This Vanilla Spice Adaptogenic Smoothie with Ashwagandha offers a rich vanilla flavour coupled with warming notes of cinnamon and allspice.
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There's nothing like a healthy smoothie to kick off the day, especially during rushed mornings! However, slurping back cooling smoothies on nippy mornings isn't always beneficial. Thanks to the cinnamon and allspice in this Vanilla Smoothie, it offers warming notes to balance out those cooling effects.
How is this Vanilla Spice Adaptogenic Smoothie Healthy?
This Vanilla Spice Adaptogenic Smoothie is made with simple, whole-food ingredients that offer many health benefits. However, the star of this smoothie is the adaptogen, Ashwagandha powder (along with vanilla to make it taste delicious)!
What is Ashwagandha Powder?
Ashwagandha powder is made from the root of an evergreen that grows in Asia and Africa. It has long been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese Medicine and is most widely known for its adaptogenic properties.
How do Adaptogens Work in the body?
Adaptogens are a growing trend in the health and wellness community. They are most known for their stress-busting ability. But how do they actually work in the body?
Adaptogens help to stabilize our stress response. This is due to properties that help regulate and balance the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands. When we encounter a stressor, these glands pump out certain hormones that allow our bodies to respond. This usually happens in three stages; alarm, resistance, and finally, exhaustion.
The alarm stage activates our sympathetic nervous system and begins to pump out adrenaline. So long as we don't get stuck in the alarm response, we then enter the resistance stage, allowing us to combat our stressor. This can make us feel more energized, focused, and clear-minded. Then eventually, we enter the exhaustion phase, needing to give the body some rest.
Basically, adaptogens help the body to move into and remain in the resistance stage for longer periods of time. They can also reduce the amount the exhaustion we feel afterward.
More Benefits of Adaptogens
Studies show that adaptogens can also positively affect other aspects of our health. This is mainly due to the trickle-down effect of balancing our stress response. However, each adaptogenic plant contains unique properties that can offer various other health benefits. For now, here's a list of some general benefits adaptogens can potentially provide.
- Improve Immune Function
- Improve Mood
- Increase Overall Energy
- Boost Libido
- Improve Cognition
- Neuroprotective Properties
- Reduce Inflammation
More Nutritional Benefits this Vanilla Smoothie Provides
Warming. As mentioned above, the cinnamon and allspice offer a warming effect. Cold smoothies and drinks can dampen digestion and leave us feeling chilled in the cooler months. Adding some warming spices helps stoke that much-needed fire in the belly, keeping the digestive system functioning optimally. These spices can also help the body retain warmth on those chilly days.
Immune-Supporting. Cinnamon and allspice are not only warming but also offer many immune-supporting benefits. They contain antiviral and antibacterial properties that help keep those pesky cold and flu bugs at bay!
Heart Healthy. Thanks to potassium-rich bananas, stress-busting ashwagandha, and cholesterol-lowering vanilla, this Smoothie can also be beneficial to heart health.
Mood-Boosting. I mentioned above that Ashwagandha can have a positive effect on mood. But did you know vanilla is also a mood booster? Vanilla can increase neurotransmitter function, enhancing serotonin and dopamine production (our feel-good hormones).
Autumn, Winter & Spring - I tend to stay away from smoothies during the cooler months, especially in winter. However, this Vanilla Spice Adaptogenic Smoothie is one of the only smoothies you will find me slurping back in lower temperatures. For one, it's because of the warmth cinnamon and allspice provide. But also because ashwagandha can help the body adapt to the physical stress of the cold.
Late Summer - My favourite time to enjoy this smoothie is late summer to early autumn when the winter wind is just starting to hit that summer air. With its sweet vanilla taste and cooling banana, combined with a touch of warmth, it feels like the perfect balance for the season's change.
How to Make a Vanilla Spice Smoothie with Ashwagandha
This Vanilla Spice Adaptogenic Smoothie is incredibly easy to make! As with most smoothies, it only takes a minute to whip up. And other than the Ashwagandha powder, it doesn't require any exotic or hard-to-find ingredients.
Equipment You Will Need
Ingredients You Will Need
- Ripe Banana
- Vanilla Extract (I used Java Sisters Vanilla)
- Ashwagandha Powder
- Milk (I like using Almond or Tigernut)
Step 1 - Add Ingredients To Blender
To make your Vanilla Spice Adaptogenic Smoothie, simply place all the ingredients in your blender jug. For the smoothest blend, I find adding the milk first is best. Then break a banana in half or cut it into chunks and toss it in. Next, add the ashwagandha powder, cinnamon, allspice, and cardamom.
How Much Vanilla Extract To Put In A Smoothie?
If you're wondering how much vanilla extract should go in a smoothie, it really depends on how much you're making and how strong of a vanilla flavour you prefer.
Since Vanilla is the main flavour in this smoothie, and because it does a wonderful job balancing ashwagandha's earthy, bitter taste, I like to use a generous amount. For one smoothie, I find a half teaspoon does the trick. That being said, I prefer to use Java Sisters Vanilla because their vanilla extract comes with the bean in! This gives it a stronger, more robust flavour, almost like you are using the bean itself. (Sponsered links)
If you prefer an even stronger vanilla flavour, you could use up to one teaspoon. However, I wouldn't recommend any more than that (unless you are making a big batch of smoothies).
Step 2 - Blend
Once you've added all the ingredients into your blender jug, simply blend it until smooth. I usually give it a good thirty seconds. However, you can blend longer if your blender isn't very powerful. I should note, blending longer can result in a warm smoothie. So, you can always use a frozen banana or an ice cube or two if needed.
Step 3 - Enjoy!
Once your Vanilla Smoothie is fully blended, pour it into your favourite smoothie cup or travel tumbler and enjoy!
You can also top your smoothie with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and a few banana slices if you want to get fancy.
THIS RECIPE IS...
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If you try this Vanilla Spice Adaptogenic Smoothie, let me know how it turns out by leaving a comment and/or a rating below! And make sure you're following along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for more wildly nutritious recipes!
Vanilla Spice Adaptogenic Smoothie
- Place all the ingredients in your blender jug. For the smoothest blend, I find adding the milk first is best. Then break a banana in half or cut it into chunks and toss it in. Next, add the ashwagandha powder, cinnamon, allspice, and cardamom.
- Once you've added all the ingredients into your blender jug, simply blend it until smooth. I usually give it a good thirty seconds. However, you can blend longer if your blender isn't very powerful. I should note, blending longer can result in a warm smoothie. So, you can always use a frozen banana or an ice cube or two if needed.
- Once your Vanilla Smoothie is fully blended, pour it into your favourite smoothie cup or travel tumbler and enjoy!You can also top your smoothie with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and a few banana slices if you want to get fancy!