Guest post by Nicole Triebe of Windy City Dinner Fairy
It’s officially fall, and you know what that means?!? Pumpkin spice season! Some may roll their eyes when they hear those words, but I’m the biggest fan! For me, it’s the flavors of fall that really make everything so wonderful. Here's how to start your day in the most delicious pumpkin way, with this Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin smoothie!
Is pumpkin good for you?
This fall squash actually has tons of amazing health benefits. Contrary to what most people think, the pumpkin is actually a FRUIT, not a vegetable! A fruit is, “the usually edible reproductive body of a seed plant.” Pumpkins are edible, and if you’ve ever cut one open, you know it’s full of seeds, so the pumpkin is the fruit of the pumpkin vine. However, because it’s so filled with nutrients, it’s more similar to a vegetable. Call it what you want, it’s all delicious to me!
Are Pumpkin Smoothies Healthy for you?
Pumpkins are full of vitamin A, among many other nutrients. Vitamin A is important for your vision, the immune system, and reproduction. It also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs working properly. Pumpkin is also high in antioxidants, vitamin C and E. Pumpkin is considered a nutrient-dense food, which means it’s incredibly low in calories despite being packed with nutrients! That’s a win in my book! That’s what makes it the perfect fall ingredient for my Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin smoothie!
How Do I make a Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin smoothie?
If you’re someone whose morning's are filled with chaos, this Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin smoothie is the perfect fall solution! The kids can help you make these adorable Jack-O-Lantern cups the night before with some black construction paper. Post-its were also perfect for this project because the sticky top to each square helped each piece of the Jack-O-Lantern’s face stick to my 18 oz Eco-Forward Solo Cup. The kids can cut a spooky or silly face for each of their Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin smoothie cups. Stick them on the side and wait for the smoothie filling!
The next morning, combine the following in a blender:
- 1 cup coconut milk (almond, oat or regular milk is fine too)
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- 1 tsp finely ground flaxseed
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 ½ tbl maple syrup
- ¼ tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp tumeric (optional)
Blend until smooth and pour into your Jack-O-Lantern smoothie cups!