Cinnamon apples are definitely a fall delight for the tastebuds. So this warm smoothie hits the spot from fall throughout the winter months.
This one takes a little extra prep work to prepare it just like I prefer it. Even though I use a Vitamix blender, I like to do a bit of the cooking on the stovetop. This is because I like to use banana as a sweetener, but I don’t want to blend a banana in the Vitamix until it becomes steamy. If you do not have a Vitamix (or blender that can handle hot liquids), blend the ingredients first and then warm them on the stovetop.
I hope this smoothies provides a great start to your day. Enjoy!
Tips: Using frozen bananas, you can also use these same ingredients to make a cold smoothie.
1 – 2 bananas, room temperature – unless you want a cold smoothie (or another sweetener of your choice)
1/2 cup applesauce (or 1/2 cup fresh apples that have been stewed on the stovetop using water)
1 cup of water or use plant-based milk for extra creaminess
1 – 2 TBS Almond Butter
Dash of cinnamon spice (or any winter spice you like or a combination of more than one)
1 cup of spinach (optional) – I just like to get leafy greens in any way that I can and spinach is hardly noticeable.
1/2 avocado (optional) – Definitely add avocado if you do not use bananas. This will help to thicken the smoothie. If using avocado, I suggest skipping the spinach or the smoothie will be very green.
DIRECTIONS (For a warm smoothie):
Warm the applesauce (apples) and water (or plant-based milk) on the stovetop until you reach a desirable temperature.
Add the warm ingredients to the Vitamix and blend with the remaining ingredients.
Spinach artichoke dip is expected to be cheesy, right? That’s right, so just because this is a vegan dish made using only plants, doesn’t mean it cannot trick their tastebuds. This dish will convince others, despite there not being any cheese and no trace of nutritional yeast inside of this dish. (Nutritional yeast is the usual ingredient for plant-based recipes that provide the “cheezy” flavors.) Yet, the plant-based yogurt adds tartness and the cashews and potato add the creamy texture.
My husband loves artichokes, so he was my inspiration for trying out this dish. This recipe caught my eye as I was scrolling through some of Nisha’s YouTube (RainbowPlantLife) Videos. Nisha’s recipes have all been wonderful. I’m not a huge fan of artichokes, but this was very tasty and I look forward to making it again.
Also, be sure to check out the nutrition comparison facts below for the REAL details about how this plant-based recipe is low in calories, low in fat and is cholesterol FREE!
There are so many more ways you can use this recipe to create new dishes. See the video at the bottom of this post to see the steps and two additional ways I used this dip.
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
12 to 14 ounces of artichokes (can or jar), marinated (or not)
1 cup plain, unsweetened dairy-free yogurt (unsweetened coconut yogurt will make for the creamiest, but I used HEB almond yogurt the first time I made this and it was good.)
1 1/2 TBSP cooking wine (Or even rice vinegar. I used a bit of both. The original recipe used distilled vinegar.)
1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews (soak in warm water if not using a high-speed blender)
1/2 tsp fine salt (may require less if using marinated artichokes)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 packed cup cooked, peeled gold potato
OPTIONAL: red pepper flakes, for garnish, pita chips or veggies for serving
Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
Add the onion, garlic, and 5 TBSP (]water to a small pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
The original recipe says to add the spinach to the pan in small batches, stirring and tossing the spinach until it is well cooked and wilted before adding the next batch. Repeat until all the spinach is cooked well. This will take about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off. But, since I chopped the spinach using the pulse function of the food processor, I added all to the pan at once and stirred only a few minutes to allow it to wilt. Then I turned off the heat.
The original recipe says to roughly chop the artichokes into quarters. But my artichokes were already quartered and I put them into the food processor to chop even more.This will release lots of liquid, so drain the excess. Squeeze out the excess liquid so it doesn’t end up watery. I used a fine strainer and pressed the artichokes into the strainer using the back of a spoon. Add the artichokes to the cooked spinach mixture, and set aside.
Add the yogurt, vinegar/wine, cashews (soaked if necessary), salt, and pepper to a high-powered blender or food processor. Starting slowly, blend the ingredients. Add the potato also to the blender, blend on high until completely. smooth. Scrape the sides if needed, and blend once more. Pour over the spinach and artichoke mixture and stir to combine well.
Pour the mixture into a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, pie dish, or an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until the top looks firm and set and is bubbly. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. For a kick, add some red pepper flakes on top before serving with pita chips or veggies.
A food processor will make this an easy and quick recipe. I used one to chop and mince onions before cooking. I also used it to chop the artichokes and to chop the spinach (each chopped separately).
Look for organic potatoes to avoid pesticides.
As always, don’t forget to taste your dish prior to calling it “done” (of course, before baking it)
1 pound of hashbrowns (or shredded potatoes, see notes/tips below)
8-10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced (or even finely diced)
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
dried parsley flakes (to be sprinkled on top)
2 cups plant-based milk
½ cup raw cashews (or use 1/4 cup of cashew flour)
3 tablespoons cornstarch**
¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon miso paste
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt (or to your taste preferences)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
**Try to find a NON-GMO cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Saute the mushrooms and onions in a bit of water/broth over medium-high heat until tender the onions become translucent and caramelized. Add water/broth as needed to prevent sticking.
Combine the “cheeze” ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Taste to make sure it’s to your liking.
Pour half of the blended cheese sauce into the bowl of hash browns and mix until thoroughly combined.
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Begin to add layers: “cheeze” sauce, potatoes, onions & mushrooms, chopped spinach. Make two layers and top it all off with “cheeze” sauce.
I like to top with more parchment paper (but this is optional) bake for 30 minutes, and then remove the top so that it can brown and the sauce can thicken. (Or you can simply bake uncovered in the oven.)
Sprinkle with dried parsley.
I think the onions are the star of this dish that adds the most flavor. I like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar to help with the caramelization of the onions. (You can use any vinegar you have for cooking.)
I like to salt and pepper the potatoes as I layer them.
Taste your “cheeze” sauce prior to using it in the dish so that you can make adjustments to suit your taste buds.
Look for organic potatoes to avoid added ingredients and preservatives.
If shredding your own potatoes, make sure to dry them well – using a kitchen towel or paper towels.
I’ve also used sliced potatoes to make this recipe. Use a mandoline slicer for best results