Canadian Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October, so why was I craving pumpkin pie in the middle of November? No matter what the reason, I had a craving that wasn’t going to sated by a sprinkle of cinnamon on my coffee.
After searching the net for a simple crustless pumpkin pie recipe, I realized that wasn’t going to be my solution. Too much fat, sugar and dairy in just about every recipe, and I know myself too well. Any recipe that calls for a hot water bath better involve bubbles, a good book and a steaming hot mug of tea! Any recipe with more than 5 steps and five ingredients? I am bored and it’s time to move on.
That’s when I took to my Pinterest’s smoothie board and found a recipe I had tucked away for a rainy day. Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. I glanced over the ingredients and decided I would wing it as I didn’t have greek yoghurt on hand and there were a few other ingredients in the smoothie that would call for a quick trip to the store. A foot and a half of snow and my power chair parked in the corner until Spring curtailed that idea. Plus, I hadn’t hadn’t enough vegetables that day, and I love to sneak extra nutrition in my smoothies! Pumpkin, by the way, is incredibly healthy for you, full of nutrients such as antoxidents and beta-carotene. Its what we usually add to pumpkin that causes the trouble!
Searching my fridge and pantry, I found the following ingredients:
ItWorks™ Greens (Orange Flavoured)
Unflavoured almond milk
Frozen bananas that I always keep on hand for smoothie creations. I peel the bananas before they are too ripe as I hate the smell of over-ripe bananas! Then I cut them in half and put them in a zipper-type freezer bag and toss them in the freezer for later use. They are a great substitution for ice cream in a smoothie.
Vanilla flavoured organic whey powder
Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend (found in the spice rack at your grocery store)
and Libby’s Pure Pumpkin Puree (Not the pumpkin pie filling with all the nasty sugars and other stuff in it)
I have been using ItWorks™ Greens for a year or so now, they are a great way to get a whole lot of greens and veggies, probiotics and other nutrients in a tiny little scoop of powder. They have a very subtle flavor and while they tend to tint everything you add them to a not-so-lovely shade of green, they are an excellent addition to any smoothie or you can just add them to water. No I don’t work for the company but my friend Heidi does and boy can I see the transformation in her since she first embraced the ItWorks product line! She became a distributor of the products after seeing the radical transformation in her life. Check out her story on her Facebook page.
I had some kale that I could have used instead of the greens, but I was too lazy to wash and chop it. Don’t judge me! It was 10:00 at night and I was busy coding for my website. I could of substituted a good grating of orange zest with the kale but again — don’t judge me! But the hint of citrus really does brighten this smoothie.
If I hadn’t had the vanilla flavoured whey powder, I planned on using a couple of drops of high quality vanilla extract. I learned long ago to never go cheap on your vanilla extract. A couple of bucks more for a high quality extract is well worth it.
I tend to stay clear of flavoured almond milk as it usually has added sugars. I am not anti-sugar but I would rather add my own so I can regulate the amount.
If you are not a fan of bananas due to their high sugar content, you could freeze some regular almond milk, coconut milk or 2% cows milk in ice cube trays and transfer the cubes to a zipper-type freezer bag as a substitution. Don’t use skim milk or reduced fat nut milks for this substitution, the recipe will be missing that creaminess factor you are looking for in a smoothie. Use about a cup of ice cubes for this recipe.
If you don’t have pumpkin spice blend, you can create your own by mixing together:
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg and 1/8 tsp ground ginger.
So here is the recipe in all its glory.
Add to your chilled blender’s container the following ingredients, in this order:
1/3 cup chilled pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling! You got to bake that and it has added sugars etc)
3/4 cup COLD almond milk or milk of your choice
1/2 to 1/3 frozen banana
1 scoop ItWorks™ Orange flavoured greens (or 1 large stalk of kale, washed and chopped, or one scoop of your favourite greens powder)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend
Blend well. Use a small spoon to take a little taste, then adjust the sweetness to your liking with either stevia, sugar or another sweetener. My advice is to avoid Sweet’nLow, Aspartame and Splenda if you can!
Blend again, serve in a chilled glass with a dusting of pumpkin spice blend.
Drink the smoothie within a few hours of making it. Makes one large serving.
© 2013 Katherine Walden