Pumpkin Love

About a month or so ago, a friend ‘teased’ on her Facebook status about enjoying a delicious pumpkin milkshake.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE pumpkin, but I just can’t bring myself to even think about it until temps have dropped, and we are truly in the throws of Fall and Winter.  I know, apples, pumpkins, and winter squash start showing up at the markets as early as August, but I just can’t give in that soon.  And now we have a Fall like this year? Heck, yesterday I was out and about with flip flops on my feet. Look up and gorgeous warm sunny skies.  Look down and oh those bare toes are shuffling thru fallen leaves.  Reality hits and yep, it is indeed the middle of October and not the middle of the summer. That said, pumpkins it is.

But with a weather forecast still well above normal for this time of year, just not ready to begin one of my Fall rituals, making pumpkin soup, or pie, or chili, or pancakes, or cookies, or muffins or, well you get the idea, just about anything.  That gets me thinking of that milkshake again….oh stop, remember Mo, you are trying to eat healthier and stay away from the sugar. So not fun. Still obsessing over the milkshake. And then the ‘ah ha’ moment (okay not as life altering as those discussed in Oprah’s magazine but an ‘ahha’ all the same: pumkin smoothie!)
Love me a smoothie for breakfast (trumped by granola, oh wait that post to come, or oatmeal, you read that post already right?). Easy, fast, delicious and jam packed of healthy healthy goodness (hello beta carotne, vitamin C, fiber, can I go on?), unless of course you get yours from one of those chains, and lord knows what’s in that there smoothie. I have been playing around with a few variations, for you my readers of course, and this one below is not only healthy, but has been a great stand-in for that milkshake I keep fantasizing about….

Pumpkin Smoothie
heaping spoonful of pureed cooked pumpkin*
1 banana
1-2 teaspoons of almond butter (or go peanut butter if you like)
1/3 cup plain yoghurt (vanilla or honey flavored work here as well)
1/3 cup skim or soy milk
1 teaspoon flax oil (optional, but great way to get your Omega-3’s)
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed (optional, but like I said before)
a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
a few ice cubes (honestly don’t really need them)

Put all ingredients into a blender and whirl together until blended and frothy.

*pureed cooked pumpkin. Couldn’t be easier. Get yourself a pie pumpkin from the farmers market. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove all the seeds and stringy-things. Place in baking dish and then into a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from oven and let cool. Scoop out the cooked flesh and then puree in food processor or blender (can skip this if using for smoothie as you are going to blend it any how).
Really don’t want to deal with cooking the pumpkin?  Okay, you can cheat and use canned pumpkin. I won’t tell.


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