My Advent Calendar – 17 Dec – Xmas morning smoothies and other breakfasts

in #christmas3 years ago (edited)

I always like to start Christmas day with a nourishing but festive breakfast. Then I’m less likely to pig out on heaps of extras before Xmas dinner is even served. I’ve been experimenting with a cranberry smoothie to add to my list of possibilities. I was aiming for the combined taste of cranberry, orange and spice.

If cranberry is not your gig, scroll down to the bottom for other breakfast ideas.


After a few experiments, this is my final product. But you may want to test it earlier, to tweak it to your taste, before Xmas Day.


• 1.25 to 1.5 cups of your preferred smoothie base
• 95gm frozen, unsweetened cranberries (measure 1 cup, then take 5 or 6 out)
• ½ teaspoon natural orange extract
• ½ teaspoon of mixed spice
• 1 Tablespoon of your preferred sweetener
• (optional but recommended) enough of your preferred protein source to give 30gm protein
• Your choice of extras

Blend, pour and sip.


Ok, a little more discussion on each item.


Base – this can be milk, yoghurt, coconut milk, nut milk, even ½ an avocado diluted with water (though that may be too strong tasting for this blend). I use 1 cup water plus 3 frozen blocks of coconut cream, to make a coconut base.

Kitchen tip – I take a can of coconut cream, pour it into a plastic ice cube tray and freeze it, then bag it for use over the next few days. Avoids having a skungy can sitting in the fridge, and makes the smoothie more chilled.


Cranberries – this sounds a very specific measurement, and it is, for a reason. 75gm was too little and I couldn’t taste the cranberry tang. Trial 2 was 95gm, and seemed pretty good. Today I tried 100gm (1 cup), and it was just a little bit too tart. So for my taste buds, 95gm was the sweet spot.

Orange – if you are good on a higher amount of carbs, you could swap out some of your base for some fresh squeezed orange juice. If you are a person who goes well on lots of carbs and little fat, you could possibly even use all OJ for your base. Not me, I need lots of fat in there, which is why I went for the orange extract. On Xmas Day I might even grate in some orange zest.

Spice – ½ teaspoon is the minimum to be able to taste it. If you like a stronger spice taste, possibly ¾ would be better. I like mixed spice, but allspice also seemed to work well in one of my trials, or even just plain cinnamon.

Sweetener – you need it. And that’s from someone who reduces the sweetener in most things. Since I’m ketoing, I used lakanto, a sweetener made from monkfruit and erythritol, that acts a lot like sugar in most recipes. It doesn’t have that stevia aftertaste, and I’ve been loving it. But for those of you who don’t have to be as strict on your carbs, feel free to add in honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or your sweetener of choice.

Protein – I always put a raw egg in my smoothies, for the good fats, and because it helps the texture. But if you do that, it has to be free range, and ideally organic. Factory eggs are not safe to eat raw.

I also put extra protein powder in, as it’s the combination of fat and protein in a meal that makes it sustaining. My favourite at the moment is Ancient Nutrition bone broth protein powder, but there are powders out there that may be more suitable for you. Basically anything except soy.

Extras – mine include liquid minerals, liquid vitamin B, natural vitamin C powder from whole foods, and (because I’m keto right now) hemp and MCT oils.

Other Xmas breakfast ideas

Another take on the cranberry smoothie could be to pair it with chocolate. Check out my Blackcurrant Choc Smoothie, one of the first I ever posted here Replace the blackcurrants with cranberries, maybe a touch more sweetener and some spices, and that could be the bomb.

Two years ago (how could it possibly be that long?) I posted a few festive smoothie recipes that included:

• Egg nog smoothie
• Mocha with a twist
• Pina Colada smoothie
• Pumpkin smoothie

Other options could include two cranberry orange muffin recipes suitable for those on restricted diets, or really for anyone who likes to eat well.

Or for more ideas, see my full list of Christmas food ideas, also from two years ago.

More Christmas food ideas tomorrow.


Day 1 – Carol singing with the NZ Symphony Orchestra
Day 2 – Kilbirnie Santa Parade
Day 3 – Posting overseas Xmas cards & a Xmas themed exercise class
Day 4 – Last minute book buying
Day 5 – Last choir rehearsal for the year
Day 6 – Choosing gifts for the Xmas game
Day 7 – Xmas lunch with my exercise class
Day 8 – Xmas spiced nuts
Day 9 – Xmas tree time
Day 10 – Last arthritis class for the year, and a sugar free brownie recipe
Day 11 – A choir performance
Day 12 – Taking marinated chicken wings to the choir Xmas party
Day 13 – The NZ local xmas cards & some e-cards
Day 14 – Planning the Xmas menus and best dessert ever
Day 15 – Making gluten & sugar free Xmas cakes
Day 16 – Xmas dinner with the Possums

Thanks for reading

Photos by me.

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This sounds delicious! I love cranberries but I don't think I can do the orange extract...or maybe I can? It's not orange peel that you're talking about, right?

Not orange peel, as such, just an orange essence like you'd use in baking. But as it's a natural one, they possibly extract it from orange peel. If you're sensitive to orange peel but are ok on a little bit of artificial, just use a non-natural one. For that you might not need as much. But to be honest, I can't isolate the orange flavour, it just adds a little depth to the overall flavour. So cranberry and spice would probably be just as nice.

How are you? Haven't seen you around for ages. Not that I can talk, after my lengthy absence.

I might err on the side of caution and just keep it to cranberry and spice when I give it a try :)

Been really crazy trying to keep up with work and been keeping a good bit of my online time on Discord and Whaleshares. I'm trying to get back over here more but sometimes I feel like I need another 8 hours in my day! I find that I'm really, really bad at pacing myself. LOL

Just in case I don't see you, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season. I love wintertime...I just don't like the cold. :P

Yes, for sensitives like us, caution is always best!

You have a great festive season too. I'll think if you in the cold, while we're sitting by my brother's pool. It must seem very strange for others to think of us having Xmas in summer.

I used to think it was strange until I moved to Florida! It's a chilly 66 degrees F outside but I want fresh air in the house so the windows are open and I'm wearing layers. I'm kind of jealous that you're lounging around the pool! The rest of my family are in the Northeast. It's cold with rain/snow/ice. They want me to come up for a visit for the holidays. I don't really celebrate so I might be considered "bad company" - and I certainly do not like being cold anymore! LOL

At least hopefully we'll be lounging by the pool. Tonight it is raining sooo hard that when I went out to our porch for something, I splashed through puddles. It's forecast to rain for 4 more days, be fine on Xmas Eve and Xmas Day and then start raining again. So we might have to all cram inside on Boxing day. Though no reason we can't go out and swim in the rain.

As long as there's no lightning, splashing in the rain and puddles is FUN! No need for those kinds of fireworks 😛

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Thumps up with the experimentation. I trust it taste awesome... Cheers!

Yep, that's me, I'm all about the experimentation. :)

@kiwideb, It's reflecting as you are opening your day with delicious Breakfast and for sure these foodie stuff will going to give the pleasing essence to our tummy. Stay blessed. 🙂

Thanks. You're right - I do like to come up with recipes that are healthy as well as tasting good.

Welcome and enjoy your foodie art. Have a great time ahead. 🙂

It’s always good to have a nutritional breakfast. Your smoothies sound great.

They're a great way to have something nutritious that also seems dessert-like.

Bone broth protein? That's new for me! I'm a sucker for bone marrow, so if it tastes anywhere near that, then sign me up!

Hmm, yes I suppose it is a bit like that in taste. Or it can taste almost coffee-ish in the context of a smoothie. But that might be the brain trying to make sense of an almost savoury taste in a morning drink!