The season of pumpkin spice everything is upon us, and I am so excited. Sometimes our favorite coffee joints, restaurants, bakeries and recipes go overboard on adding sugar and not-so-healthy ingredients into their pumpkin concoctions. I am here to give you all of that pumpkin-y, flavorful deliciousness you crave, but in a diet-friendly manner. What more could you ask for?
With the perfect ingredients of pumpkin puree, mixed with the sweetness of banana and maple syrup, combined with the creaminess of Greek yogurt, milk and vanilla, and topped with the decadent flavor of pumpkin pie spice, this Pumpkin Smoothie is sure to leave you in complete pumpkin bliss. The best part about this creamy treat? It can be made in mere minutes, which makes it absolutely perfect for those days when you need a pick-me-up on your way out the door!
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- ½ banana, peeled, sliced and frozen
- ½ cup nonfat milk
- ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract OR maple extract
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
And that’s it! It’s easily adjusted to fit any special dietary needs. For those sensitive to dairy, just replace the milk and yogurt with plant-based milk and yogurt. For those on a sugar free diet, just replace the maple syrup with stevia or any of your favorite sugar free options.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here and I want to apologize for the long absence! Things have been a little busy for me lately between doctor appointments and work but I’ll get to that in another post for another day.
It’s almost my favorite time of year and I wanted to share with you a delicious drink you can enjoy when the weather starts to get chilly.
The Pumpkin Spice Latte – the harbinger of fall. For many, this is the drink that makes an entire season. But even as an occasional fall treat, there’s a couple of issues with the traditional pumpkin spice latte that you can get at a coffee shop.
A typical pumpkin spice latte can contain up to 64 grams of sugar (in a 20 oz. cup)! That’s about 12 teaspoons. No wonder these things are so addictive. But sugar is not part of a healthy diet. While it’s ok to indulge sometimes, you can replace the sugar in your diet with alternatives that support healthy hormones and battle unwanted weight gain.
Did you know most of those drinks you can buy don’t even contain real pumpkin? Why is that a big deal? Because pumpkin is packed with nutrients that feed your brain and support your vision. The rich color translates to high beta-carotene content, a potent antioxidant and a precursor for the essential fat-soluble vitamin A. Just one cup of cooked pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which is crucial for keeping your eyes young and your bones, skin, and other connective tissue strong. Pumpkin also contains decent levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that support eye and brain health.
So drink on up!
Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Latte
Makes: 4-6 cups
- 3-4 cups plain brewed coffee (decaf works for this too)
- 1 ¼ cup full fat, unsweetened coconut milk (or any non dairy milk)
- 3 tbsp. organic pumpkin puree (canned is ok!)
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- Optional: 1-2 tsp. xylitol or stevia (to taste)
- Optional: 2 tbsp. raw whipped cream or whipped coconut cream on top
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium heat, simmer for approximately five minutes. Stir well to evenly blend it all together.
- In a high-speed blender, blend on high for 30 seconds until creamy and frothy.
- Optional: add xylitol, monk fruit, stevia, or other natural sweetener.
- Optional: add raw cream/whipped cream on top for a special treat, if you can find it!
It’s important to feel like you can have a treat now and then without spiraling into a blood sugar mayhem. Stick to this recipe for a quick energy boost along with some added nutrients from the pumpkin.
For those of us who may not want coffee, you can still drink it as it is, just leave out the coffee. It makes a great hot drink to sip on before bedtime.
And don’t forget to use a cute mug, cause it’s all about presentation, right?