words + photos by Sarah Hendrix, La Femme Epicure
With the holiday season well underway, it is important to squeeze in a smoothie here and there to keep yourself feeling balanced. We are surrounded by a plethora of traditional holiday ingredients, some of which are surprisingly delicious when used as nontraditional smoothie ingredients.
Recently, Williams-Sonoma reached out and asked me to help them celebrate their "Smoothie Week" and so I recruited the help of gal pal and smoothie-maker extraordinaire, Lydia Howerton, of Apples and Onions LA. Together we created this festive take on one of our favorite green smoothies filled with lots of of our favorite superfood, kale! The nontraditional ingredient is one of our holiday favorites, cranberry sauce. It adds just the right amount of sweetness and tang along with tons of antioxidants. The other ingredients are some of the usual suspects including almond milk, banana, and apple.
Before we share the recipe we wanted to share some of our smoothie insider tips:
1. Don't be afraid to FREEZE your fruit, especially bananas! Frozen fruit is a smoothie's best friend and frozen bananas provide increased creaminess.
2. Don't forget to WASH YOUR KALE. Nothing is worse than a gritty smoothie. Also, if you don't have a vitamix blender, be sure to remove the ribs from the kale as they won't break down very well in a regular blender.
3. Looking for a little more sweetness? We love using Coconut Water interchangeably with almond milk for added hydration and loads of potassium.
1 Tbsp Cranberry Sauce
1/2 Honeycrisp Apple (or your favorite red apple)
2 cups Kale (use your favorite type)
8 oz Almond Milk (Recipe below to make your own!)
1/2 Banana, frozen
Ice (to taste)
1. Blend all ingredients together in your blender until smooth.
2. Enjoy immediately.
ALMOND MILK FROM SCRATCH
No store bought almond milk will ever top the kind you can make in your own kitchen. I like to make mine thick and creamy so it's perfect for using in my morning coffee or adding to a smoothie.
You can determine the thickness of the milk by altering the amount of filtered water that you add to the soaked almonds during the blending process. Additionally, you can sweeten the almond milk in a number of ways, my go-to method is with some dates and a drizzle of honey. I also add fresh vanilla bean and a pinch of flake sea salt to round out the flavor.
Homemade almond milk is best consumed within 3 days so making it in small batches is best. The recipe below makes about 2 cups.
1 cup raw almonds
2 cups filtered water
2 large dates
half of 1 vanilla bean
1 tsp honey
pinch of sea salt
1. Soak almonds for 24-36 hours in water. Once soaked, drain water.
2. Add soaked almonds to blender with 2 cups of water and rest of ingredients.
3. Blend until smooth. Using a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, drain well.
4. Store milk in refrigerator. Shake before using.
Sarah is a Private Chef // Food Stylist // Culinary Consultant based out of Los Angeles. She is a native Californian with an old soul and a serious knack for all things food, wine, and entertaining. Sarah lives for all things pretty and delicious and has a strong belief in sourcing seasonally and locally. She also posses a strong affinity for rainbow sprinkles and a deep loyalty to chives.
We follow her blog and Instagram for daily inspiration >>> site: La Femme Epicure + IG: @lafemmeepicure