Ripe on the vine and ready for picking, it’s pumpkin time! This fall, don’t simply use pumpkins for decoration or Jack-o-Lantern’s – whip one up into a fresh and healthy smoothie!
What can a pumpkin do for you?
Loaded with fiber but low in calories and free of cholesterol, pumpkins are a personal favorite weight loss food. It’s full of much needed vitamins including (an amazing 246% of your RDA) Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Pumpkins are rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), niacin, thiamin and pantothenic acid and contains minerals like calcium, copper, phosphorus and potassium.
Plus pumpkins contain antioxidants and flavonoids.
For that yummy pumpkin pie flavor, select a pumpkin that is dark in color with brown flecks.
Puree your Pumpkin
You can boil, steam or bake your pumpkin to make your puree.
First, wash your pumpkin to remove any access dirt. Dry with a clean towel. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy fibers with a metal spoon (save the seeds to bake for a nutritious snack! The seeds are a protein powerhouse!)
From here you can take your halves, rub them with oil and place them cut side down in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water. Bake them at 350 degrees until the flesh is tender when pierced (or about 90 minutes).
Or you cut your pumpkin halves into smaller pieces, peel them and steam (for about 50 minutes), or boil (for about 25 minutes). When tender, remove the pumpkin and place it on a flat surface to cool. Once cool enough to handle, but not cold, scoop out the pumpkin flesh. Puree the pumpkin with a food processor, or with a hand-held blender.
Pumpkin puree freezes beautifully, so make extra! Once your puree cools completely, place in freezer containers or ice cube trays. Be sure to label and date for future use!
Pumpkin Banana Smoothie
• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 1/2 very ripe medium-sized banana
• 3/4 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
• 1 tbsp honey
• 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
• 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup crushed ice
Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth! Enjoy!
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
• 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
• 3/4 cup milk or vanilla yogurt
• 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
• 2 tsp. brown sugar
• 4 ice cubes
Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth! Enjoy!
For fun garnish ideas, try toasted seeds, walnuts, dash of cinnamon, or a dollop of whipped cream!
Do you have a favorite pumpkin smoothie recipe you’d like to share?! Do so by leaving me a comment below!