It’s fall and that means PUMPKIN!! Thankfully when I moved out of the US this spring, I moved to a country that still thinks pumpkin is good stuff. As much as I like the pumpkin flavored everything, over the past few years as I have changed my eating habits, (I eat a lot less sugar and can’t eat gluten), I’ve discovered much of what is out there I can’t have because it is full of gluten and sugar. I used to enjoy the pumpkin spiced lattes at Starbucks, but because of the full sugar sweetener it usually just upsets my stomach and puts me in a sugar coma…even with the caffeine.
When I was doing Lean Eating through Precision Nutrition, I discovered a pumpkin chai smoothie recipe. It was pretty tasty, but a little fussy because you have to prepare chai the night before and well…that’s a little fussy in my book. I modified things a bit and came up with my own version of this great “Anytime” Smoothie. (Anything that is considered “anytime” from Precision Nutrition means it has a lower carb impact and doesn’t need to be eaten post workout).
Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie!
1 cup almond milk (hemp, or the coconut milk that comes in a carton might work too)
1/2 cup of unsweetened canned pumpkin (pumpkin pie filling is pre-sweetened and adds sugar to the recipe)
1 scoop of chocolate whey protein powder (i’m sure vanilla would be fine too)
1 TBSP of ORANGE flavored fish oil
1 packet of Stevia (or a sweetener of your choice to taste…you do need something as unsweetened pumpkin is not very tasty!)
dash of ground cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg
1 TBSP of Chia seeds (adds 6g of fiber to your smoothie!)
handful of ice if you like your smoothies cold
Directions: put everything in the blender and blend! YUM!
Optional: add some greens+ or a few handfuls of spinach to get your veggie serving with breakfast. Spinach can be added to most smoothies and doesn’t really taste like much, but you can shove 1-2 servings in and get some SUPER food in your smoothie!
Side note: this is how I get my fish oil for the day. I am not a registered dietician/doctor or whatever…if you are interested in learning more about fish oil supplementation, read this and this first and start with a 1 tsp. A full 1 TBSP of fish oil when you aren’t used to it can cause some GI discomfort in the beginning. If you are allergic to fish obviously avoid this step!! If you are on blood thinning medication or pregnant, read this and talk to your doctor FIRST before using fish oil. It can act as a blood thinner (there is even a prescription medication that is fish oil!). One thing I have found about moving to a liquid fishoil vs. capsules is I am more compliant because I don’t have to take a zillion capsuls and no fishy burps!!
The orange flavoring is the key ingredient. I might try picking up some plain old orange flavoring and see if that might work too. If you don’t use fish oil and instead opt to try out imitation orange flavoring (let me know if you do this!), just make sure to add some type of ‘fat’ to your smoothie. 10 almonds is a good choice. Makes it a little nutty and crunchy. 1/2-1 TBSP of coconut oil might work too. If you are eating this post workout… omit the fishoil/fat and increase the carbs a bit with some type of fruit…maybe experiment with throwing in half an orange??