It’s been awhile.
It’s taken me some time to get back into the swing of things and back into a normal routine after the summer. With both kids starting new schools and a bunch of new activities, much of my time has been spent making sure they’ve got it together (and when I say they, I really mean me, haha). Now that everyone has settled in, I’m so excited to be back blogging.
The flavors of fall are my absolute favorite! I can’t get enough of fall fruits and vegetables… apples, pears, squashes of all sorts, brussels sprouts, broccoli and all the varieties of leafy greens! They’re all in season now. And even though the temperatures haven’t cooled down that much yet (at least in NJ anyway), I will soon be cranking up my oven and roasting everything and anything I can get my hands on!
This is my favorite time of year to cook and blog! Some days I literally have to avoid my Instagram feed, as to not lose my mind over all the delicious pictures and recipes related to PUMPKIN! It’s enough to make me go mad!
The other day I was craving pumpkin and chocolate. But, I’ve really been trying to stick to my workout routine and keep the sweets under control. So I came up with the idea for this smoothie which is rich, slightly sweet but seriously good for you too!
Pumpkin by nature is a wonderfully healthy fruit. Yes, it is considered a fruit. A half cup of pumpkin is only 50 calories and contains 3 grams of fiber and tons of nutrients including vitamin A, beta-carotene and phytosterols (important in helping to reduce LDL cholesterol and fighting cancer).
Pumpkin combined with the health benefits of cocoa, make for a power smoothie, perfect for a post workout snack, breakfast, quick lunch or slightly sweet treat. Because I use frozen bananas as well, the smoothie has a thick almost pudding like consistency that is really perfect. And no pumpkin pie smoothie would be complete without a generous serving of pumpkin pie spice!
Can you smell it through the computer? The chocolate. The pumpkin. The spices. I bet you can. 🙂
Note: With the sugar from the vanilla almond milk and banana, I felt that was enough to sweeten it. But, if you’d prefer a sweeter flavor, I’d suggest adding in a dried date or a touch of maple syrup.
To make this smoothie vegan, simply substitute vegan chocolate and cocoa powder and soy or almond based yogurt.
- 2 cups frozen banana
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt
- 1½ cup vanilla almond milk (may need slightly more or less in order to achieve desired consistency)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- pinch of sea salt
- shredded coconut, shaved chocolate and granola *optional for topping
- Blend all ingredients together in blender.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate up to one day.
- Top with coconut, chocolate or granola as desired.