Believe it or not, but I am only now discovering the joys of the pumpkin smoothie. Where has this tasty autumn-esque concoction been all my life? Forget the squash soup, although this has its place and time, this smoothie is the way to go to jump-start your morning, particularly for lovers of beta carotene and something orange and Halloweeny, that is not a candy corn! Inspired by a recent visit to "Juice It Up," where the woman behind the counter assured me the concoction was tasty, healthy, and indeed strongly reminiscent of - dare I say it - pumpkin pie, I was off and running with my own recipe experimentations and variations on a theme, so to speak. After some trials and tribulations, I finally came up with a great recipe that is filling and nutritious, and contains a surprise ingredient in the chocolate category, my favorite....and yours? Note: I dropped the whipped cream topping you frequently get with takeout, since it's sweet enough without, and I'd rather save my extra calorie intake for chocolate or some such decadent treat.
Into the blender goes:
one cup vanilla soy milk
one cup pumpkin puree
a handful crushed ice
one tablespoon honey OR vanilla extract
a squeeze of lowfat chocolate syrup (secret ingredient)
a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg, or a dash of pumpkin pie seasoning
Blend until frothy!
Optional ingredients I have seen for this recipe include vanilla yogurt, banana, powdered sugar, and cream, so you can customize your own to your liking. Nutritional note: according to a very similar recipe in the September Prevention magazine, this smoothie has about 162 calories, and provides 100% of the daily value for beta carotene, the antioxidant that fights cancer. So drink up, and Happy early Halloween.