A spiced pumpkin smoothie? Yep. And it tastes like liquid pumpkin pie. Rich and smooth with almond, coconut milk and warm spices, a touch of vanilla and of course, pumpkin. Puree it all in a blender and you have a nutritious pumpkin protein smoothie for a healthy fall breakfast. Dessert for breakfast? Why not.
Creamy Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie
Do you love fall like I do? It's many people's favorite season. I am ready for cooler weather, sweaters, a flickering fireplace, fall foods and ingredients, even living in sunny Southern California. Fall mode means pumpkin and comfort food again. Drinking one of these pumpkin pie breakfast smoothies is just the ticket to enjoying fall.
Pumpkin is For More Than Pie
If you say “pumpkin” most people say “pie”. But pumpkin is much more than a dessert ingredient; it's super nutritious. The power behind pumpkin’s bright orange flesh is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene, a provitamin that converts to vitamin A in our bodies, provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s good for your eyes, bones, teeth, immune systems, and may help prevent cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Sign me up.
Pumpkin also provides vitamins C, B1, B3, B5, B6, K and the minerals potassium (more than a banana), magnesium, iron, calcium, copper and phosphorous. And don’t forget fiber. Just ½ cup of pumpkin provides 4 grams of fiber, something we all need to get more of. I’ve even fed pumpkin puree to my dog to settle his tummy and digestive system. Pumpkin is also great in this black bean pumpkin soup recipe (one of my super easy favorite soups).
Canned coconut milk is handy to have in the pantry as a basic staple versus buying refrigerated dairy coconut milk (and cheaper too). Plus using the canned coconut milk is richer and creamier. If you are allergic to coconut, try creamy oat milk instead.
Add freshly ground flaxseed to your smoothie for some healthy fat (12 grams), fiber (8 grams!) and protein (5 grams) plus it adds texture and body. For the best nutrition, grind flaxseed right before you use it in a small spice grinder like this. Don't add flaxseeds whole as the blender can't break them down.
For protein powder, there are a myriad of options. I use pumpkin seed protein powder from this brand, but use your favorite. Whey protein makes it creamier. If it gets too thick, add a little water.
If you are confused about choosing a healthy protein powder, this article will help.
Spice is Very Nice
One of the oldest known spices, cinnamon was once more prized than gold. Cinnamon has been linked to potential health benefits including controlling blood sugar, helping with nausea, colds, and is thought to increase energy, vitality, and circulation. So love on yourself and your family by enjoying cinnamon for more than its warm and lovely taste. Add a little nutmeg, clove or vanilla. Maybe a little allspice? They are all good.
For a pumpkin spice smoothie, you can use a pumpkin spice blend rather than using them individually, or blend your own.
How Sweet It Is or Isn't: Your Choice
The sugar-free option is Pumpkin Spice liquid stevia drops, made by Sweet Leaf, or use the vanilla creme. Another option is a little pure maple syrup.
- ¾ cup almond milk 6 ounces
- ⅓ cup canned pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup canned coconut milk 4 ounces
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed, ground
- 1 dropper pumpkin spice stevia drops or maple syrup
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon warm spices blend cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove
- 1-2 scoops protein powder of choice
- Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth and creamy. If it gets too thick add a little water.