Sunshine & Sustainable Living

Gingerbread Protein Smoothie

Gingerbread Protein Smoothie

​I’m always on the lookout for a new smoothie combo. I still love a classic banana and berries smoothie, but the creative side of me always sees potential for more. This smoothie was an instant success, I love the Christmas-y flavor, the super creamy texture, and the lovely light-green color.
​It stuck me the other day, I add cauliflower to my smoothies because it really doesn’t have flavor, but it is full of nutrients and adds awesome volume. Why couldn’t I do that with another food? Hence, white beans. After rinsing and freezing, white beans don’t have much flavor, are so creamy when blended and… add extra protein! 

This little note on “protein” is huge. I often put a nut butter in my smoothies because I crave the extra protein and find that I need it to fill me up all the way. Many smoothie drinkers use a protein powder, which I avoid for a number of reasons. Not only are these protein powders usually crazy high in sugar, but they don’t contain the balance of nutrients that your body needs and that it can only get in whole food sources. There are good protein powders out there, but you certainly pay for the higher quality. For me, I stick to only whole-food sources. So… back to the beans. Beans are naturally super high in protein and are such a win for the smoothie drinkers out there looking for a new thing.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! 

Gluten Free & Vegan | Makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies
1 frozen banana*
1/3 cup frozen white beans**
1 cup frozen cauliflower***
1 big handful of spinach
3/4 cup plant-based milk
2 tsp cacao powder (I like this brand)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
pinch of ground cloves
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

chia seed, hemp seed, winter-spiced granola, chopped nuts or seeds of choice

  1. Place all ingredients in blender***. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, scraping the edges halfway through to ensure evenness.
  2. Pour into cup, sprinkle with toppings if desired and serve immediately.

*Simply freeze peeled, ripe bananas in chunks for a few hours or overnight in a large ziplock.

**You’re probably thinking… Ella, this has gone too far. But I assure you, the beans are amazing. They add such a creamy texture, some extra protein, and guess what, you can’t even taste them. Try it!

***Cauliflower is super neutral in flavor when frozen. It adds an awesome texture and volume to smoothies along with an abundance of nutrients- as mentioned above. You can buy frozen cauliflower super cheep in bulk at Wegmans. 

***If you plan on making smoothies frequently, I definitely suggest investing in a good blender. (I went throw 3 cheep blenders over the course of one semester in college. no joke). I love my vitamix – probably one of the best Christmas gifts I’ve ever received. It literally holds up anything. You can buy them certified refurbished which helps cut the cost and still gives you a great product. I love this one.