During my run this morning, I decided that today was the day. It’s time for pumpkin in the LBDelicious kitchen. But it’s not time for just any pumpkin. It’s time for the revival of a fall treat that I couldn’t quite get perfect last fall – the pumpkin smoothie.
I love smoothies. I drink one almost every day. They’re my favorite post-workout snack, and I change them up nearly every day based on whatever fruit, juice, and protein sources I have in my fridge or freezer. They work so well for workout recovery because they’re nutritionally balanced. I always put some carbs, some fiber, some protein, and of course, some sugar in my blender, and 30 seconds later, I’m in fruity, yogurty, frozen heaven. In fact, I love smoothies so much, that I may or may not do a smoothie happy dance on occasion. (You can ask Dave for details on that.) Sometimes I even blend them up extra thick, pour them in a bowl, top them with granola and eat the whole thing with a spoon (I learned that trick in Hawaii… dang, after looking at that site, I *really, really* want to go back to Hawaii). If you’re not a runner or work-out-er, you should still be drinking smoothies – they’re excellent meal replacements if you make them right, and they’re perfect meals-on-the-go for those of us in a hurry all the time.
Last year, I kept playing around with the concept of a pumpkin smoothie, and I just couldn’t get the proportions or ingredients right. I tried various amounts of pumpkin with soy milk, regular milk, Greek yogurt, plain yogurt, bananas, and nut butters. They were all okay but never stellar, as I knew they could be. By some fall-induced miracle, this morning, I nailed it. I had to blog about it not to brag, but to write it all down so I wouldn’t forget how I made it, and – of course – to encourage y’all to make one, too.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
In a blender, combine the following (in this order):
8 ounces plain soymilk (I use unsweetened, but sweetened or vanilla probably wouldn’t suck, nor would dairy milk)
about 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt (I’m totally brand loyal to, if not a complete snob about, Fage)
couple tablespoons of ground flaxseed (optional, but it definitely helps fill you up)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling: just plain pumpkin.)
some ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves and freshly grated nutmeg (I guess you could just throw in some pumpkin pie spice, but then you don’t get to freshly grate your nutmeg, which is oddly rewarding)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I really think the vanilla is what did the trick today.)
big ol’ squirt of agave nectar (or honey)
1 small or half of a large banana
Blend it up, pour in a glass, stick a straw in it, and enjoy. I think the Greek yogurt gives it a tangy bite, so it’s almost like a pumpkin pie with a little cream cheese frosting on top. Another benefit to this smoothie is the amount of protein you get: soy, flax and Greek yogurt are all excellent sources of lean protein. It’ll keep you full and happy. Enjoy, and happy running!