I am a year-round smoothie kind of girl. My morning just feels incomplete if I don’t start it with a nutrient-packed smoothie.
I just find them to be so easy and refreshing in the mornings. Even in winter I love to cozy up to a smoothie with a sweatshirt, warm blanket and cup of steaming hot tea in the other hand. Smoothies are such an easy way to get in loads of nutrients and I just can’t seem to stop making them. This one has all the classic flavor of decadent apple pie but in smoothie form (and best of all no baking required!). It is slightly sweet from the apple and Medjool dates and gets dessert-worthy flavor notes from the vanilla, cinnamon and ginger.
I have been craving ginger in the mornings and one morning I threw a good bit of fresh ginger root in this recipe and loved how it turned out. It made the smoothie slightly spicy but didn’t overpower it at all. The spicy ginger was nicely balanced out by the sweet dates and apple combined with the warm vanilla and cinnamon. Plus, the creamy oats and almonds help too.
I’ve been loving this smoothie because it is simple, decadent and refreshing. Plus, this time of year an apple a day doesn’t seem like a bad idea. In fact, I wrote an article about the health benefits of apples in The Washington Post a couple years ago. Here is some of what I wrote:
Apples don’t get the same buzz as popular “superfruits” such as goji berries, acai berries or pomegranates. But don’t overlook them. They are chock-full of powerful disease-fighting nutrients and health benefits, in addition to being affordable and portable.
- Apples keep you hydrated: 84 percent of an apple’s content is water. This means apples not only satisfy your hunger but can satisfy your thirst as well.
- They are low in calories (a medium-size apple has only 80), fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free and full of fiber.
- They contain immune-boosting Vitamin C, which is important for the growth and repair of all body tissues. Vitamin C also helps to heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
- They help you meet your daily fruit intake. The USDA recommends about two cups of fruit per day for most adults. A medium apple counts as a cup of fruit, so if you snack on one fresh apple while on the go, you are halfway to meeting your daily fruit intake.
This recipe uses an entire fresh apple including the skin which is the most important part! My girls don’t always love eating the apple skin so this smoothie is a great way to make sure they get all the fiber and nutrient-rich benefits the apple skin offers.
This smoothie is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free and peanut-free. If you give it a try, please snap a pic and tag #eatingbyelaine and @eatingbyelaine on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook so I can see your apple pie smoothie creations!Print
This vegan, gluten-free smoothie tastes like the classic apple pie dessert but contains loads of fiber, nutrients and plant-based protein. It has warm, sweet notes from the vanilla and cinnamon. And it is naturally sweetened by the apple and Medjool dates. It is filling enough for breakfast since it contains whole grains from the oats and protein from the slivered almonds and almond milk. Sometimes I split it with my husband for a late-night post-workout snack. The ginger is entirely optional but I’m always trying to sneak more ginger into my life. Sometimes I put double the ginger if I’m really feeling like I need it.
- 1 large red sweet apple, stem and core removed (leave the skin on*), cut into chunks
- 5 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tablespoons unsalted blanched slivered almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or apple pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup frozen riced cauliflower
- 1/4 cup gluten free oats (if grain-free add more blanched slivered almonds here)
- 1 cup unsweetened, plain plant-milk (I typically use almond milk)
- Optional: 1 inch ginger root, skin removed
- Optional: 1 tablespoon chia seeds (adds protein, healthy fats, fiber and nutrients)
- 2 cups crushed ice
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and puree until smooth and creamy. Use the blender‘s tamper or plunger to help it along in the beginning.
- Taste and adjust as needed. Sometimes I add more ice for a thicker smoothie or more milk to thin it out if needed. Add more dates for a sweeter smoothie or more cinnamon to boost the flavor.
- Pour into 2 large glasses or 3 smaller glasses. Serve immediately. Garnish with chopped apple, Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream and Quick and Easy Homemade Cinnamon-Vanilla Granola (vegan, gluten-free and refined-sugar free)
* Most of the fiber in apples comes from the skin and the pulp. When you remove the skin, you remove about half the fiber. A medium apple with skin contains 3.3 grams of fiber, whereas a medium without skin has only 1.7 grams. Applesauce and apple juice contain even less. Dietary fiber is important for weight management, because it keeps you fuller longer. Dietary fiber from fruit, as part of an overall healthful diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and might lower the risk of heart disease, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Plus, fiber aids in proper bowel function and helps to reduce constipation. An apple’s skin is also incredibly nutrient-rich. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, apples are loaded with the powerful antioxidant quercetin, which is found predominantly in the apple skin. Quercetin is a phytochemical with anti-inflammatory and heart-protecting qualities, and may reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells.
If you have time, saute an additional diced apple in a little coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon until tender and juicy. Place this mixture on the bottom and/or top of your smoothie. It is basically like a quick apple pie filling. You can peel the apple or leave the skin on .
- Category: Breakfast or Snack
- Method: Blender