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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pumpkin Smoothies

Pumpkin smoothies are my new favorite thing! It's a quick and easy way to get your daily dose of vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, as well as using up the canned pumpkin you have left over from baking muffins. While pumpkin has a wonderful creamy texture that makes it a natural for preparing desserts, it lacks natural sweetness. You can resolve this issue by adding the sweetener of your choice (I use stevia) and you can add a variety of other ingredients to make it thicker and more satisfying. I like to add vanilla whey protein powder for a nutritious breakfast drink, but if you prefer a more dessert-like smoothie, you can add yogurt, Neufchatel, ricotta, or cream cheese, along with a bit of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves to mimic a pumpkin-pie flavor. Either way, it's delicious. 

It's a matter of preference when it comes to drink temperatures - I'm sensitive to cold, so when I make my smoothies I use pumpkin I've stored in the fridge. If you want your smoothies to be colder, you  can always add ice or you can store 1/4 C portions in airtight containers in the freezer.


Basic Pumpkin Smoothie

Ingredients:

1/4 C canned pumpkin
1 C unsweetened vanilla almond milk
or
1/4 C heavy cream
3/4 C water
sweetener of choice 

Optional (add any of the following):

*1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
*1/4 C ricotta cheese
*1/4 C unsweetened yogurt
*1 oz Neufchatel
*1 oz cream cheese
*1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus a dash of ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
*Ice



I'll give you the nutritional information on my favorites:

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie (1 C almond milk, 1/4 C canned pumpkin, vanilla whey protein powder) has 148 cal, 8.46 g total carbs, 6.66 g net carbs, 2.67 g fat, 1.8 g fiber and 19.5 g protein.

Pumpkin Ricotta Smoothie (1 C almond milk, 1/4 C canned pumpkin, 1/4 C ricotta cheese, 1 drop liquid stevia) has 171 cal,   8.96 g total carbs, 7.16 net carbs, 10.67 g fat, 1.8 g fiber and 8.68 g protein.

Pumpkin Neufchatel Smoothie (1 C almond milk, 1/4 C canned pumpkin, 1 oz Neufchatel, 1 drop liquid stevia) has 221 cal, 8.96 total carbs,  7.16 net carbs, 14.67 g fat, 1.8 g fiber and 5.68 g protein.








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