I love a good fall morning and a cozy beverage, and I absolutely love seasonal ingredients, but pumpkin only being highlighted a few months a year seems like a missed opportunity – especially since canned pumpkin is widely available year-round and a nutritional powerhouse.
All things pumpkin are so profitable for companies like Starbucks and Trader Joe’s that I’m sure they would agree with me that pumpkin should be used year-round. This year, Starbucks brought back the Pumpkin Spice Latte on August 30. August!! Yes, while some were still on summer vacation, tomatoes are overflowing at the farmer’s market and heat waves were in full force, Starbucks was likely making the stores a little extra chilly and pumping out scents of cinnamon, cloves and allspice – all in the name of the Pumpkin Spice season vibe.
Now, let’s not be confused with the pumpkin hype including actual pumpkin in most products. Pumpkin scent or flavor is usually just a combination of spices and sugar – a lot of sugar. If you’ve tried pure canned pumpkin puree you know there’s nothing spiced or sweet about it. Adding pure pumpkin to sweet or savory dishes is such a smart move. By doing this you’re adding a good dose of vitamins A, C and E to support your immune system, fiber to keep you fuller longer, and potassium for heart health.
Don’t get me wrong – my family and I will enjoy pumpkin pancakes, muffins (a delicious harvest muffin recipe with pumpkin coming soon!) and lattes this fall – but they will include real pumpkin puree. And one of my favorite pumpkin dishes this time of the year is actually a savory dish that I learned in culinary school – pumpkin curry. But as a daily smoothie drinker, and as a lover of seasonal ingredients, it seems like a no brainer to add pumpkin to my smoothies during the fall months, but I’m going to go crazy and add pumpkin to my smoothies even when the pumpkin things have been packed up for the season. Join me!
Pumpkin Flax Protein Smoothie
This creamy, fiber and protein filled smoothie is a fun addition to the smoothie rotation. Pure pumpkin puree is a nutrient-dense, immune boosting ingredient that is begging to be included in your diet year-round.
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder Be Well By Kelly is my favorite
- 3 tbsp pure pumpkin puree
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice
- ¼ tsp cinnamon I like Ceylon cinnamon
- ½ frozen banana
- 5-6 ice cubes
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