Smoothies that fit the season

Winter blends feature local greens, apples, honey

Forgive me for this outrageously healthy-sounding recipe, but it is January, and therefore all new year’s diet resolutions are still in force. I usually think of smoothies more as summertime desserts: sweet blends of bananas, oranges, pineapples, mangoes, and other tropical or colorful ingredients. They’re refreshing, but not always diet- friendly. And they’re certainly not local.

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a different class of smoothies. Vegetable-based, just a little sweet, and usually dairy-free, they are suited to the season. Sometimes I throw in a little orange juice or a squirt of lemon, but otherwise I stick to local, seasonal ingredients. If you’d like to try making your own, here are a few combinations to consider:

Kale, carrot, apple
Romaine, beet (roasted or raw), orange (peeled fruit or juice)
Sweet potato (roasted), carrot, yogurt

Georgia Green Apple Smoothie
This nutritional drink is made with local ingredients available right now … except for the cinnamon, which is optional but a nice touch.

1 serving
5 minutes preparation time

Green Apple Smoothie
1 apple (any local variety), quartered and cored
1 carrot
½ small bunch spinach (about 2 cups packed leaves and stems)
1 teaspoon honey
1 pinch ground cinnamon (optional)
3-4 ice cubes
¼ cup cold water

In a blender, combine apple, carrot, spinach, honey, cinnamon, ice cubes and water. Puree until smooth. If needed, add more water to achieve desired consistency.