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 an simple, low-calorie substitute for pumpkin-flavored coffee drinks. Give it a try!
Tropical fruits are also healthy, but it’s a more ecologically-minded choice to make smoothies from fruits and vegetables that are fresh from the field or tree just around the corner; local seasonal harvest calendars 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 flakes start flying. And how can we forget: in fall, pumpkin season is in full swing.
If you don’t have a blender, this recipe can also be prepared with a hand blender and is therefore 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. 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.
— by Silke Neumann
Want to know more about using whole pumpkins in your recipes? Give this article a try!