Cozy Takes on Green Smoothies

Brrrr … Autumn’s chill has crept into the morning air, sometimes lasting into afternoon and getting downright cold at night. What’s an aspiring raw foodie to do? If you’re like me, you probably don’t feel wild about tepid green smoothies. I like them very cold and refreshing — except on chilly mornings. Then, I just want something warm and cozy in my belly. Warm, cozy and filling, that is. When the temperature drops, my metabolism goes into higher gear working to keep me warm.

Enter some fun variations on the traditional green smoothie. Raw fooders and health-conscious folks alike can try these ideas to start the day with a nutritional kick and a cozy belly.

The (Now-Famous) Dandelion-Chai Smoothie:

dandelion greens (I used 1/2 bunch)
some leftover chai tea (I like red roobois chai for extra anti-oxidants)
about 9 figs
1 small apple
1 tbsp chia seeds
a little extra water if you don’t have much tea

Blend. This tastes like a thick apple cider!

You can serve warm, but let the tea cool slightly before blending so that you preserve the enzymes in the fruit and greens.

***Please be VERY careful when blending warm or hot liquids. Make sure to tighten the blender lid before starting. Also, if your blender is very cold, please let the tea cool a bit before pouring into glass, so that your carafe doesn’t crack.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Herbs “count” as greens, and cacao and mint go well together. This also works well as a cold drink, especially if you freeze the bananas and use chilled nutmilk.

1/2 bunch mint
1-3 TBSP raw cacao (depending on desired kick; also good with carob)
2 bananas
1 cup water or favorite nutmilk
1 cup warm peppermint or other herbal tea (cinnamon flavors work nice, too)
1 dropperful of vanilla stevia (or one xylitol packet + vanilla bean or vanilla extract or 1 TBSP raw honey)

Blend and enjoy. For extra heat, you can also add up to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper before you blend.

Yerba Mate Latte

You can sometimes find unroasted Yerba Mate, but the traditional Mate still packs some nutritional punch with lots of b-vitamins and mateine for energy. Brewed Yerba Mate is naturally a bit green. I like it brewed and then slightly sweetened with xylitol or stevia and mixed with my favorite nutmilk. Being a Lazy Raw Foodist, though, I sometimes just mix it with a little boxed Hemp Milk or Oat Milk fortified with vitamin D — an important winter nutrient for vegans.

For a special treat, I’ll add 2 drops of peppermint essential oil + 1 tsp raw cacao powder before mixing in the milk. Choco-minty-madness in a cup!

Lovely Licorice

I’ve also found licorice tea a nice base for superfood smoothies. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, licorice is added to most herbal remedies. It nourishes the adrenals, helps with diabetes and has also been shown to block one of the main toxins released by the Lyme Disease bacteria.

I like this one:

warm licorice tea
5-15 leaves dinosaur kale (fewer if it’s old and bitter)
1 TBSP spirulina (very optional)
2 bananas
1/2 – 1 cucumber
3 schizandra berries (more will make it too tart, but 3 imparts a complex flavor)
tinctures of:
St. John’s Wort (which, in addition to fighting winter blues has the happy effect of soothing frazzled nerves).

I usually add some chia seeds and lucuma powder and/or honey to thicken and sweeten. Licorice imparts a slightly sweet taste, so you don’t need too much lucuma.

For a variant, you could add goji berries instead of the bananas. I don’t eat bananas with gojis as it makes my stomach hurt, but you might fare better.


This morning, I’m going to experiment with some Numi Rooibos, beet greens, pears and pumpkin pie spice. I’ll post the recipe if it turns out well.

In general, think warm, think winter herbs and spices, think drink by the cozy fire … and see what you invent!

For more sneaky ways to get your greens, you might enjoy The Lazy Raw Foodist’s Guide … and if you’d like to curl up with a book by that cozy fire, might I recommend Schizandra and the Gates of Mu? 😉

5 responses to this post.

  1. Suitable for smoothies and shakes as well as regular drinks. Herbal Supplement



  2. Posted by giacintavosika,LMP,RMT on October 11, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing these recipes and your enthusiasm, light and “warmth”! What a lovely collection of new and different recipes and use of so many wonderful ingredients! How fun! As I read I kept thinking about warming from the inside out. I like the idea of the cayenne and I’ve been using ginger, fresh lemon juice, warm filtered water and a bit of agave to taste. It’s been a very soothing and warming beverage. Thanks again, Laura! Blessings and love, Giacinta



  3. Posted by laurabruno on October 12, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Thank you both for stopping by. Giacinta, yes, ginger is very warming! I even like it in the Northern California summers. Love, Laura



  4. It’s getting cold here, too – brrrrr. I’m going down to the kitchen to make one of these right now! Warm and green, chai spice, almond milk – yummy 🙂



  5. Posted by laurabruno on October 16, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Hi Diana, thanks for stopping by … I hope you enjoyed it!



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