There’s more than one way to get your pumpkin spice fix, and here’s one that will leave you feeling energized, satiated, and ready to take on the day. Can’t say that about that that oh-so-famous Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte which packs a whopping 29 grams of added sugar, right? Consider this Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie to be your real-food fix you reach for when you want to satisfy your pumpkin spice cravings AND feel good.
I’m all about making a healthy, nourishing lifestyle easier to accomplish. That’s why I’ve included canned pumpkin puree as the “pumpkin” in this recipe. If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, try using steamed kabocha squash or delicata squash instead of canned pumpkin. In my opinion, they taste a bit sweeter than pumpkin, and also have a creamier texture. No pressure, though – canned pumpkin is great in this, too.
So, if you decide to try using the kabocha or delicata squash, does that mean you need to set your morning alarm super early to get up and steam a micro-batch of squash just for your morning Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie? No way! Let’s be real . . . who has time for that?! Instead, try making a batch as part of meal prep, which will leave you plenty of squash to make this smoothie today, plus a big batch to add to creamy squash soup or a dinner side later in the week. Or, you can freeze the leftover steamed squash into 1/3 cup amounts, and stash in your freezer. Take out a portion and thaw overnight in the fridge for those mornings that you want to make this smoothie.
If you don’t know your kabocha from your delicata, no problem. I’ve been there. I’ve got you covered with my handy Sweather Weather Guide to Winter Squashes.
To steam the squash, just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and then cut into chunks. Insert a steamer basket into a large pot, and fill with water just to the level of the steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil, then add the kabocha or delicata chunks. Turn down to medium low, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes or until tender. Once cooled, peel off skin.
I’ve experimented a LOT with this recipe to get it just right, so I guarantee that it will deliver all the fall feels! It’s a great balance of protein, good fats, and slow-burning carbs, so it will leave you feeling satiated and fueled for hours. Switch up the protein source if you need to keep things dairy free.
Accurate or not, I do consider protein powder (even a plain, unsweeted one) to be a somewhat refined food. For that reason, protein powders aren’t something I incorporate into my diet on a daily basis. I usually keep it to once or twice a week.
Before you invest in some quality protein powder, I encourage you to check out the Clean Label Project Protein Powder Study. Scientists tested many of the protein powders available for sale, to help you more easily find a safe product that is worth your money.
So, let’s keep this pumpkin spice train rolling! . . .