Sunday, September 7, 2014

pumpkin spice smoothie

It's that time of year again - PUMPKIN SPICE ALL THE THINGS!

I, for one, welcome our new pumpkin spice overlords not only because their arrival is a harbinger of my favorite season, but because pumpkin stuff is just plain GOOD. Plus, it can be good for you, too - pumpkin is packed with vitamin A, potassium and fiber, hooray!

There was a can of pumpkin on my shelf left over from something else I'd been making back before the weather got insane this summer, and it was right in my line of sight every morning as I was making my coffee and my normal berry-banana smoothie. Because I am incapable of actual full-blown coherent thoughts before coffee, my thought process always went something like, "Mmmm...pumpkin. Piiiiie. Pie good. Pie too cook, very hot, much sugar. Mmmm...pumpkin."

Eventually, the idea of doing something besides making a pie with the can of pumpkin trickled down into my brain meats and started showing up AFTER coffee, which is when things become actionable in my world. I had been turning the idea over in my head for a few days when, this morning, dun dun DUNNNNNN...I realized I was out of bananas for my normal smoothie. This could not stand, and I wasn't about to put pants on to go buy more bananas, so an alternative smoothie had to be created. Enter pumpkin, stage left.

I didn't take a picture of the smoothie for you looky-loos, but just imagine liquid pumpkin pie filling in a Barking Squirrel pint glass, and you're there.

This recipe makes a BIG smoothie (see: pint glass reference above), but I like big smoothies since that's usually the entirety of my breakfast. If you want less smoothie, half the recipe - or put half in the freezer, maybe?

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
1 scoop protein powder (mine is non-sugar sweetened. If you're using totally unsweetened powder, you might want to add a little maple syrup to the mix to sweeten it up)
spices to taste - I used a combination of ginger, clove, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Blend everything together in a blender or food processor, dump into a glass and enjoy!

Because of the dairy, this is obviously not strict Paleo- or Whole30-compliant. I personally have done dairy-exclusion periods in the past and found that I have no problems with digesting it when I reintroduce it, so I no longer exclude it from my diet. If you can't have / aren't eating dairy, you could easily use almond milk or coconut milk in this recipe instead. Coconut milk tends to run sweeter though, so you may want to start with about half a cup and taste to make sure you're not ending up with something really cloying. Unless cloying is your thing of course...then have at it.