I Heart Autumn
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: autumn is my favorite season. I love the crisp cool air and the colored leaves on the trees. I love snuggling up in a warm blanket with a hot mug of tea and a good book. And I love the taste of cinnamon and nutmeg, apples and pears, and hearty autumn squash.
Every year, Dennis and I make the start of fall with a trip to Warwick, New York, to go apple picking. We always have lunch at a vegan café in town and stop at a farm stand to stock up on fresh produce and colorful mums for our front porch before heading to the orchard and load up on crisp, juicy apples. Fruit always seems to taste better when you pick it straight from the treat yourself.
Once we get home and unload our apple haul, I spend some time planning out all of the apple treats I’m going to cook up. Of course, we do snack on apples as-is, but it’s always fun to cook with them as well. I like to make apple crisp, baked apples, and apple pie oatmeal. Last year I made farro salad with apples as well as apple and vegan cheese tartlets.
We frequently start our day with fruit-filled green smoothies. I like to make them with berries and cherries. Recently I was wondering why I haven’t added apples to a green smoothie. I use them when I’m making green juice, so why not?
I’ve added warm fall spices cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to this smoothie, so it tastes more like apple pie that it does your typical green smoothie. I’ve added a couple handfuls of baby kale to keep the smoothie green though. It has a mild flavor, so it’s not very noticeable. Baby spinach will work well too.
My smoothies are usually made with frozen bananas, but the truth is that I don’t really like bananas, so I don’t keep them in the house. I don’t mind them in a smoothie, and I do like banana bread, but I can’t eat a banana whole. The texture is just too paste-like for me. I do buy avocados frequently though, so that’s what I reached for when making this vegan apple pie smoothie. The creamy nature of avocados makes them a great base for a smoothie. Since it wasn’t frozen, I added a little ice. Warm smoothies just aren’t very appealing.
This vegan apple pie smoothie whips up in a matter of seconds in my Blendtec. It’s a terrific breakfast. The fiber from the apples and kale are filling enough that I make it to lunch without getting hungry. It’s also great for great afternoon pick-me-up, or even a post-dinner dessert!
Apple Pie Smoothie
- 2 apples, cored and coarsely chopped
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach or baby kale
- 1 medium-sized avocado, pealed and pitted
- 1 cup ice
- 1 ½ -2 cups non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Mix all of the ingredients together in a blender, starting with 1 ½ cup of non-dairy milk. Add the remaining ½ non-dairy milk if necessary.