A Taste of Fall: DIY Pumpkin Smoothie Easy, Healthy Alternative to Lattes

Photo: © Silke Neumann

Even after the summer harvest has passed, fall and winter continue to greet us with delicious, locally grown produce. What tastes more like autumn than a pumpkin smoothie? This recipe is a simple, low-calorie substitute for pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks. Give it a try!

Tropical fruits are also healthy, but making the ecologically-minded choice involves making smoothies from fruits and vegetables that are fresh from the field or tree just around the corner; local seasonal harvest calendars such as the the Seasonal Produce Guide from the USDA can help you keep tabs on what’s available in your region at any given time.

Fall is harvest season and options can be overwhelming: apples, plums, pears, and grapes are ripe and nuts are literally falling from the trees. Much of this produce can be stored until late winter, which means that you can enjoy regionally-grown carrots, apples, pears, and nuts even after the trees are long bare. And how can we forget: In fall, pumpkin season is in full swing. As seasons change, so should our smoothies: This pumpkin smoothie is great homemade treat made simple and easy.

If you don’t have a blender, this pumpkin smoothie recipe can also be prepared with a hand mixer and is thus a great option for beginners. Since we don’t peel the fruits and vegetables in this recipe, it’s best to buy organic.

Pumpkin Smoothie: Carrot-Kissed Pumpkin Recipe

This typically autumnal pumpkin smoothie is as orange as a fallen maple leaf. Note that not every pumpkin can be eaten raw. Before you begin blending your pumpkin of choice into a smoothie, give it a quick taste test. If it is bitter, it contains poisonous cucurbitacin and should not be consumed. Most pumpkins sold in stores are cultivars that can be used in this recipe without a problem. When in doubt, a can of pumpkin puree is a readily available alternative.

To make one bright orange pumpkin smoothie rich in beta-carotene, you’ll need:

  • ¾ c pumpkin
  • ¾ c carrots
  • 1 large pear
  • 1 T pumpkin seeds, or
  • 1 T pumpkin seed oil

This smoothie should contain equal parts pear, carrot, and pumpkin, so the measurements here are for guidance and need not be followed strictly. Some pumpkins can be eaten without peeling – here’s an overview of which pumpkin’s skins are edible. For our own smoothie, we used whole pieces of hokkaido pumpkin, including the outer rind. Wash your carrots and cut both carrots and pumpkin into smaller pieces. Core and seed the pear, but do not peel it before cutting it into smaller pieces and adding to the mixer.

Carrots and pumpkin may require some liquid in order to blend to a smoothie texture. Add some water or (apple) juice to ensure your smoothie is drinkable rather than the consistency of baby food. Add the pumpkin seed oil or roasted pumpkin seeds to the top for a final flavor punch.

Our tip: If you’re working with a hand blender, large chunks of vegetable may be too hard to blend easily. Instead of chopping the vegetables, finely grate them first, then blend them with the pear. If you happen to have leftover kitchen scraps from your pumpkin smoothie prep such as pumpkin seeds or peels, remember: These don’t need to head straight for the trash – feel free to give our guide on reusing vegetable scraps a read – these can be reused a lot more easily than you’d think.

Want to know more about using whole pumpkins in your recipes? Give this article a try!

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This article was translated from German to English by Hilary. You can view original here.

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