Oh Christmas Tree.. A Frozen Christmas Tree Cocktail Extravaganza!
Time to celebrate!
And so it’s finally here; Christmas Eve, in all its glory!
In between fruitcake and eggnog, a fresh, light and frosty drink might hit just the spot!
Time has come to celebrate, and to enjoy a wonderful holiday with our loved ones. In the centre of our celebrations we find the beloved Christmas tree, which has been the inspiration behind the final smoothie in our calendar; namely the very tasty Frozen Christmas Tree Cocktaill!
This yummy drink is a fantastic festive treat, worthy of any celebration. Serve it up at your Christmas party, and impress friends and family with an incredibly gorgeous yet healthy cocktail!
If you do want to go a bit naughty however, this fancy treat can be spiced up with a dash of white rum.. just don’t tell the kids 😉
Not just nice to look at..
..it’s nice to your body too!
The main ingredient in our festive smoothie is spinach, and although you might not think of spinach as a treat, it really lends a fresh flavour to our cocktail.
Spinach contains about 25% of your daily recommended iron intake per 100 grams, and is one of the richest sources of iron among the dark leafy vegetable group! Iron is essential for red blood cell production and cellular metabolism.
In addition, spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, providing ~400% of your daily requirement per 100 grams. Vitamin K plays a vital role in osteotrophic activity; in other words it builds strong bones!
Ruby red health-bombs
Our healthy cocktail also contains cranberry; a much-loved staple of the holiday dinner table rolled into a delicious antioxidant rich smoothie.
These wonderful little berries are actually packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre. They have a low calorific yield of only 45 calories per cup, and are therefore low GI. The antioxidant value of raw cranberries described in ORAC units is: 9,090 μ mol TE/100g. That tops nearly every other vegetable and fruit, including spinach, apples, raspberries and strawberries!
You might have been told by your doctor to drink cranberry juice of you ever had a bladder infection? That’s because cranberries are jam-packed with phytonutrients. These are anti-inflammatory properties which help lower our risk of chronic inflammation in the stomach, large intestine and blood vessel lining, by blocking activity of pro-inflammatory cytokine messaging molecules called tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha).
As if that wasn’t enough; recent studies have shown that daily consumption of cranberries may help to optimise the balance of ‘good’ bacteria in our stomach, specifically Bifidobacteria (1).
Gorgeous, inside and out!
With all that said and done, I think this gem of a smoothie deserves just as much praise for its flavour as its nutritional content; It’s fresh, crisp and flavourful, and not to mention gorgeous to look at!
- ½ cup of coconut water
- ½ cup crushed ice
- ½ cup frozen cranberries
- 1,5 cup of fresh organic spinach (you can add an extra 1/2 cup for a brighter green)
- 1 ripe banana in pieces
- 1 tbsp of runny honey or maple syrup (3 medjool dates for paleo option)
- freeze-dried raspberries and extra frozen cranberries for decoration
Start by chilling some martini glasses in the freezer.
Pop all the ingredients in a blender, except for the freeze-dried raspberries and the extra cranberries for decoration, and blend until you get a wonderful slushy, bright green cocktail with speckles of red throughout it. Place a big dollop in each glass, making a little top in the shape of a Christmas tree, and placing some cranberries on top. Drizzle with freeze-dried raspberries for added Christmas tree effect!
Serve immediately, as it does eventually melt 🙂
Nick and I hope you have enjoyed our 12 Smoothies of Christmas Calendar, and we hope that you will revisit these delicious little treats outside of the holiday season too. As opposed to most Christmas treats, these smoothies don’t stop being nutritious and delicious come January!
Season’s Greetings to you all!
sources: (1) Reid G. The role of cranberry and probiotics in intestinal and urogenital tract health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2002;42(3 Suppl):293-300. 2002