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Cooking with Karina: Lean, Mean and Green Smoothies

Karina Arnold
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Green Ginger Smoothie

Green Ginger Smoothie (Photo: Karina Arnold)

Karina Arnold is a junior at the University of Oklahoma who’s passionate about healthy cooking. She provides creative, healthy recipes and tips on clean eating.

Technically, fall started Sept. 22. Technically, it should be sweater weather and colorful, crunchy leaves should start to fall. However, Houston does not abide by these technicalities.

With temperatures still ranging in the 80s coupled with the ever-present Houston-humidity, Houstonians still benefit from refreshing smoothies. Houston temperatures may not reflect the change in season, but fruits continue to ripen and go out of season. Southern Octobers are still hot and humid; thus, a cold smoothie remains a dietary staple.  This fall, use vibrant, seasonal vegetables in exchange for sweet summer fruits.

Using the same formula in my Guide to Smoothies, you can create a sweet and in season smoothie to sip. Rather than using all fruits, add more fiber-full fall veggies. Adding greens like steamed broccoli, spinach or kale fills you up and fills your smoothie with iron.

For a seasonal twist, add pumpkin puree with a dash of cinnamon in your smoothie. Pumpkin promotes a healthy and happy heart thanks to high amounts of fiber and vitamin c. In addition to pumpkin, steamed cauliflower is another sneaky way to incorporate veggies in your smoothie. Their mild taste provides a great base for any flavor combinations.

Strawberry Beet Smoothie

Strawberry Beet Smoothie (Photo: Karina Arnold)

If you are experiencing a summertime sadness, be sure to freeze any seasonal fruits before they leave the shelves. Sprinkle a handful for a sweet kick in any veggie smoothie, like in this Green Ginger Smoothie. Use frozen pineapple or mango chucks from your piña colada days and incorporate frozen spinach or fall pears, and ginger. Add a tablespoon of grated ginger or apple cider vinegar to add a flavor kick your smoothies while aiding in digestion.

Although most vegetables are not as sweet as fruit, beets are in season and a great natural sweetener. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, drink this pink Strawberry Beet Smoothie. In addition to its vibrant color, this smoothie is packed with nutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants. Beets’ sweet, pink exteriors compliment their rich health benefits. Peel, steam or cook your beets before you add them to your smoothies.

If you are feeling fall feels but still want a cooling meal or snack, don’t put away your blender yet! Try these fall vegetable smoothies to sneak more seasonal veggies in your diet. What greens do you like to add to your vegetables? Comment below!

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