica @ How Sweet It Is December 8, 2010

That smoothie sounds SO good! Cold… but good.

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Stephanie December 8, 2010

hehe… this was such a fun post to read… until I got to… “The workday now begins.” hahaha. Something about “workday” brings tears to my eyes!!!

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Tamara December 8, 2010

wow hard to believe down here in S. Georgia that it was only 3 degrees warmer(F) than in Canada!

On another note, I’ll be trying that smoothie tomorrow for breakfast….I wonder what would happen if you did heat it up? It almost sounds like it would be like a vegan version of egg nog then.

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LisaG December 8, 2010

Where are you in South Georgia? I’m in Valdosta and it is really cold for here!

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Tamara December 8, 2010

Savannah and it was 21 this morning and supposed to be 18 next week I think!

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LisaG December 8, 2010

It was 24 here: and we’re about 15 minutes from florida, crazy cold.

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Ashley (Taste For Healthy) December 8, 2010

This smoothie looks delicious… I must get up the courage to make it during this chilly time of year!

Haha… I love that Sketchie opened one eye and then went back to sleep! Sounds like a cat! :)

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Traci December 8, 2010

I love the winter months just not the cold.Brrrrr. I find myself longing for warmer climates every morning I wake up and stick my feet from out under the blankets :) The smoothie sounds great I will have to give that a try. Stay warm :D

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Red Deception December 8, 2010

-8C is considered warm weather here! We hit -48C a week ago! Want to come hang in the Northwest Territories?

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thehealthyapron December 8, 2010

It hasn’t snowed here yet but the chill in the air is intense and makes me miss summer!

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Lauren December 8, 2010

You inspired me to get up from my computer and make this LOL! I surprisingly had all the ingredients and just happened to be hungry :P Delicious!

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