With the lack of time to play in the kitchen right now, I am certainly feeling the loss of certain seasonal flavors and tastes that are quintessential holiday treats for me. So, I have been getting creative when the time allows and enjoying the flavors of the season, however I can.
I had dreams of creating grain-free gingerbread cookies this year, but there just hasn’t been the time to experiment and play, so instead I created a simple and super tasty gingerbread smoothie to celebrate all of those same flavors, but without all of the mixing, cutting out and baking! It turned out great. The aroma from this simple treat alone is enough to satisfy that holiday hankering for those cute little cut out dudes.
Plus, you get to really enjoy some health benefits with this smoothie. Blackstrap molasses is just one type of molasses, the dark liquid byproduct of the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. Blackstrap is my molasses as choice because of the variety of great nutritional benefits that comes with it. Blackstrap molasses is a sweetener that is actually good for you. Unlike refined white sugar and corn syrup, which are stripped of virtually all nutrients except simple carbohydrates, or artificial sweeteners like saccharine or aspartame, which not only provide no useful nutrients but have been shown to cause health problems in sensitive individuals, blackstrap molasses is a healthful sweetener that contains significant amounts of a variety of minerals that promote your health. Blackstrap molasses has a low glycemic index. Plus, because of its high iron content, many use blackstrap molasses to holistically overcome anemia. Blackstrap molasses is also a great source for calcium and magnesium. Potassium is another mineral abundant in blackstrap molasses, and the list goes on and on.
If you find the bittersweet flavor from the molasses to be a bit pungent, (which can often times happen to those who have taste buds conditioned for years by sugar and artificial sweeteners) or find it lacking as a sweetener, add a bit of additional sweetener of your choice, maple syrup, honey, etc. I personally felt like it didn’t need to be any sweeter. It was just perfect.
I also couldn’t help but think about how delicious this smoothie would be with a shot of some spiced rum or a good bourbon. Is it bad that’s where my mind goes right now?
If you are looking for a couple other creative gingerbread recipes, check out my recipes for Gingerbread Granola (gluten-free + vegan) and Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins with Dried Cranberries (gluten-free + vegan).
1 frozen banana Add all of the ingredients to the blender and process until smooth and creamy. Pour into your glass, top with a little freshly grated nutmeg (or regular ol ground nutmeg will work too). Serve immediately.
1 cup unsweetened organic vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tablespoon unsulphured blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon flax-seed meal (or ground chia seeds)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (grated fresh ginger would be extra nice)
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
dash of all spice
1 small handful of ice
*additional sweetener, if needed
1 frozen banana
Add all of the ingredients to the blender and process until smooth and creamy. Pour into your glass, top with a little freshly grated nutmeg (or regular ol ground nutmeg will work too). Serve immediately.