Okay, guys, let's just say that it is fall! Labor Day isn't really the start of fall, but it means back to school and the last long weekend of summer. Now that it has passed, we can start looking forward to cooler temperatures, boots, sweaters, and pumpkin everything. Today, on my way to work, I walked by Starbucks and saw the ads for their Pumpkin Spice Latté. To celebrate the start of the season, I made you a smoothie... because let's face it, it is still way too hot here to drink lattés in the morning. This smoothie tastes a little bit like pumpkin pie, but it is a lot better for you. Pumpkin has lots of antioxidents, fiber, and potassium. And the spices in this smoothie -- cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger -- bring lots of health benefits too. You can enjoy the flavors of fall and feel good about it!
Lucky for you all, I have made this smoothie three times already this week, tweaking it a bit each time. You see, I had a bunch of extra pumpkin leftover from some banana-pumpkin muffins that I made. I wanted to use it to make this Skinny Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread from Kristina's blog Whipped, but my oven stopped working over the weekend!! The benefit of my oven breaking is that I had to get creative with the rest of the pumpkin. Not wanting it to go to waste, I've been making smoothies with it all week. And the benefit of that is that I have perfected the recipe. The recipe below is for "pumpkin pie," but you can also switch the skim milk for skim chocolate milk, and you'll have something sort of similar to Kristina's bread - a Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Smoothie if you will. Both versions are delicious, but the chocolate is my favorite! And as always, you can switch out the yogurt for soy yogurt, and the milk for almond or soy milk.
Pumpkin Pie / Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie1 banana
1/3 cup pureed pure pumpkin (not pie pumpkin!!)
1 tablespoon unsweetened apple sauce (skip for chocolate version)
2 tablespoons 2% plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup skim milk - use fat-free chocolate milk for a different version of this smoothie! (or skim milk and a scoop of chocolate protein powder)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger - skip the ginger for the chocolate version
1/2 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1/4 cup ice
Blend everything together and enjoy!