I recently received a new blender (thank you, Mom!) after being without one for over a year. My middle baby, our most energetic (and strongest) child :-), managed to hit the glass part of the old blender just right on our floor so it broke. Oh how I missed smoothies!
It has been such a fun and yummy (and fairly healthy) week with smoothies back in my life at last.
I found a can of pumpkin in our pantry yesterday and wanted to try a pumpkin pie smoothie. In retrospect, I probably should have looked at one of the zillions of recipes I’ve pinned for just such an occasion. Of course, my “maker” side won out and I determined to make it myself.
The result was creamy and full of pumpkin pie goodness, but a little on the spicy side for me.
I started with some base ingredients.
milk, Greek yogurt (I used the apple pie flavor, but vanilla or honey would be good, too), pumpkin puree, frozen banana
I did actually freeze the banana first. 🙂 I keep these sliced and in the freezer regularly so I can make smoothies any time without ice. This, as you probably already know, makes for a creamier, milkshake texture and fuller taste. Yum!
There are all sorts of things that I think could go well with the pumpkin flavor. I recommend not trying to put in too many different ingredients. I think I tend to overdo them myself. Here are some options for your taste buds:
lemon juice, vanilla, honey, molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves
After you’ve added in your base ingredients and blended them, the fun can begin! Start adjusting the taste with some of the flavor ingredients. I like to taste as I go. This ensures that I end up with something at least mildly appetizing if not super duper fantastic. And then I don’t have to throw it out. I hate wasting food, so it has to be edible.
The first thing I added was cinnamon and ginger. Then I tasted (always taste!). The ginger was too strong for me. A little lemon juice, vanilla, and honey mellowed it out a bit, but the ginger was still pretty pronounced. To further cut the slightly bitter heat, I put in a dash of salt and a little more honey. (Tasted again.) It still wasn’t quite right.
Then the inspiration hit.
I keep a box of dry vanilla pudding open in my pantry to sprinkle on fruit salads (by the way, this takes fruit salad to a whole new level of delicious). So I sprinkled in some vanilla pudding mix. This kicked up the sweet, added some extra body to the fabulous smoothie texture, and really helped with the bitterness of the ginger.
Here’s the recipe. If you love spicy pumpkin pie where the ginger tingle lingers in your mouth, make it as is. If not, alter it. That’s the beauty of smoothies. You can tweak them exactly the way you want.
Pumpkin Smoothie (on the spicy side)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 individual sized container Greek yogurt (apple pie flavor)
1/2 small or medium banana, sliced and frozen
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger (next time, I’ll omit this)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
1-3 tsp honey, to taste
light dash each of salt, nutmeg, and ground cloves
Add first four ingredients to a blender (liquids first) and blend. Add other ingredients to taste, blending after each addition. Pour into a cup and enjoy!
If I make this again, I think I will leave out the ginger all together or just put in a dash. I may also try the molasses instead of honey for a different flavor. I will DEFINITELY be using the vanilla pudding again. So, go make a pumpkin smoothie (maybe not exactly this pumpkin smoothie), and let me know how it turns out!