Non-Alcoholic

Gingerbread Cocoa

It really is kind of amazing how different your house can feel once you put up Christmas lights. So when you have the lights on and look out the window to see it is snowing delicately outside, doesn’t your mind instinctively develop a hot chocolate craving? Not to mention that it’s so cold out that sometimes you want to drink something other than coffee to warm you up. This Gingerbread Cocoa is warm cup of festive comfy goodness.

Cocoa, sugar, apple pie spice, and ground ginger are combined with milk and whisked together until warm and smooth. The cocoa and spices melt away and develop a warm, subtle spicy flavor that will make anyone wonder what’s in this milky cup. This recipe called for a gallon of milk which was a little more hot cocoa than I needed so I cut this recipe in half… and in half again. I also used unsweetened vanilla almond milk because I’m crushing on it lately and it’s what I had on hand. The result was a creamy, chocolate-y thing that makes you go hmm. And perfect for a snowy day.

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Whisk together first sugar, cocoa, apple pie spice, and ground ginger in a pot or Dutch oven until blended; gradually whisk in milk.

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Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

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Transfer to a slow cooker, and keep warm on LOW, if desired.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Southern Living magazine

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothies

Well, how was your Thanksgiving? Did you eat too much? Drink too much? I’m happy that I didn’t overstuff or overserve myself and today I feel really good! But despite all the good food I ate yesterday, I didn’t finish it all up with a healthy piece of dessert. So, when I woke up this morning craving something pumpkin, I looked in my refrigerator and decided that I could get some pumpkin dessert flavor for breakfast without a lot of ingredients or calories. These Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothies were just what I needed!

Pumpkin puree, almond milk, cream cheese, and spices are blended together with a little bit of sweetener making this pumpkin cheesecake in a glass. I love the flavor and creaminess of almond milk but you can use regular milk if you like. I also used a packet of Splenda but if you are a sugar person, go for it. Really, I was a little surprised just how well this turned out. Maybe I should have thought to do this last night after dinner?

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothies (makes 1 large or 2 small smoothies)

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or regular milk)
  • 1 ounce cream cheese (1/3-less fat or regular)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 packet Splenda or 2 teaspoons sugar

Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

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Banana Pumpkin Smoothies

After all of the cheese and wine I consumed last week in Buenos Aires, I need to get it together. Quite frankly, I’m tired of chicken, have no desire for salads, and can’t eat any more eggs. When I get into an eating rut like this, where I want to eat healthy but can’t stand to eat the same old, same old, I like to replace a meal with a smoothie a few times a week. It’s the middle of October so it feels completely appropriate to break out the pumpkin. This Banana Pumpkin Smoothie is the perfect fall meal that tastes more like a treat and keeps my pants fitting.

Vanilla yogurt, canned pumpkin, orange juice, and frozen banana are the basis of this smoothie which is jazzed up with warm spices and a hint of brown sugar. Right around now, you can find all kinds of recipes for pumpkin pie smoothies but what makes this one unique and different is the addition of the banana and fresh orange juice. I always have slices of frozen banana in my freezer just for smoothies like this but if you don’t, a fresh banana will work fine, you just may want to add extra ice. I never thought to combine orange and pumpkin together but the flavors marry perfectly, giving this drink a light freshness you don’t typically get with fall pumpkin flavors. I’m sold.

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Combine yogurt, pumpkin, ice, orange juice, brown sugar, spices, and banana in a blender, and process until smooth.

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Garnish with dash of ground cinnamon, if desired. Serve immediately.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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