Whipping up Winter Smoothies with Luke

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Just as smoothies are often left behind as temperatures drop, fruits who reach their peak in the wintertime are frequently overlooked. So when Seri asked me to come up with a winter smoothie for the boys, I immediately looked to some underutilized winter fruits as inspiration. And what better timing given that we heard from our friends over at Williams-Sonoma it's Smoothie Week! I enlisted the help of sous chef Luke, and together we brainstormed winter flavors. Luke wanted to use cranberries, which I thought, combined with Greek yogurt and honey, would make an excellent base to build the rest of the recipe around. You know what else came to mind while putting these recipes together? GIFTS! How fun would it be to give a Williams-Sonoma blender to someone for Christmas?! I would put it together with a couple pretty glasses, my smoothie recipes and some stripe paper straws. FUN! Here's how we whipped up this light, festive and wintry smoothie: 1 cup cranberry juice (we used cranberry raspberry) ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk ½ cup greek yogurt, plain 1 tbsp. of honey 5 cranberries 5 ice cubes Pinch of sugar to taste Combine all ingredients in a blender. Now for the fun part: candy garnishes. The healthy winter smoothie can easily be transformed into a winter dessert by adding a few marshmallows on top. Stick a Jolly Rancher candy cane in there and your little ones will devour the whole glass. We also came up with a citrus smoothie inspired by of all the runny noses in school these days and in hopes of strengthening our immune systems to stay healthy as the weather turns chilly. Mulling wine was fresh on my mind from Thanksgiving, so I knew that oranges would be a great compliment to cinnamon. Citrus tends to be at its ripest during the colder months, so the wintertime is a great time to take advantage of their juicy goodness. To thicken this smoothie we added a banana and we toyed with a persimmon which also made for a bright and festive colored garnish on our cups. Here's how we whipped up this orange smoothie: I cup orange juice 1 banana 1/2 cup coconut water 1 tsp of cinnamon 1 thick slice of persimmon, cut into chunks (peel removed) A few ice cubes Combine all of the ingredients above and top with a splash of sparkling tangerine juice. Enjoy, stay warm and CHEERS!