I’m up here in the Pacific Northwest in Seattle nestled right up by Canada and the Pacific Ocean. Fall is incredible here, if not a bit rainy and windy. Some people complain about it but to me, it’s comforting and feels like home. Though we’re an ‘evergreen’ state, there are lots of fall colors and it’s just so beautiful. In honor of fall, I’m creating all the pumpkin recipes and for my on-the-go lifestyle, I need a smoothie to grab and go in the morning. This simple Vegan Pumpkin Spice Smoothie is exactly what you need right now.
I really don’t have time for fancy smoothies with a lot of ingredients. Like you, I generally take what I’ve got at home and toss in into a blender before I start working or jet out the door. One of my favorite things to have on hand is frozen bananas. I buy big bunches, get them to perfect ripeness on the counter and then I lay out pieces of plastic wrap, peel the bananas, wrap them individually in plastic and then pop them in the freezer. When they’re frozen, they make the smoothies so much more creamy and sweet than if they were fresh for some reason. I also use these bananas to throw into my oats for a natural sweetness – I never use sugar! Recipe for banana oats right here.
Even though it’s getting colder out, I don’t mind a chilled smoothie. I find them refreshing in the morning! Pair it with a hot coffee and you’re good to go. Smoothies are perfect for breakfast but I also use them as an afternoon snack, as a desert and especially as a pre- or post-workout fuel. Feel free to add in some protein powder if that’s how you’re using them. Currently I’m really into pea protein because I can find it unsweetened without a lot of other fillers.
There are a lot of reasons to use pumpkin in recipes all year round. Pumpkin is a winter squash and whenever you see that deep orange color, you can be sure that you are getting a rich source of natural vitamin A which is an antioxidant and especially good for eye health. It is such a nutrient-rich ingredient to add whenever you can. Pumpkin also offers vitamin C, B vitamins, and lots of minerals and fiber. It offers unique antioxidants found in orange and red colored foods. Remember to include this part of the “rainbow” in your diet regularly. However you love to enjoy it the most, be sure to include plenty of pumpkin recipes in your diet this fall and winter for maximum flavor, nutrition and to celebrate cozy, breezy, beautiful autumn.
Fall Recipes for you
In a sea of pumpkin-spiced everything recipes, I wanted to share some of my other healthy favorites with you. So often, pumpkin spice is full of sugar and artificial colors and flavors but there’s no need for that. You can so easily brighten up easy recipes with natural, anti-inflammatory fall favorites. I post about pumpkin a lot (lol) so make sure to try my Pumpkin Spice Waffles, Vegan Pumpkin Pie Parfaits, or Peanut Butter Pumpkin Smoothie.
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 1 medium frozen banana
- 8 ounces unsweetened non-dairy milk (try soy, oat or almond)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (dried ginger is fine, too, if you don’t have fresh)
- 1 teaspoon peanut or almond butter (unsweetened, no added oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup organic canned pumpkin
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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