Eat Well Oct. 23. 2018

Warming Spice Smoothie

Oct. 23. 2018
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

It’s one thing to eat foods that can warm you up, like soups and stews, but what about consuming warming spices?

One of our community favorites is the Zinger Tea where this recipe sole purpose is to warm you up when you’re feeling under the weather with spices like cayenne, lemon, and ginger. It’s great to also have a sweet recipe like this Warming Spice Smoothie for the cold months when you’re craving something sweet yet don’t want to reach for ice cream because #burr.

Warming spices are anything from fresh ginger, ground cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne, garlic, and horseradish. These spices can easily be added to any of your savory or sweet dishes such as soup, dips, stir-fry, frittata, or a smoothie like this one.

The great thing about this smoothie recipe is, it’s also rich in fiber from the pumpkin. The color might have given this secret ingredient away, but pumpkin is a good source of fiber which is an important component to make sure every smoothie you make has enough of.

If you new to making smoothies, check out the smoothie 101 guide, otherwise just keep in mind that whenever you make a smoothie try to get a fiber from a vegetable (2-3 cups-ish), a healthy fat, a protein of your choice, and a carbohydrate which for most people is a fruit.

If you don’t like pumpkin for this recipe, you can use steamed or roasted butternut squash or a sweet potato—both options are a great alternative and you’ll be getting similar health benefits from swapping one beta-carotene rich food for another.



You can make this smoothie a meal by adding a vanilla protein powder. 


Fiber is a cornerstone in healthy digestion and most people are not getting enough fiber daily. I recommend at least 35 g, upwards to 50 g of fiber per day for some clients. This smoothie has a couple of key players when it comes to fiber, the pumpkin, and the chia seeds.

If you’re a newbie, start with smaller portions of the chia seeds so your body can adjust, otherwise get ready for a happy and full stomach.

Antioxidants in spices

From ginger to cinnamon, there are so many antioxidants in each of the spices in this recipe. Ginger, which is the most abundant spice in this recipe, even though cinnamon is definitely the most popular.

In our article highlighting the best Adaptogens for Natural Stress Relief, we touched on ginger, because it can help calm digestion. Ginger is a root that contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols, which have been shown to help fight inflammation with certain cancers such as ovarian and colon cancers, as well as diseases such as arthritis, muscular pain or swelling, and joint pain.

The Recipe

Serves 1



1 cup almond milk

2 pitted dates

1 scoop of plant-based protein powder 

1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons of cashew butter

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) of the following: ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground nutmeg, ground clove)

1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

*if you don’t like pumpkin puree, use the same amount of steamed butternut squash or sweet potato.

*if you don’t like cashew butter, use whatever nut or seed butter you enjoy


Step 1 (the only step)

In a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. You may add ice if you’d like to serve the smoothie chilled, otherwise, enjoy immediately!

Can’t wait to see you try it!

Did you know that you can submit your own photo of whatever recipe you make from NS? Scroll down to the bottom right and you’ll see a section for you to show off your creations from home! Share your image on Instagram too by tagging #nutritionstripped

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