Pumpkin Season is Here

Much of what I do, cook and eat are driven by circumstance, seasons and what life brings my way. One of my favorite coffee cups says, "Let it be" and that is my philosophy, mostly. I didn't plan on being the co-conspirator behind the city's Farm to School movement, but everything just kept pointing me in that direction and I conceded. And boy am I glad I did.

The same can be said for how this pumpkin spice smoothie came into my life.

While shopping at Whole Foods recently, one of my favorite employees (Sari Jane) was whipping up this smoothie. Sugar pie pumpkins had just arrived at the farmers market and of course I had picked one up and made this delectable maple pumpkin custard.

With the changing seasons, I was seeking new ways to incorporate more pumpkin into our diet. Fortunately, this beta-carotene packed winter squash is loaded with fiber and potassium and helps improve eyesight, lose weight, reduce cancer risk, boost your mind and protect skin.

A few days later, Elana's Pantry featured a pumpkin spice smoothie on her blog. I took these two moments as a sign that I was meant to make a pumpkin spice smoothie at home. And when all of the stars line up like that, I do what I am supposed to do and I am usually not disappointed.

Considering David and I came home yesterday with four additional sugar pie pumpkins from a farm visit to Engel Farms in Fredericksburg (below left), and that we already had two sugar pie pumpkins from Kubena Farms, I think we're going to be eating plenty of roasted pumpkin in the coming months. In the form of pumpkin pudding, pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffins and, of course, pumpkin smoothies.
Fortunately, we are big fans of pumpkin spice and if you have ever had my uber-popular Thanksgiving Cowgirl Granola, you know why we love this combination of spices. A generous amount of cinnamon is dusted with ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves and whirled together to make a perfect blend that adds warmth and depth of flavor to anything you put it in.

Pumpkin spice says "fall has arrived" in just one bite. Or sip.

Buen provecho!
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
The Cowgirl Gourmet adapted a Whole Foods recipe

Print recipe

If you dig pumpkin pie, think of this smoothie as a drinkable version. Rich and creamy and absolutely divine, this is my new favorite way to start the day. If you really want to make it special, roast your own sugar pie pumpkin.

Serves 1

1 banana, frozen in chunks
Handful of ice cubes, or less
1 cup non-dairy milk such as coconut, almond or the like
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (want to roast your own pumpkin? Click here.)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Place frozen banana chunks and ice in the blender and pulse until crushed. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass, sip and savor the moment.

Options: For a sweeter smoothie, add a drizzle of honey or a few drops of stevia. You can also add protein powder to this smoothie. Or go crazy and toss in a handful of kale for even more nutrients.

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