Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m up bright and early to whip up a few things for my family’s Thanksgiving gathering. I sometimes wonder why I even bother because whether we are at my aunt’s house or my mother-in-law’s there is always an abundance, or more accurately, an EXCESS of food. Knowing that the day will consist of overeating and drinking I like to start off days like this with a healthy breakfast. Inspired by the holiday I’ve whipped up a Pumpkin Spice Smoothie that is light in calories (285 to be exact) but will keep you full until your Thanksgiving feast starts!
Pumpkin is much more than the “flavor of the month”, it's an incredible superfood. The orange hue in pumpkin (as well as sweet potatoes and carrots) is beta-carotene, a powerful provitamin known for its supporting eye-health and the immune system.
Another great thing about pumpkin is that its is high in fiber which is great for digestion, but also for helping you feel full longer. One cup of puree has 7 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein – and only has 80 calories!
You can find pumpkin puree in the baking section of your grocery store in cans or pouches like this one. Be careful not to buy “pumpkin pie filling”.
I really want something that will hold me over until the afternoon so I'm not craving as many appetizers before the main meal so I'm also including oatmeal and banana. I also add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed. Flaxseed has a lot of fiber as well as Omega-3. I add it to almost all my breakfast smoothies for extra health benefits.
A mindful smoothie should always be sweetened naturally, so I'll add a half of a pear. Apples also come to mind when I think of autumn dishes, but I thought it would be too tart for this recipe. I recommend keeping the skin on. The smoothie may be a bit more “pulpy” with it, but studies show the skin of pears contain 3-4 times as many phytonutrients as the flesh. I also add a teaspoon of agave for a little more sweetness.
The recipe calls for a cup of unsweetened almond milk. If you haven't tried it already, I recommend you do. Compared to regular milk, almond milk is much higher in nutrients and calcium, and much lower in calories. A cup of unsweetened almond milk is just 30-45 calories depending on the brand and flavor. Vanilla flavored almond milk would be perfect for this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, but I usually buy unflavored. A drop or two of vanilla extract will give me the flavor I'm looking for.
Add ice (or freeze the banana) before blending.
- 1/3 cup organic pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup old fashion rolled oats
- 1/2 pear, with skin
- 1/2 banana, preferably frozen
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy)
- 1 tbs ground flax seed
- 1 tsp agave or honey
- .5 tsp vanilla extract (optional, if you use vanilla flavored almond milk you do not need to add vanilla extract)
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 cup ice
- Put all ingredients in a blender
One serving: Calories: 285, Carbs: 51g, Fat: 7g, Protien: 8g, Sugars: 23g