Welcome to Pumpkin Week! I’ve had a fondness for pumpkins since I was a little kid picking out my pumpkin for a Jack O’lantern. Then I moved to Colorado and made friends with a pumpkin patch with a delightful assortment of pumpkins and squash, hay rides and mazes for the kids (and those who were kids at heart). I discovered the joy of bringing baby pie pumpkins home and roasting them in the oven for homemade gluten-free pumpkin pie. When we finally bought a house in California last year where we could have a garden, I knew I wanted to plant pumpkins so I could realize a childhood dream and grow my own pumpkin for a jack O’lantern. Of course I thought pies with homemade pumpkin would be a nice perk, too. Our pumpkins vined their little hearts out in the garden and produced some darling beauties. I haven’t had the heart to cut them open and bake them yet, although I did roast one of the spaghetti squash that we grew. It was very yummy.
As autumn has set into California with its fickle, spring-like nature that alternates cool days with sunny days and the nights turn crisp, I find myself craving pumpkin. This week I will be sharing two (possibly three) pumpkin recipes with you and hosting a pumpkin recipe mr. linky on Friday, so stay tuned.
I’ll start the week with a healthy drink for a dairy-free Chocolate Pumpkin Cream Smoothie that sounds naughty but isn’t really. Toddler Yum heard the word “chocolate” and slurped it down like nobody’s business, which made me happy. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did!
One note- the avocado is there for the additional healthy fats and creaminess. It does add a little flavor so the cocoa is absolutely necessary for smoothing the flavors together, in my opinion. Do be careful not to add too much banana as the flavor is quite strong. It is mostly there for the sweetness, so if you prefer another mild fruit, feel free to experiment.
As part of the Tastemaker program with Foodbuzz, I got the nifty Tervis Tumbler pictured. I thought it might be fun to participate, and we can always use another bpa free, dishwasher safe cup for Toddler Yum. Their 8 oz toddler-sized tumblers look interesting. I might have to get some cups made for Toddler Yum!
Here are some additional recipes for Pumpkin Smoothies:
Pumpkin Smoothie with Ginger and Maple Syrup
Sugar-free Pumpkin Smoothie with Coconut Whip
Pumpkin Smoothie with Homemade Hemp Milk
Silken Tofu Pumpkin Smoothie
Pumpkin Smoothie with Flaxseed and Soy
Pumpkin Smoothie with Protein Boost
Pumpkin Smoothie with chia and almond milk
Pumpkin Smoothie with Yogurt
Brown Sugar Sweetened Pumpkin Smoothie
Other Foodbuzz folks put some interesting things in their Tumblers:
Juiced tangerine limeade
Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin (canned ok)
1/2 avocado (peeled and without the pit)
1 cup homemade cashew milk* (or favorite non-dairy milk of choice)
1 tbsp agave or your favorite liquid sweetener (such as homemade simple syrup. Do NOT use honey as it has too much personality)
1 tbsp cocoa powder (NOT optional, although carob powder might be a good substitute if you are sensitive to chocolate)
1 small frozen banana
1 nutmeg for grating
Combine ingredients in your blender (a cheap-o blender will be just fine) and process until smooth and creamy. Pour in a glass or cup and grate nutmeg on top for serving. Enjoy!
I am curious about what it would taste like frozen into a popsicle- I think it might be pretty tasty.
I also considered adding 1/2 tsp of vanilla. I might do that next time. You can also add a pumpkin spice type blend of spices. I like Penzey’s Cake or Baking Spice.
*CASHEW MILK RECIPE: I made one big batch of cashew milk that I used in recipes for several days. I soaked 1 cup of cashews overnight with enough water to cover and then drained them, discarding the liquid. I blended them together with water up to the top of my blender (measuring 5 cups including the cashews), to make a milk which I did not strain. I stored it in the refrigerator in a glass pitcher to use as needed.
For drinking or to use in hot cereal, I add a drop of vanilla and a little agave to the milk.