Pumpkin Pie Smoothie {Recipe} – Good Use of Leftover Canned Pumpkin

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Hope everyone had a great weekend. Hubby and I had a pretty low key weekend, which was great for me. I’m in serious need of more down time. We pretty much just relaxed, took care of a few things around the house, and enjoyed some good eats. We did get the chance to make it out to a neat exhibition in town – Mummies of the World. I’ve watched a couple historical shows on mummies recently, so it was interesting to see in person.

Anywho, I made something fun this weekend and wanted to share with you guys…

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A Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. Mmm…

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I realize it’s a bit late in the season (or completely past the season…whatevs), but timing hasn’t always been one of my strong points. I had a can of pumpkin I didn’t want taking up space in my pantry till next fall, so I decided to go ahead and open it for some everyday eats.

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I based the smoothie on my Blueberry Pie Smoothie with a couple simple ingredient swaps. Pumpkin was obviously the star ingredient, but I also added one of my favorite, staple smoothie ingredients – banana. I think bananas give smoothies a nice texture and add natural sweetness, so I like to include them in most smoothies I make.

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Hello beta-carotene!

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Here’s a great way to use leftover (and healthful) canned pumpkin. I did a play on my Blueberry Pie Smoothie with a new flavor profile. You could add canned pumpkin to any ole smoothie, but paired with oats, cinnamon, and vanilla, you get a more pie-like flavor, which is way more fun.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy or dairy milk), sweetened (or use unsweetened milk, dairy or non-dairy – just also add a drop of vanilla and your sweetener of choice, to taste) – see notes above
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon pumpkin (this will yield a light pumpkin flavor – add more to taste)
  • 2 ice cubes
  • dash-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste (or sub pumpkin pie spice)

Directions:

  1. Combine milk and oats in a medium bowl/pyrex and let rest in refrigerator for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine milk/oat mixture, banana, pumpkin, ice cubes, and cinnamon in a blender. Blend till ingredients are combined and smooth, about 1-2 minutes, or until smoothie reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Enjoy!

You may also enjoy:

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Reader question: Do you only eat pumpkin in one season or all year long?

Tropical {Vitamin} C Blast Green Monster Smoothie

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I realize in this chilly weather that an ice-cold smoothie probably isn’t the first thing to come to mind, but since we’re still in cold & flu season, this one may…

I was feeling a little run down the other day and in need of a big blast of Vitamin C to ward off any approaching sickness. So, I blended up this little concoction to help the cause.

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I call it Tropical {Vitamin} C Blast Green Monster Smoothie.

I picked fruits {and some other goodies} that I had in my freezer and kitchen that I thought were good sources of vitamin C: pineapple, mango, orange juice, bananas, spinach, and…wait for it…parsley.

We’ve talked about the health benefits of spinach before, but did you know parsley is a good source of vitamin C? Yup, it’s not just a pretty face…er…garnish.

Here’s a snippet from whfoods.com:

“In addition to its volatile oils and flavonoids, parsley is an excellent source of two vital nutrients that are also important for the prevention of many diseases: vitamin C and vitamin A (notably through its concentration of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene).”

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Tropical {Vitamin C} Blast Green Monster Smoothie

This smoothie takes me to the tropics flavor-wise, but it’s good for you, too. The smoothie contains a few ingredients that are good sources of vitamin C to help fight off colds and the flu: pineapple, mango, bananas orange juice, spinach, and parsley. Yes – parsley! Just a wee bit. I will warn you – parsley has a strong flavor. If you don’t really like it, you may be better off leaving it out. If you want to add some, err on the side of less-is-more. And if you’re a regular juicer, then, you’ll probably think lots of parsley is delicious. ;)

Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups loosely packed spinach (or sub 1/4 cup frozen spinach)
  • 1 small sprig parsley (about 3 leaves) – see note above for suggestions, optional
  • 1 banana (a frozen banana will give you a thicker consistency, but non-frozen works, too)
  • 5 small pieces of frozen mango, about 1/4-1/3 cup
  • handful of frozen pineapple pieces, about 1/4-1/3 cup
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • soy milk (or milk of choice, but dairy may curdle with the acidic fruits), as needed to reach desired texture
  • sweetener of choice, to taste, optional (but you probably won’t need it – the pineapple and bananas are very sweet naturally)

Directions:

  1. In order: place spinach, parsley (if using), banana, mango, pineapple, and orange juice in the blender.
  2. Cover and blend until ingredients are processed and smooth, about 1-2 minutes (if you need, stop and add milk and blend again until smoothie starts blending and/or reaches desired texture). Taste test and if desired, blend in sweetener of choice to taste.
  3. Enjoy!

***

Pinspiration:

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A pin with a nice variation by Larisa

***

How’s everyone doing with Eat in Month? Things are going pretty well on my end, especially since hubby is really into the challenge this year. With my work hours being pretty insane right now, he’s really been helping out with cooking and cleaning. Bless him!

I’ve updated the Eat in Month Challenge post (click) with links to blogs for those who left comments on the challenge page saying they were participating. I added names (sans links) for those who are playing but do not have blogs/web sites. I noticed a couple other people playing who left comments on other posts here on TCL, so once I find them, I’ll get you added.

If you haven’t commented yet, but you’re playing and you want to see your name in the EIM Challenge participant list, just leave me a comment, and I’ll add it! :)

Ooh, and fun news on the food front…I saw a neat feature in Real Simple where they did 5 take-out style meals you can easily re-create at home, and I’m working on some of my own so help you EIM-ers curb your take-out cravings.

What are your favorite things to order for take-out?

Figgy Green Monster Smoothie (Tastes Like Cake Batter!)

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With my Green Monster madness going on recently, I’ve been coming up with some pretty interesting concoctions. Seriously, I have about 3 recipes queued up over here. Anywho, none had more interesting, or shall I say a surprising, taste than my latest – Figgy Green Monster Smoothie.

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It’s a fig smoothie that tastes like cake batter.

The smoothie had zero elements that I would normally use to make a cake batter flavor and yet it tasted like cake batter! Ok, maybe it’s just me. You guys know I like to make my cake batters on the healthier side. But I honestly took the first sip after blending this smoothie up and thought…hmm…cake batter?

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I came up with the idea to make a fig smoothie because my friend who has a fig tree brought in a bunch to give me. Score! Unfortunately, even without teaching Zumba, my schedule has been hectic, so I haven’t exactly had a bunch of free time to experiment with a cool recipe.

So…What could I do quickly with figs? Why not put it in a smoothie, right? And as it turns out, figs in a smoothie are a good thing.

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Figgy Green Monster Smoothie (Tastes Like Cake Batter!)
 
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Have figs and don’t know what to do with them? The easiest thing you can do (besides eating them plain) is blend them into a delicious and healthy smoothie. Since I’m on a Green Monster kick, I decided to add spinach to mine to make it green. This Green Monster smoothie had an unexpected cake-batter-like flavor.
*Vegan if you use vegan milk*
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1½ – 2 cups loosely packed spinach (or sub ¼ cup frozen spinach or fresh/frozen kale)
  • sweetener of choice, to taste, optional (you can add with the other ingredients or blend and taste first and add in at the end)
  • 1 banana (a frozen banana will give you a thicker consistency, but non-frozen works, too)
  • 4 figs, stems removed, halved
  • 1 cup milk of choice (dairy, non-dairy, vanilla non-dairy, etc.) – I used vanilla soy
  • 2 cubes ice
Instructions
  1. Place spinach, banana, figs, milk, and ice in the blender.
  2. Cover and blend until banana/figs/ice is processed and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Enjoy!
Notes
Easily multiplies for additional servings.

***
Here’s a GM smoothie recipe that was actually designed to taste like Cake Batter…Nom!: Cake Batter Green Monster – Peas and Thank You

You may enjoy some of these other Green Monster smoothies:

*Click here to read my Green Monster 101 post* (it explains what a GM is plus some ingredient and blending tips)

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Enjoy! :)

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Click here to get *free* The Chic Life updates!

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Reader question: Figs were an ingredient that I never really expected to put into a smoothie. What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve put into a smoothie? Did you like it?

Green Monster Smoothies 101 + Basic Recipe

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It’s sweet, it’s refreshing, and it’s…GREEN? Yup, it’s a Green Monster Smoothie!

If you’re a Green Monster (GM) expert or enthusiast, you may be wondering if you could learn from this post. I don’t think you’ll learn anything you don’t already know. But, I do think you could offer your GM expertise. You can share tips for those less familiar with the wonderfulness that is the GM.

This post is actually written more for my other friends and readers who are new to GMs. Many of my Zumba participants, “real life” friends, and blog/twitter friends aren’t as familiar with Green Monster Smoothies.

So, if you’re wondering what the heck a “Green Monster Smoothie” is, then read on. And if you’re a Green Monster guru, then leave some comment love. Please share some of your tips and favorite GM recipes.

Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

{So beautiful and green}

Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

What is a Green Monster Smoothie?

A Green Monster smoothie is a healthy smoothie. It is bright green in color, thanks to the star ingredient: spinach! Yes…I said “spinach.” Don’t cringe. Honestly, once it’s all blended up with other ingredients, you cannot taste it! Have you ever tried eating just a spinach leaf plain? I have. It didn’t taste like much of anything. So, especially when you blend the spinach up with fruit and milk, you won’t taste it. Mmmkay? ;)

Some people use kale instead, but I prefer spinach.

Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

Green Monster Smoothie Ingredients

There are endless combinations, but the most basic and common ingredients are:

  • Spinach/Kale – This is the KEY ingredient. You can use fresh or frozen (I’ve tested it – check out this post).  And, as I mentioned above, you can substitute the spinach with kale.
  • Bananas – usually 1 to 2 are used per smoothie. I go with 1 per serving, and I prefer frozen bananas because it makes the texture thicker. This is also a good way to save bananas before they spoil. Simply freeze and save for a smoothie later! Brown bananas aren’t just for banana bread!
  • Milk of choice – dairy milk, soy milk, vanilla rice milk. You can use your favorite milk, but  a sweetened milk will yield a sweeter smoothie. I prefer to use unsweetened and add a natural sweetener, like honey.
  • Ice – to help make the smoothie cold and frosty.

Other common GM ingredients:

  • Yogurt – makes the smoothie thicker and provides protein and add probiotics.
  • Honey/Agave – liquid sweeteners if you need more sweetness in the smoothie. I think the bananas are sweet enough. If you use a sweetened non-dairy milk, you probably won’t need either of these.
  • Chia Seeds – a health-food ingredient. If you let it sit in liquid for several minutes, it will plump up and become gelatinous (like a tiny tapioca pearl, for bubble tea fans).
  • Nut Butters – peanut butter, almond butter, etc. Add this for creaminess and healthy nut nutrition.
  • Other fruits – feel free to add your other favorite fruits. See the next section on ingredients to avoid when selecting (mostly for color).

Ingredients to use in small portions when making GMs:

*Edited: After reading some of the comments, I decided to edit this. Instead of avoiding them all together, I’ll warn against using too much of these ingredients. Thanks guys! :) *

  • Berries – blueberries, raspberries, etc. If you use too much, the berries will change the color of the smoothie. It won’t be green or as green. Sometimes berries turn the GM brown!
  • Other – Pretty much anything with a lot of color that will change the color of the smoothie away from green. Trust me, a brown smoothie is not as appealing visually, even if it still tastes amazing. Not to mention, I wouldn’t call a brown smoothie a “Green” Monster Smoothie. I’d call that just a smoothie with spinach in it. :lol: We should come up with a name for these, right?!)

Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

Once you’re ready to blend, there are a couple tips to keep in mind.

Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

Green Monster Smoothie Blending Tips

I like to layer my ingredients in the blender in the following order*:

  • Spinach/Kale – putting this at the bottom helps ensure the leaves are blended instead of flying around the blender and sticking to the sides. If I use frozen spinach/kale, I don’t always add that first since it doesn’t have the same texture as fresh
  • Dry ingredients – like flaxseed meal, matcha, etc. Add first for the same reason as spinach – so it doesn’t get stuck to the sides/lid
  • Nut Butters – so it’s less likely to fly up and stick to the sides
  • Liquid Sweetener – same as nut butters
  • Other small fruits – goji berries, etc.
  • Bananas – to weigh spinach down
  • Other large fruit – cantaloupe, etc.
  • Ice
  • Milk of choice

*All of these ingredients are not always used, but if I were using them, this is the order I’d follow.

And every blender is different, so settings will vary. I usually just blend away until all the fruit/ice is smooth and all the spinach leaves are blended so small. Instead of seeing individual pieces, I look for smooth greenness. This usually only takes 1 or 2 minutes for me.

Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

Why Drink Green Monster Smoothies?

First of all, they’re fun to look at and just plain delicious.

I spent a month with my Project Veg-Up challenge focusing on eating lots of fruits and veggies every day. I know that it can sometimes be a struggle to “eat your greens.” This is especially true on your busiest days. Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to consume fruit. And now thanks to the GM, they can be the easiest way to consume some vegetables, too!

So GM smoothies feature spinach, and here’s why spinach is good for you – a quote I’ve shared before from whfoods.com:

Spinach is an excellent source of bone-healthy vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and calcium; heart-healthy folate, potassium, and vitamin B6; energy-producing iron and vitamin B2; and free radical-scavenging vitamin A (through its concentration of beta-carotene) and vitamin C.

Side note: This is just general info. I know some people are supposed to avoid spinach (doctor’s orders), so obviously, you may want to avoid the GM if this is true for you, too. And, you should always consult with your doctor before making dietary changes. But, I trust that you know what’s best for you. ;)

Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

Basic Green Monster Recipe
 
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Green Monster smoothies are beautiful to look at and delicious to drink. And if you’re not sold yet, they’re good for you, too! Drinking GM smoothies is the easiest way I know to get a vegetable serving in for the day. Also, I don’t typically add extra sweeteners to my smoothies, but I’ve included directions below in case you would like to add some to yours. :)
*Vegetarian, Vegan if you use vegan milk* Serves 1
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1½ – 2 cups loosely packed spinach (or sub ¼ cup frozen spinach or sub kale)
  • 1 banana (a frozen banana will give you a thicker consistency, but non-frozen works, too)
  • 1 cup milk of choice (dairy, non-dairy, vanilla non-dairy, etc.)
  • 2 cubes ice
  • sweetener of choice, to taste, optional (liquid sweeteners, like honey or agave, will work best)
Instructions
  1. Place spinach, banana, milk, and ice in the blender.
  2. Cover and blend until banana/ice is processed and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Taste test and if desired, blend in sweetener of choice to taste.
  3. Enjoy!
Notes
This single serving recipe is easily multiplied to serve more!

***
Here are more fabulous GM smoothie recipes you may enjoy:

*And be sure to check out this site for hundreds of other tasty Green Monster recipes: http://greenmonstermovement.com/ *

Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

Green Monster Virgins: Are you scared of Green Monsters or do you think you’ll try one soon? Why or why not?

Green Monster Gurus: What are you favorite things to add to your GM smoothies? And if you have any GM smoothies (of your own or of others) that you love, please leave the link in a comment! :)

Matcha Green Tea Green Monster Smoothie

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If you haven’t tried a Green Monster smoothie yet, then I really think you’re missing out. Honestly!

Especially after going through Project Veg-Up last month, I’ve found that it can often be difficult to get your recommended servings of fruits and veggies with the craziness of every day life. If you’re short on time, then the Green Monster smoothie may be your best solution. You get two fruits servings (if you count 1/2 a banana as one fruit serving) and one vegetable serving (thanks to the healthy addition of spinach – click here for spinach health benefit info).

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Now, you may be wondering, “Can I use frozen spinach in a Green Monster smoothie?” I wondered the same thing, so I tried out the theory that you could with this recipe. As it turns out, it works just fine (you just need less spinach in frozen form since it’s more tightly packed). And do you know what this means, people?

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It means you can have a complete breakfast using ingredients exclusively out of your (well-stocked) refrigerator and/or freezer! I love convenient things that rock! ;)

This smoothie has a health boost with the addition of matcha green tea. Click here for some info on matcha green tea health benefits. And check out this quote by Dr. Weil:

In addition to providing trace minerals and vitamins (A, B-complex, C, E, and K), matcha is rich in catechin polyphenols – compounds with high antioxidant activity. These compounds offer protection against many kinds of cancer, help prevent cardiovascular disease and slow the aging process. They also reduce harmful cholesterol in the blood, stabilize blood sugar levels, help reduce high blood pressure and enhance the resistance of the body to many toxins. The most important polyphenol in matcha is EGCG (epigallo-catechin gallate), which is the subject of many medical studies. Matcha has a significant amount of dietary fiber and practically no calories. ~Andrew Weil, M.D. (source )

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Matcha Green Tea Green Monster Smoothie
 
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Matcha green tea powder adds a subtle, yet intoxicating flavor punch to the regular green monster smoothie. And for those who don’t know, a green monster smoothie is one made with spinach! Trust me, you can’t taste it. This recipe is a great way to start your day right – with a serving of fruit and veggies, plus matcha green tea goodness. I added yogurt to this smoothie for the protein (to help me stay full) and probiotics (because they’re good for you), but you could substitute additional milk.
*Vegetarian, Vegan if you use vegan milk and yogurt*
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder, to taste (I really like matcha, so I went with 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 banana (a frozen banana will give you a thicker consistency, but non-frozen works, too)
  • ¼ cup frozen spinach (or 1½ -2 cups loosely packed, fresh baby spinach)
  • 1 individual vanilla yogurt, preferably organic (or sub milk if you don’t want to use yogurt, use coconut or soy milk yogurt for vegan option)
  • ¼ cup milk of choice (use vanilla/sweetened rice milk for extra sweetness or use plain/dairy milk and add sweetener of choice, if desired) – add additional milk if you want a more liquidy texture.
  • 2 cubes ice
  • additional sweetener of choice, optional/if needed (I didn’t need it, but flavor your smoothie to your taste)
Instructions
  1. Place matcha powder, banana, spinach, yogurt, milk (plus sweetener if using), and ice in a blender.
  2. Note: place matcha powder in the blender first so it gets covered with other ingredients. This helps keep the powder from blowing around the blender when you turn it on.
  3. Cover and blend until banana/spinach/ice is processed and smooth, and the matcha is well-incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

***
You may also like these fabulous smoothie recipes:

Or these matcha recipes:

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Do you prefer smoothies with or without yogurt? Why?

Cookies ‘N Cream Green Monster Smoothie (Energy Boosting)

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If you’ve never stuffed a handful of baby spinach into a smoothie, then you’re missing out. Adding spinach to a smoothie is hands down one of the easiest (and sneakiest…hehe…shhh) ways to get your spinach serving in for the day.

Any why eat spinach? Check out this quote from whfoods.com:

Spinach is an excellent source of bone-healthy vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and calcium; heart-healthy folate, potassium, and vitamin B6; energy-producing iron and vitamin B2; and free radical-scavenging vitamin A (through its concentration of beta-carotene) and vitamin C.

So basically…you should eat spinach because it’s good for you. Yep…just like mom said. Parents…they’re always right!

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Anywho, if you’re on the fence on trying spinach, then try this recipe on for size. I promise, you won’t taste the spinach at all. Just chocolate-y-creamy goodness.

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This smoothie has a pretty short and healthful ingredient list: banana, milk of some sort (I used vanilla soy), cookies, ice…

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…and the star ingredient – spinach!

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I know, I know Green-Monster-first-timers. It looks scary, but it’s good. Trust me!

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Cookies ‘N Cream Green Monster Smoothie (Energy Boosting)
 
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The Green Monster signature ingredient is spinach (or kale). The vegetable is almost tasteless and imparts that gorgeous green color on the smoothie. Fun, right? Add more spinach for a deeper green color.
It’s a healthy smoothie (with both a fruit and vegetable serving) hiding behind a handful of cookies. Sneaky, sneaky! ;)
*Vegan if you use vegan cookies*
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1½ – 2 cups loosely packed spinach (or kale)
  • 1 banana (a frozen banana will give you a thicker consistency, but non-frozen works, too)
  • 1 cup vanilla non-dairy milk, sweetened (or use unsweetened milk, dairy or non-dairy – just also add a drop of vanilla and your sweetener of choice, to taste)
  • 2 cubes ice
  • ¼ cup chocolate cookies (or sub chocolate/vanilla sandwich cookies and use non-sweetened milk and vanilla extract – see notes)
Instructions
  1. Place spinach, banana, milk, and ice in the blender.
  2. Cover and blend until banana/ice is processed and smooth, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add cookies to the blender, re-cover, and blend until cookies are chopped finely, about 30-60 seconds. Optional – sprinkle an extra cookie, crushed into crumbs/small pieces, on top before serving.
  4. Enjoy!
Notes
Easily multiplies for additional servings, if needed!

I found some great chocolate cookies at Trader Joe’s that were not only tasty and crunchy but also not as filled with chemicals and additives as some other options.

***
If you like this recipe, then you may also enjoy:

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Have you ever added spinach to your smoothie? What did you think about it?

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