Pumpkin Pie Smoothies: Fill Your Cup with Fall Flavor
If colorful changing leaves and toddler-size galoshes aren’t reason enough to love fall (they are), these scrumptious pumpkin pie smoothies are sure to sway you. Using frozen banana and ice provides a dreamy, creamy base for luscious pumpkin purée, dairy-free milk and yogurt, a splash of maple syrup, and a dash of vanilla (full recipe below). Speckled with sweet spices, this smoothie tastes just like a slice of pumpkin pie that preschoolers can sip (or guzzle) through a straw. Little ones will love them—and you will, too!
These pumpkin pie smoothies are delicious and nutritious! Pumpkin purée is packed with dietary fiber, which helps with digestion, and vitamin A, which boosts immunity and keeps eyes, bones, and teeth healthy. Not only that—it’s also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and iron. The banana adds even more potassium, vitamin C, and fiber, and is one of a few good non-animal sources of vitamin B-6, a crucial nutrient for brain development, nervous system function, and a whole lot more! (Bonus: Frozen banana will also make your smoothie naturally sweeter.)
You can use any type of yogurt and milk you like when making these spiced sippers, but soy or dairy (especially Greek yogurt) versions will up the protein content. It’s fine to substitute brown sugar, agave, or honey for the maple syrup, or use 1/4 cup of applesauce instead.
Thick, creamy, and rich, pumpkin pie smoothies make a healthy and filling afternoon or evening snack, or a quick, tasty breakfast. For a heartier meal, top them with granola, pumpkin seeds, or crushed graham crackers and serve with a spoon. Want even more nutrients in there? Add half a cup of cooked oatmeal to the other ingredients before blending for an extra boost of fiber, protein, and vitamins.
In our centers, we embrace family-style eating—encouraging children to serve themselves teaches them important social skills (like passing items, sharing, being patient, saying “please” and “thank you”) and how to listen to their own hunger cues. Allowing them to get in on the serving action can also inspire them to try new foods—like pumpkin! Sure, there will likely be some spills when children take the lead, but also lots of smiles.
If your child isn’t old enough to handle serving his own smoothie directly from the blender, consider transferring some to a small measuring cup with a spout—this way, he can practice his pouring skills with a lower risk of a smoothie-tsunami soaking your table and floor.
PUMPKIN PIE SMOOTHIES
*Recipe adapted from the Shugary Sweets blog.
Yields: Approximately 3 cups
Total time: 5 minutes
- 1 frozen banana, cut into small chunks prior to freezing
- 1/2 cup vanilla soy or coconut milk yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup vanilla soy, almond, or coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 1 cup ice
- Add all the ingredients to a blender in the order listed.
- Blend on high for at least 2 minutes or until smooth. This process may take longer if your blender isn’t very strong, or if the frozen banana or ice jams up the blades. Scrape down the sides of the blender as needed.
- If you prefer thinner smoothies, add more milk; if you want a thicker texture, add a few more ice cubes. You can also add more spices or maple syrup to taste.
- Pour into glasses or mugs, sprinkle a little ground nutmeg or cinnamon on top, and enjoy!