This apple pie smoothie is the way I keep my smoothie habit alive as we transition to cooler weather. It's cold yet cozy, thanks to apple pie spices like cinnamon and nutmeg; it's creamy yet vibrant, thanks to the marriage of soaked cashews and sweet-tart apple. I bumped up the nutritional value with maca powder -- its maple-y flavor is a wonderful complement to the dessert-themed snack.
The spices are an obvious nod to fall, but the ingredient that makes this smoothie special is the soaked cashews. You see, a magical thing happens when you let cashews hang out in water for a few hours before blending. They whir up into a creamy, almost sweet, mousse-like wonder. As the base for a smoothie, it adds a surprising decadence considering the humble snack from whence it came. This recipe teams up with fresh apple and a handful of spices to achieve the flavor profile and comfort of fall's favorite pie.
1/4 cup raw cashews 1 medium apple, quartered and cored 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ginger 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon maca (optional) 1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder or hydrolyzed collagen (optional, for extra protein) 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 cup water, plus more for soaking Handful of ice
Place the cashews in a small bowl and cover by an inch of water. Soak 4 hours or overnight.
Drain the water from the cashews. Place soaked cashews in a blender. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Serve immediately.
Welcome fall with a toast to healthy decadence. Cheers!