This article originally appeared on Green Reset.
You rarely read “cranberry” and “creamy” in the same sentence, but this recipe is yummy, I promise you that!
This is a variation of a recipe that I’ve been drinking for the past several weeks, since the beginning of cranberry season. It’s deliciously creamy, very filling, and super-good-for-you.
This recipe makes almost a full Vitamix pitcher of smoothie, so you may want to scale it down it to fit your blender. When I make it in the morning, I pour two big glasses: one for myself and one for my 9-year-old son, and still have some left for later.
Cranberry Oatmeal Smoothie Recipe
I love cranberries in my smoothies and this recipe is no exception!
Most people have cranberries as cranberry juice or sauce, usually a highly sweetened, over-processed concoction. I used to prepare it as a side dish for turkey on Thanksgiving dinner. Since I went vegan (about 18 months ago), I still love my cranberries in sauces, dressings and smoothies.
Cranberries add a delicious, tart flavor to blended drinks. Plus, they have many health benefits. You can add them to most berry smoothies to boost the tartness and antioxidants. Begin with 1/2 cup, then adding more to taste.
1 cup almond milk
3/4 cup oats (I use the 1-minute quick oats)
1 cup raw cranberries
1/2 head of romaine lettuce (or more)
2 tablespoons almond butter (or other nut or seed butter)
1/2 cup water, or to desired consistency
Blend on high until very creamy. Depending on your blender, it can take anywhere from 20 seconds to 2-3 minutes.
Note: I deliberately make this recipe with non-dairy milk, oats and almond butter – to boost the calories in the smoothie for my super-active 9-year-old. I was a little concerned that I may start putting on weight if I drink too much of these, but so far it didn’t happen – even though I drink quite a lot of them. If you are concerned about your weight, make sure you are using unsweetened milk and reduce the amount of butter to 1 tablespoon.
What I love about this recipe is that it produces a smoothie that is deliciously creamy and very satisfying. Try it for yourself to see if you enjoy it as much as I do. Plus, give it to your kids and see what they say.
-Replace almond butter with other nut butter, peanut butter, or with nut-free butter, such as sunflower, or pumpkin seed butter.
-Replace almond milk with other non-dairy milk, such as soy, hemp, rice or oat milk.
-Replace romaine lettuce with 2 cups (tightly packed) or 4 cups (loosely packed) of other mild greens, such as baby spinach. If you have a powerful blender (such as Vitamix or Blendtec) you may also use kale or collard greens.
-Replace 1/2 cup of cranberries with strawberries, or other berries for less tart version.
This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, wheat free, soy free (if not using soy milk). To make it nut free, substitute almond milk with soy, hemp, rice or oat milk; and replace almond butter with sunflower, or pumpkin seed butter.
Health Benefits of Cranberries
Cranberries are high in vitamin C, and have antioxidant and antibacterial effects in the body. They also contain small amounts of magnesium, vitamin K, manganese, calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus. They are well known for their powerful, disease-fighting properties – just what the doctor ordered for the fall-winter season!
Adding greens to your cranberry smoothie (such as, lettuce, kale, or spinach), will boost the nutrition (and potential health benefits) practically off the charts!
In Season: In the U.S., fresh cranberries are available from October through December. Some markets also carry frozen cranberries year-round.
What to Look For: Look for bright-colored, firm cranberries in the produce section. Avoid bags that have brown or shriveled berries at the bottom.
How to Store: Store in the original packaging for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, or up to one year in the freezer. To prep, rinse and discard any discolored or soft berries; if frozen, there’s no need to thaw before use.
More seasonal recipes: Healthy Raw Vegan Caramel Apple
Photo: Joanna Slodownik/ Green Reset