Warming Winter Smoothie

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Straight on image of two glasses of warming winter green smoothie with carrot, zucchini, spinach, and turmeric garnish

Do you ever miss smoothies in the wintertime? I do.

I love the nutrition smoothies provide, but often find they’re too cooling and can even slow my digestion down when colder weather arrives.

After doing some research on the ancient practice of Ayurveda, I discovered there are a few ways to “warm” your smoothie so it’s not so cooling to your body, which is perfect when you’re already battling colder temps but still want your daily dose of greens. Let me show you how.

Overhead image of warming winter smoothie ingredients, including banana, spinach, zucchini, carrot, and protein powder

This smoothie is easy to make, requiring just 1 blender10 minutes, and 10 ingredients.

It starts with ripe banana, carrot, and zucchini (or cauliflower). I’ve been loving using less banana and subbing in some carrot for more natural sweetness and fiber lately. Plus, when adding in protein powder, I generally find excess banana can make it too sweet.

Overhead image of warming winter smoothie ingredients in blender

Next comes protein powder, hemp seeds for a dose of essential fatty acids, and warming spices like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper. In place of these spices you can also sub my Golden Milk Mix, making this smoothie another creative use for this go-to blend (also used in my Golden Milk Snack Bites!).

To make a smoothie more warming, try:

  • Using cold or room temperature ingredients instead of frozen
  • Adding warming spices like cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, clove, cayenne, and ginger (which help stimulate digestion)
  • Going for dairy-free milks like cashew or macadamia vs. coconut milk, which can be more cooling in the body
  • Adding roasted winter squash, like butternut squash or roasted sweet potato in place of frozen banana
  • Drinking in the afternoon when your digestive fire is strongest, as opposed to in the morning when your digestive fire is low

These little switches can make a huge difference in keeping your body warm yet still nourished this winter and spring! Of course, I’m not an Ayurvedic physician or nutrition expert. But these changes have helped me continue to enjoy smoothies in the wintertime! (Find a list of cooling and warming foods here!)

Overhead image of warming winter green smoothie garnished with hemp seeds and turmeric, and carrot, zucchini, and spoonful of turmeric on the side

We hope you LOVE this smoothie! It’s:

Creamy
Not too sweet
Fiber-rich
Well balanced
Warming
& Delicious

This would make the perfect light breakfast, workout recovery drink, or afternoon snack to help you make it to dinner. I’ve enjoyed adding protein powder for more satiety, and you can see our unbiased Vegan Protein Powders Review here! Since writing that review, Nuzest has actually become my favorite because of its simple, high-quality ingredients and milkshake flavor. Yummmm.

Into smoothies? Also be sure to check out our Golden Milk Smoothie, Blueberry Almond Butter Smoothie, Super Green Spirulina Smoothie, and Peanut Butter Banana Green Smoothie Bowl!

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Straight on image of warming winter green smoothie in a glass with carrot, zucchini, and ground turmeric on the side

Warming Winter Smoothie

An Ayurvedic-inspired warming smoothie for the colder months. Veggies, fruit, and warming spices nourish the body without cooling it down. A delicious afternoon snack, workout recovery drink, or morning breakfast.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Geometric glasses of our Warming Winter Green Smoothie
4.62 from 13 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 (smoothie)
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? Up to 24 hours

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ripe banana (previously peeled, sliced, and frozen)
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced zucchini (or chopped raw or steamed then frozen cauliflower)
  • 1 scoop plain or vanilla protein powder (if using unsweetened / plain, add additional banana for sweetness)
  • 3/4 - 1 cup dairy-free milk (we prefer cashew)
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbsp peeled, minced fresh ginger*
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric* (or sub 4x the amount fresh turmeric)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon*
  • 1 pinch black pepper* (increases bioavailability of turmeric)
  • 1 tsp spirulina (optional / or 1 handful spinach or kale // adds green color and more fiber)

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender (starting with the lesser amount of dairy-free milk) and blend on high until creamy and smooth, adding more dairy-free milk (or water) as needed. Spirulina and/or greens are optional additions that help make the smoothie green and more nutritious.
  • Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more spices for warmth, ginger for spice/zing, or banana or protein powder for sweetness. 
  • Serve and enjoy immediately. Garnish with additional hemp seeds or ground turmeric if desired (optional). Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 24 hours, though best when fresh. You can also freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray and add to future smoothies.

Video

Notes

*In place of the fresh ginger, ground turmeric, ground cinnamon, and black pepper, you can sub 1 tsp of my Golden Milk Mix per smoothie.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with Tropeaka vanilla protein powder and MALK cashew milk and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 1 servings)

Serving: 1 smoothie Calories: 269 Carbohydrates: 28.1 g Protein: 17.3 g Fat: 12.3 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.95 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.58 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 196 mg Potassium: 631 mg Fiber: 5.9 g Sugar: 12.1 g Vitamin A: 8467 IU Vitamin C: 15.1 mg Calcium: 53.32 mg Iron: 2.55 mg

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Reader Interactions

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  1. Jen says

    This was delicious! I lose interest in smoothies in the winter but this is such a nice take. I’ll bring to work in the morning and leave on my desk so I can enjoy at room temperature during the day. I used unsweetened almond milk, brown rice vanilla protein powder, pumpkin Purée instead of carrot (because I had pumpkin purée on hand) and the rest of the ingredients as listed. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sasha says

    I couldn’t wait to get home from my walk so I could try making this smoothie. Oh my goodness! It’s so delicious!!! I’ve never had a warming smoothie before. It was so perfect for this rainy grey day. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ll be drinking it all winter.

  3. Suzanne Kinsel says

    Delicious!!! Subbed peanut butter for the hemp seeds because pb is just so good. And subbed Apple’s for the banana because I don’t like them.

  4. Karen says

    This is the most fabulous tasting smoothie!! I used a half of a baked sweet potato as I cannot have bananas.
    Thanks, Dana Your recipes are true lifesavers!

  5. Alison says

    Yum! So easy to drink so fast because it’s so good and the perfect amount of sweet. Don’t know why it never occurred to me before that smoothies don’t have to be freezing cold. I used flax meal instead of hemp seeds and homemade pecan milk for the base!

  6. Aura says

    This may be the best smoothie I’ve ever made. I’m terrible at eating my veggies, but my normal solution for that–smoothies–never seem very appealing in the winter. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. The cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper are what send it over the top! Thanks so much for another fantastic recipe!

  7. Gillian Nicol says

    Absolutely delicious. Thank you! Keep it up Dana and the minimalist baker team! Much appreciated.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing!! Next time would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Glad you liked it! If you would like to share a photo, feel free to share on instagram with the hashtag #minimalistbaker

  8. Sophie K. says

    EXACTLY what I have been needing these icy winter days. My body is craving veg but it’s just so hard on my system to put even more cold things into it.

  9. Dani says

    Sadly, I made this smoothie and it made me feel sick… maybe too much fresh ginger and/or turmeric??? I dunno… I threw half of it out. (On a positive note, I think the turmeric helped with some joint inflammation that I’ve been experiencing… so there’s that.)

    • Kary says

      A friend of mine is allergic to hemp & it causes vomiting and stomach upset. Could this be the reason for your nausea??? Just a thought.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Dani, sorry to hear that! Not sure what would’ve made you feel unwell. I’ve made this smoothie many times and feel great afterwards. Perhaps you were sensitive to one of the ingredients, or one of your ingredients was not fresh?

  10. Cassie Autumn Tran says

    A warming smoothie? I was SUPER skeptical about this idea. Unless you blend hot coffee with a frozen banana or two, then how can a smoothie actually warm you up? But now I figured–the warming spices are definitely appropriate for this! Ginger, turmeric, and pepper are absolutely perfect!

  11. Naomi says

    Perfect timing, been thinking of winter smoothies and was thrilled when this popped up in my inbox. A great meal on the go. I subbed out the banana for half and avocado and used a few drops of stevia.

    • Dana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks, Naomi! Next time would you mind leaving a rating? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xo

  12. Ana says

    Just made this recipe using a handful of spinach (vs spirulina), almond milk, and no hemp seeds or protein powder because I didn’t have these 2 ingredients. I loved the spicy smell and exotic taste of the warming spices. Thank you for sharing :-)

  13. Vasco Lourenço says

    I love smoothies, they’re part of every breakfast I take. I literally only drink smoothies for breakfast, real heavy ones. Ginger is my favorite “warming” spice, but my best warming recipe for when I’m cold is just doing some push-ups :)

  14. Meredith says

    What protein powder do you recommend? Do you know of any that avoid plastic packaging? Thanks! Looking forward to trying the smoothie.

  15. loh says

    Oh! I saw you use these glasses with an earlier recipe and found them so gorgeous I had to get a set myself (with matching carafe!). Absolutely love them.

    Smoothie looks delicious too!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jane! We don’t include cauliflower in the video because it is an optional substitute in this recipe. Hope that helps!

  16. Brandon says

    What could I substitute for plain or vanilla protein powder? Or do you recommend not substituting and just leave it out altogether?

    Thanks

  17. Angie says

    I don’t usually like “milk” products in my green smoothie but this combo was delicious, and indeed perfect for these cold months. Thank you!

    • Support @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad to hear that, Angie! If you don’t mind leaving a star review, it would help us out a lot! xoxo