Pumpkin shakes are everywhere- at drive thrus, ice cream shops, on tv, and they keep lurking on the outer periphery of my consciousness... They look so creamy, and rich, and holidayish. They're surely loaded with deliciousness, but also evil calories.
Help me. I'm conflicted. And I don't like to run all that much.
But hey- pumpkin is a superfood, so I figured there must be a way to work this into my life. And when I saw this Pumpkin Smoothie recipe from The Pioneer Woman, it got my wheels turning. I could give my stalker a makeover.
So a healthy smoothie it would be. My version. To take it one step further, I decided a friendly competition would be fun. So I emailed my blogging sister, Bhan, and set up the challenge. I called her out, yo.
Whazzup? Check it. Pumpkin smoothies is where it's at. Healthify. You dig?
I sat back in my chair and congratulated myself on my cleverness. Never before in the history of the blogging world had anyone done anything so revolutionary, so mind-blowing, so... Sisterized! [insert evil cackling]
And then I regretted it. My sister is a good cook. She's competitive. And she doesn't have a toddler clinging to her legs while measuring and spooning. But I steeled my resolve and told myself I can throw down some smoothies. We like peanut butter banana smoothies around here, and I make them pretty often on the weekends. My index finger knows where to find the blender button.
So I worked and I slaved and sent my poor husband to the store to restock me on hard-to-find things like agave syrup and dutch processed cocoa. He succeeded, which meant that he earned his merit badge for husbandry.
I mixed and extrapolated, and my toddler taste-tested and said "Mmmmm!" (She also eats crayons, so I'm not sure how significant that is.) Here goes nothin.
What I came up with is a basic smoothie recipe with a lot of easy variations.
The basic recipe is not very sweet, but it's easy to adjust to your taste and whatever you have handy. Make substitutions with wild abandon; fruit yogurt would be great, and whole milk would give a beautiful richness. I used agave syrup for its lower glycemic index (which counteracts the M&Ms we eat), but honey or sugar would work too. Also, I've read that heating canned pumpkin in a pan before using it totally enhances the flavor... but I haven't tried it. If you do, let me know what you think.
And while you're trying these, hop over to Bhan's blog and give hers a whirl, too.
Pumpkin Stalker Smoothies
Makes about 2 cups
6 ice cubes
1/2 c plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 c skim milk
2 t vanilla
1/2 c canned pumpkin puree (frozen ahead of time is better, but not necessary)
1 T agave syrup
1/2 t cinnamon
Puree in a blender until smooth and serve, preferably in something awesome.
To the basic recipe, try adding 1 banana or 1 tablespoon cocoa (and a little extra sweetener). Behold the jewels.
Or go a little more exotic by adding 1 cup chai tea concentrate or 1/2 cup of coconut milk.