When you hear about a wassail recipe, you probably think of holiday gatherings, warm fire, fuzzy sweaters, and lots of good food… Yet maybe not green smoothies. Hear me out, I love a good warm wassail. This wassail drink recipe definitely puts me in a cheery mood with its spices and warmth. Yet this warm smoothie can be packed with flavors we love AND good-for-us benefits, all wrapped up in a cute, hot mug of goodness.
Wassail drink origins
The wassail drink actually originates in an ancient event in south Britain called wassailing. Towns people met in an orchard during winter to ward off evil spirits. They brought pots and pans to make lots of noise, sang songs, and drank warm, mulled cider. Wassailing helped the crops stay good until springtime (or so the tale goes). Some say the singing from orchard to orchard is actually the origins of modern day caroling during the holiday season.
This wassail recipe was created by our team photographer, Lindsey. Here’s what she has to say:
I love Wassail so much! I can’t imagine a December without it. My love for wassail tempts me to make it all year long! Turning our family’s favorite holiday beverage into a warm smoothie that we could enjoy – and with added nutrients – was a blast!
What is a warm smoothie?
While the idea of a warm smoothie might not be what you crave during the summer months, it can be hard to muster up the energy to blend up an icy cold smoothie. When the temperatures are hovering around 0 degrees F, turn to a warm smoothie recipe! I put together an arsenal of warm smoothies like this wassail drink. Making one is easy, just warm at least 1 ingredient, and don’t use any frozen ones.
You can also ‘warm up’ your regular smoothie ingredients, by using all non-frozen ingredients when blending. If you’re blending with a high powered blender like a Vitamix, you can honestly make any smoothie warm. Just make this wassail recipe, and keep the blender running a few minutes longer than normal; you’ll feel like you’re drinking a crockpot wassail.
Warm smoothie recipes
Many Simple Green Smoothies community members say they serve room-temp smoothies in the winter months, as they are typically easier to drink. Here are a few recipes I made specifically to be consumed warm, like the wassail drink recipe below:
To keep my kids from getting an ice cream headache from a cold smoothie, we sip on these warm smoothies when the weather turns cold.
Wassail drink ingredients
Growing up, my family’s wassail recipe included apple cider heated up with a wassail spice packet. To mimic the spices in that delicious beverage, I use heated apple cider (or 100% apple juice) as the base for this smoothie. Cranberries and oranges bring in the zing factor, and fresh ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves up the spice. I also add in 1/2 an apple per serving because this helps thicken the smoothie. So this recipe has all the good stuff, and will warm you up in no time.
Ingredient swaps + tips
If fresh cranberries can’t be find, then use frozen cranberries that have been thawed. Any variety of apple can be used for this smoothie. I like a sweeter variety, like a honey crisp, to help balance the tartness from the cranberries. Freshly ground cinnamon takes this smoothie up a level, yet pre-ground works great too. If cloves aren’t your thing, then just add an extra pinch of cinnamon. Swiss chard is a great swap for spinach in this wassail drink.
Pro tip: you can make a few batches to keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days and warm it up as needed. It’s especially great when you’re having a hard time getting going in the morning, and breakfast is already made!
The classic holiday beverage turned into a delicious, warming green smoothie full of sweet fruit flavor and comforting spices. Add some spinach to your cup of holiday cheer!
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup apple juice or cider (warmed)
- 1/2 apple (peeled and cored)
- 1/2 orange (peeled)
- 1/4 cup cranberries*
- 1/4 inch piece fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch ground cloves
- Blend spinach and apple juice until smooth.
- Next add the remaining ingredients. If using a high speed blender, start blending again on low speed working up to high speed. Allow to blend for 3-5 minutes, or until very hot. If using a regular blender, blend until smooth and heat gently on the stove or transfer to mugs and heat in microwave.
*Can substitute dark sweet or tart cherries for cranberries. Notes: If using hot apple juice or cider, use caution when blending. Be sure to let the lid vent so the liquid doesn’t leak and splatter. Blend on low speed, working up to high speed until smooth. Smoothie will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge and can be made ahead and reheated before serving.
Keywords: Wassail smoothie