Winter can be a difficult time in terms of desiring green smoothies. Most of us want something warm in the mornings, not something composed of ice and frozen produce. However, I find that the idea of a refreshing drink, even if it is cold, is nice when facing a dreary day. This smoothie takes advantage of the plethora of frozen cranberries available during the fall and winter months.
In this version I added two things that I would suggest you avoid if you aren't an avid green smoothie drinker- whole chunks of lemon and spirulina powder. I say this because the whole lemon can be a bit strong and most people starting out with smoothies need something sweet. The spirulina is also something I would avoid if you aren't accustomed to earthy flavors. It does carry its own strong scent and flavor, although it is crazy healthy! Additionally it really gives the smoothie that green color you see in my pic. The spinach doesn't usually present that obviously. If you, or others you may be sharing with, are affected by the aesthetic appearance of the smoothie, spirulina may not be for you!
The addition of ground cloves is also a matter of flavor preference. Personally I associate orange and clove mixtures with this time of year. Adding in the ultra nutrient rich cranberries gives this smoothie a nice holiday/winter feel.
Refreshing Cranberry Orange Green Smoothie
1/2 c. Orange Juice
1/2 c. Frozen Cranberries
1/2 c. Fat Free Cottage Cheese
1 Banana (Frozen or not)
1/2 c. Natural, no sugar added apple sauce
1 tsp. Bee Pollen
1 tsp. Spirulina Powder
1 c. Spinach
1 c. filtered water
Pinch of ground cloves
Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend!
Overall, this is a rather tasty smoothie. I have mentioned this before, but I will say it again, do not underestimate the value of cottage cheese in smoothies. It is high in calcium, doesn't overwhelm with its flavor and blends completely so that it looses that signature texture that makes most people cringe when they read my recipes.
Nutritional Information (click on images to enlarge)