Some of you might be confused by this post, knowing that I’m all the way in (currently) sunny South Africa, far from the horrors of the cold that’s swooshing across the northern hemisphere. Well, Man-thing can attest to the fact that I wear sweaters in the middle of summer and currently sleep under three blankets, so there is never such a thing as true summer for me.Having the veteran’s badge for just having survived a real winter, and now rigorously plodding through something just as chilly (at least to my mind), I figured I could whip up and share my favourite new tasty warm mango smoothie bowl and 4 tips for outsmarting the cold. And because you know I can’t sit still verbally or otherwise, I also have 6 smoothie and smoothie bowl round ups and recipes 😀
So, you’re wondering, warm smoothie bowl? Really? Well, think of it as a sweet soup, which I’m sure is something we can all get behind. Except, it’s still awesome because it includes two servings of veggies and some powerful spices and flavours. Win and win! Plus, smoothie bowls are my current darling, and it’s the perfect excuse to whip up some homemade granola or to soak some buckwheat for extra body and crunch.
No matter what time of year, I enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables and the idea of not relying so much on packaged food. These are principles I have to enforce most especially during chilly months, when one is perhaps most tempted to go for quick-fixes and to prioritize cuddling cats or dark chocolate over a hop-step to the shops or farmer’s market. Luckily the heat from the oven and bubbling pots on the stove are an added incentive to seek out fresh ingredients and crank up the heat for your health.
Speaking of heat, I was inspired by the glorious collection of recipes at Aloha’s website to make my very own warm mango smoothie. One of the most dastardly thing about being a smoothie fanatic is that you have to either wear gloves to drink your morning buzz or else down a cup of tea or coffee straight after to up your core temperature to something resembling normal. This warm smoothie bowl business clears all that nonsense up and lets you enjoy the fine things in life despite the hail, snow or air-conditioning.
Warm mango smoothie bowl (serves 1):
- 3/4 cooled chai tea or tea of choice (keep it overnight with bags and all in a tupperware)/water
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 cup mango, roughly cut
- 1 cup steamed pumpkin blocks (can replace with steamed and peeled sweet potato if desired/seasonal)
- 1 cup chopped and steamed zucchini
- 2 TBSP protein powder of choice
- 1 TBSP chia seeds
- pinch cayenne
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 1 tsp ginger spice
- 1/2 tsp cloves
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp anise powder
- 1 dropper NuNaturals NuStevia Pure Liquid Vanilla/2 tsp vanilla essence
- Optional: 1 dropper NuNaturals NuStevia Pure Liquid Orange/2 tsp orange flavour
- Optional: 1 heaped tsp almond butter to drizzle
- Optional: In lieu of granola or other sides (see below) you can also add 1/2 cup soaked GF oats or 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
- Blend the non-dairy milk, pumpkin, zucchini and mango until smooth. Add the protein powder and 1/4 of the tea/water and blend til mixed.
- Transfer to a medium pot over medium-high heat and add the rest of the tea/water, spices, flavour drops, chia seeds, and the optional oats or cooked rice. Let the mixture come to boiling, then simmer on low for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until heated through.
This warm smoothie bowl, of course, can also just be blended up and enjoyed cold, or split into smaller “snack” sized servings to either fuel your body for a workout or to restore and repair your limbs after a gruelling session. It’s even healthy enough to enjoy just for its own sake, which is the best kind of meal.
4 tips for out-smarting the cold
1) Try to move once a day, and not just to the kettle and back. There are so many YouTube exercise videos or online guides for anything and everything under the sun: pilates, yoga, weights – pick your favourite. The bonus is you’ll warm right up and not end up sporting stretchy pants come spring out of desperation. Fitness and health should be year-round concerns, not just a glorified panic attack within proximity of a skimpy swimsuit.
2) Keep hydrated – even if you’re not sweating. This totally killed me at the beginning of winter where I forgot to drink water because I wasn’t sweating or exhibiting the usual symptoms of dehydration. After a while, however, I noticed my skin was becoming crackled and lacking colour and vitality, and my energy levels (especially at work) were extremely low. I now make a point of filling up a 1 litre bottle every two hours and polishing that off. My body is very thankful!
3) Have adventures – even if it’s cold out. Bundle up and invest in memories that are more than just snapshots around the dinner table (though those are also fine!). Going to nature parks or on fun runs in chilly weather can give you a totally new appreciation for nature in different seasons.
4) Experiment with healthy and in-season food. Print some recipes you’ve always wanted to try and spend a few days testing them out. This is the perfect time to make soups, stews, and other hearty dishes which often can be frozen and reheated later for when you’re feeling lazy, which is totally legit.
So there you have it! And because you know I love my lists, here are some great smoothie and smoothie bowl recipes for you to check out if you’re feeling thirsty or hungry!
6 smoothie and smoothie bowl resources
- 50 smoothie bowls – Connoisseurus Veg – 50?! This is one of those posts where you somehow end up at the grocery store half an hour later staring gleefully at greens.
- XOAMY’S smoothies – Hanna always has super fresh smoothies (not all vegan) with stunning photos.
- Green monster movement recipes – this was founded by Angela of Oh She Glows and is a great resource for getting started and finding inspiration!
- 18 healthy vegan smoothies – Healthful Pursuit – Yum and yum! A smoothie for every mood and occasion.
- 16 surprisingly creative vegan smoothies – BuzzFeed – Once you’ve tried beans, pumpkin, and all the other crazy ingredients in a smoothie it’s difficult to remember an innocent time where it was just milk and fruit. Take smoothies to the next level!
- Smoothies and drinks – Aloha – the pictures alone make me twitch with glee! They also sell whole foods powders in three yum flavours that contain 2+ servings of fruits and veg per pack. I often add superfood powders to my smoothies to amp up the vitamins and goodness, such as spirulina or maca powder.
Smoothies, of course, are my way of starting any day, winter or summer, in a healthy way. The four simple tips I listed above all work together to fuel and condition your body to survive any season with energy and vitality. I am a big believer, however, in using food to stay healthy, and not just by relying on medication. Usually come autumn the shops are packed with hypochondriacs waiting in line to buy all sorts of fancy pills and sprays to keep the bugs at bay, but I honestly think that none of that helps if you have a terrible diet or limited exercise. Find anything that inspires you and start small, if need be! Smoothies are my daily reset button, but do what works for you 😀