Recipe: Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl

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I’m not usually excited about what we Minnesotans call “sweater weather” season. No amount of hot cider can get me psyched about the cold winter ahead. This year though, my attitude has changed. Bring on the red leaves, fresh apples, fuzzy slippers and pumpkin-flavored whatever.

In celebration, I decided to make a pumpkin smoothie bowl. I’ve been seeing a dietitian (one of those things that seems worthy after your fit and healthy dad suddenly needs a triple bypass), and she’s gotten me started on having smoothies every morning. The catch is, they have to contain protein powder. I was skeptical about this at first. A) Protein powder seems gross. B) Smoothies make me feel hungry like 20 minutes later and contain a ton of calories. Turns out I needed to find a better protein powder than the one I got at Trader Joe’s, and once you add 22g of protein to a smoothie, it really does keep you full for at least four hours.

Anyway, I’ve been experimenting with a lot of smoothies, and a few people asked me for this recipe, so here it is!

Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

1 scoop protein powder. Right now I’m using this one. It’s vegan, seems pretty healthy and tastes good.

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (nutritionist also told me to drink this instead of whole milk, fwiw)

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. cinnamon (you may want less, or if you’re fancy, sub in pumpkin spice blend)

3 ice cubes

Blend this all up. I use a Ninja blender, which my mom got me for my birthday a couple years ago. It’s great, and comes with a single-serving attachment that’s really easy to clean or bring along for enjoying breakfast in your car like a true American.

Pour your smoothie into a bowl and then top it with your favorite odds and ends. Here’s what I used:

Pomegranate seeds. Neil makes fun of me because I put them on everything but they are magical. Get them either frozen, at Trader Joe’s or go for the Pom brand at Target. Some grocery store pomegranate seeds are not so fresh.

Pepitas. These are pumpkin seeds so it only seems appropriate. That said, I put them on all my smoothies and in most of my salads. You can get super pumped about their health benefits while you eat if you want.

Unsweetened coconut flakes. 

Muesli. I make my own granola now, just because it’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s fun and it guarantees you aren’t eating a bunch of crap that will be bad for you. I got this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Food Lover’s Cleanse by Bon Appetit. 

I also often put hemp seeds on smoothies.

Then eat up! I hope you enjoy this recipe. Feel free to change it to your liking. You could add peanut butter, add even more pumpkin or add bananas. Get your favorite sweats on and do you this season.

JARRING SIDEBAR!

I recently bought about 30 mason jars and put all the healthy things in my cupboard into them, like nuts, seeds and healthy powder stuff (like matcha). I usually only eat from these jars and also from my fridge, and it’s definitely transformed how I eat for the better. (Although I confess that I still eat spoonfuls of regular old Jif peanut butter all the time.) Apparently this is a Marie Kondo thing, so maybe you already know about this.