Ushering in the autumn season means saying goodbye, although only temporarily, to the fruits and vegetables which define summer. Out with the old and in with the new; I’d like to officially say hello to my favorite flavor of the fall – pumpkin! Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, roasted pumpkin, black bean-pumpkin soup, pumpkin ravioli and enchiladas with mascarpone–pumpkin sauce, I could definitely be named the Bubba Gump of pumpkin.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy pumpkin also happens to be one of the easiest and healthiest in my repertoire of ah-that-was-so-insanely-good pumpkin recipes – Caramel Pumpkin Pie Smoothies. Inspired by a certain famous coffee shop that has developed a cult-like following for its hot pumpkin latte drink, my recipe suits my personal morning beverage needs better – it’s lower in calories, higher in protein and is served cold (something to consider when it’s still 90 degrees in October). Also, because pumpkin is a nutrient-rich superfood, I love the fact that I can add as much pureed pumpkin to my smoothie as I crave.
Caramel Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Ingredients
Health Benefits of Pumpkin: This iconic orange gourd is so much more than a holiday decoration, whether roasted, steams or pureed, the flesh of pumpkin packs a plethora of health perks. Rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A by the body, pumpkin delivers immune-boosting powers, maintains eye health and has also been linked to the prevention of heart disease. Pumpkin is also a great source of vitamin K and iron. One cup of canned pumpkin puree has just 80 calories yet offers seven grams of fiber which will aid in weight loss by creating a feeling of fullness. One cup also offers three grams of protein, another satiating surprise!
Litehouse Caramel Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Pumpkin Smoothie Tips: I use canned organic pumpkin puree for convenience, it is one of those rare products that is nearly identical in nutritional benefits to the fresh gourd – processing the pulp can be quite laborious. If using canned pumpkin, read the label to make sure you are getting “100% pumpkin” and not “pumpkin pie mix,” a product which is filled with sugars and other unnecessary ingredients. Also, I’ve incorporated Litehouse Food’s Sugar-Free Caramel Dip into my smoothie, a sweet yet sensible sauce that features an unexpected 8 grams of fiber per serving. Protein powder is also a smoothie staple at my house. You can use any brand that you prefer or, in lieu of the protein powder, toss in a 6-ounce container of no-fat, unsweetened Greek yogurt.
Litehouse Jars Reused as Drinking Glassware
Look closely, you’ll notice that I’m serving these Caramel Pumpkin Pie Smoothies in some unique glasses. No, I didn’t get them at Pottery Barn, they are actually recycled jars from Litehouse Food’s huge line of salad dressings which includes my new favorite, Opa Greek-Style Yogurt Dressings. Simply run the jars and lids through the dishwasher and peel off the labeling, it’s that easy. In an upcoming post, I’ll share some other fabulous ways to repurpose glass jars – stay tuned!
Caramel Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Close Up