Fall is officially here, but there’s no need to give up your morning smoothie just because the temperature is dropping.  Once upon a time I had dubbed myself “not a smoothie person”, and was certain that a meal had to include actually chewing something that got into my mouth using a fork. But over the last year I’ve discovered that this isn’t true, and adding the right ingredients to a smoothie gives a wonderful and natural energy boost that can keep you going all morning long.  Below are some tips to help you make smoothies that will be both delicious and nutritious, and four recipes that celebrate the flavors of fall!

Tips to making successful smoothies…

  1. Don’t get into a smoothie rut.  It’s easy to make the exact same smoothie every day, but you’ll get more nutritional benefit if you mix it up a bit.
  2. Always add greens.  Just one cup of chopped greens adds tons of vitamins and minerals, and it’s a great way to sneak more greens into your diet.
  3. Don’t settle for a bland smoothie. Ever taste a smoothie and think…meh?  If you mix up a less than inspiring concoction, spice it up!  Cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, vanilla and even a pinch of salt are great ways to add flavor and bring out the natural sweetness.  And if you’re a chocoholic like I am, a tablespoon of raw cacao powder takes pretty much any smoothie from ho-hum to yum instantly!
  4. Is green juice as good as a green smoothie? In my opinion, no. Although blended, a smoothie is still a whole food that contains all the nutrients and fiber of the original ingredients.  Juice contains the nutrients, but removes the fiber which results in a more concentrated sugar content. Fiber is critical for proper digestive health, and the fiber also helps slow the absorption of sugar.
  5. Watch your portion size.  Smoothies are nutrient dense, but they can also be calorie dense.  Don’t fret over trying to figure out exactly how many calories are in your smoothie, just use common sense.  If you can fill a Big Gulp you might need to rethink your portion size.

Nothing says fall like pumpkin!

Pumpkin Pear Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chopped spinach, kale or other green
  • 1/2 cup chopped pear (or apple)
  • 1 TBSP almond butter (or almonds)
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (or 3 TSBP Hemp Hearts)
  • Pumpkin Pie spice to taste (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, ginger)
  • 1 tsp vanilla (optional)
  • Water and ice as needed for desired consistency

Yes, beets and chocolate really do go together!

Chocolate Beet Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup chopped RAW beets
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 blueberries or other berry
  • 1 cup spinach, kale or other greens
  • 1/4 small avocado
  • 3 TBSP hemp hearts or a scoop of protein powder
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 TBSP raw cacao powder
  • cinnamon to taste
  • water and ice as needed for desired consistency

If you love ginger and turmeric, this one’s for you!

Carrot Ginger Turmeric Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 TBSP minced ginger
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup chopped spinach, kale or other green
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple or jicama
  • 1 TBSP almonds, cashews, almond butter, or cashew butter
  • 1/4 TSP ground turmeric
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 scoop protein powder or 3 TBSP hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup almond or cashew milk
  • water and ice as needed for desired consistency

Okay, nothing particularly fall-ish about this, but chocolate and peanut butter are good any time of the year!

Nutty-Banana Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots, jicama or berries
  • 1 cup chopped spinach, kale or other green
  • 1 TBSP raw cacao
  • 1 TBSP peanut butter or other nut butter
  • 3/4 cup coconut, almond or cashew milk
  • water and ice as needed for desired consistency

This content was originally published here.