Protein Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

pumpkinsmoothie

Now that October’s here (ok, it’s almost over now!) -I’ve been really inspired to bake with and use pumpkin in my smoothies. Here’s an easy smoothie to make for your morning breakfast, anytime snack or heck, I even had it for dinner tonight! 🙂

This will make 1 single serving.

Ingredients

*1/2 – 3/4 cup (depending on how hungry you are!) 100% canned pure pumpkin

*Vanilla Protein Powder of your choice – I prefer vegan pp because it creates a much more dense and thicker consistency. I love using Leanfit Naturals Complete Green Protein. It’s GMO-free and sweetened with Stevia. This pp is sweet enough that I don’t need to add sweeteners to the smoothie. As much as possible, stay away from artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, Aspartame or Sucralose.

*1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk/ almond milk/ cow milk (depending on how thick you like your smoothie – the less milk, the thicker)

*1 tbsp organic natural nut butter (I love cashew butter, or Rainforest nut butter which is brazil nuts, cashew butter and coconut butter all in one! YUM!)

*2 tsp maca powder (You can find this at Buik Barn)

*Spices: Pinch of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Clove, Ginger (I like to use fresh ginger, but ginger powder also works well)

*Optional: To sweeten, you can use any natural sweetener such as honey, Stevia, or Xylitol.

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a blender. You can stir in any (or all) of the mix-ins below for more texture and flavours. Mmmmm! Enjoy! 🙂

Optional Mix-Ins:

1 tbsp Raisins

1 tbsp Unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tbsp Nuts: chopped Pecans/ Walnuts/ Almonds

Health Benefits of Ingredients:

Pumpkin Puree: Is high in fibre -yes, that means you might be a bit gassy when you enjoy this smoothie for the first while 😉 Pumpkin puree is also high in Vitamins  A and E, which both boosts your immune system. Check out this page for more info!

Maca Powder: Best known for balancing hormones, increasing energy and libido (oh yeah, baby!) 😉 Check out this page for more details.

Protein Powder: Protein is the building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It is also what helps us keep satiated.

Cinnamon: Regulates blood sugar, trace amounts of iron, calcium, manganese and fibre. It also reduces inflammation, has anti-bacterial properties and antioxidant effects.

Ginger: This is a power food as it does wonders for your immunity and it improves absorption of essential nutrients in your body. Ginger reduces pain and inflammation and aids in stomach discomfort (and nausea). More info here.

Unsweetened Shredded Coconut: Zinc, protein, fiber and iron.

Xylitol: Sounds like an artificial sweetener, but it isn’t! Xylitol is one of my fave sweeteners to use, it looks like sugar and taste like sugar (maybe the granules are a bit bigger), but it has the opposite effect of what white sugar does to your body. Xylitol is a natural substance found in fibrous vegetables and fruit, and various hardwood trees such as birch. It promotes good health, stabilizes insulin and hormone levels is a natural antimicrobial (i.e., prevents growth of bacteria). Amazing stuff! (Also not cheap, but worth it! You can get this at Bulk Barn).

Stevia: Another natural sweetener that has great benefits, according to research studies. You want to make sure that the ingredients are from stevia leaf. Stevia can lower blood pressure and fight diabetes. The taste is a bit more bitter than sugar, so you may need to experiment with different brands of liquid stevia or stevia that comes in individual packs. I personally like either, but especially the Vanilla liquid flavoured Stevia by SweetLeaf brand.

Organic Nuts and Nut Butter: If anyone knows me, they know that I’m the peanut butter queen. Although this recipe works really well with cashew butter, and I recently discovered the organic Rainforest Nut butter. Wow! It’s a party in my mouth! You can get these in the organic isle of Superstore. Nuts are high in nutrients, especially healthy fats

Almonds: Potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron, phytonutrients.

Cashews: potassium, calcium and phosphorus, and more essential trace elements like iron, copper and zinc.

Brazil Nuts: Fibre, selenium, magnesium, phosphorous, and thiamin, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and minerals like potassium, zinc, copper, calcium and iron.

Pecans: composed of only monosaturated fatty acids, it is extremely good for the cardiovascular system of the body.

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