Monday, November 21, 2011

Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie

Healthy Pumpkin Smoothies

Pumpkin is an incredibly versatile and healthy vegetable. (FYI: pumpkin is a fruit scientifically but considered a vegetable in the culinary world; similar to tomatoes, cucumbers or bell peppers.) They are full of beta carotene (anti-carcinogenic), potassium, zinc (helps immune system and bone density) , vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and fiber. In fact, 1 cup of boiled/steamed/microwaved pumpkin flesh contains only 50 calories, less than 1 gram of fat and 28% of your daily recommended fiber!

The problem is we tend to mix pumpkin with heavy creams, sugar, butter and bleached flours which all negatively affect the health benefits of pumpkin. There is nothing healthy or nutritious about eating pumpkin pie nor will a pumpkin scone give you part of your daily serving of fruit and veg. Mmmm... but they will taste good!

So this thanksgiving why don't you reserve a cup of pumpkin puree and eat it in its healthy form. Go ahead and still make that pie, it's thanksgiving after all, but try something new for a change with that giant orange vegetable-fruit. 

I recommend trying a pumpkin smoothie for breakfast or a light snack. This smoothie tastes festive with the addition of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and gets it's sweetness from super ripe frozen bananas.

Healthy Pumpkin Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned; not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of soy milk
  • 1 large frozen ripe banana (I slice my ripe banana into bite sizes and freeze on a wax paper lined baking sheet)
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of cardamom
  • pinch of nutmeg (you can add more but I'm sensitive to nutmeg so I only add a small amount)

  • Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth adding more soy milk if the smoothie is too thick. For extra nutrition add a handful of spinach.