The Pumpkin-less Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
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Want to try a pumpkin pie smoothie that contains absolutely zero pumpkin?
Believe it or not, the first smoothie I ever tried that tasted exactly like a pumpkin pie actually didn’t contain any pumpkin. I think it was the smoothie that made me realize how amazingly versatile smoothies really are.
And you can almost make any flavor you want. I’ve made a smoothie that tasted exactly like a virgin bloody Mary but didn’t contained any tomatoes. And I’ve had a smoothie that tasted very similar to a squash soup with curry seasonings but contained no squash. It’s really crazy what you can do!
I know that anyone who lives in the southern United States probably doesn’t have access to fresh pumpkin anymore. I’m serious when I say you blink and the pumpkin season is gone for the year. In Austin, pumpkins would be in the grocery store for about two weeks. By Halloween, the pumpkin would disappear as though they never existed almost like a unicorn sighting. So I thought I’d share with you a pumpkin pie smoothie recipe that doesn’t call for using pumpkin.
Sure, you’ve got the canned stuff but who is going to buy a can of pumpkin just to make a smoothie? Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you. And if you are one of those individuals who do, I’ve got a great Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie that might be right up your alley.
But the truth of the matter is that fresh roasted pumpkin is always better than the canned stuff. So if you are like me when you don’t have access to fresh pumpkin, you just don’t use it. But that doesn’t stop you from wanting a pumpkin treat, especially during the holidays. So don’t you worry, I completely understand and I’ve got you covered!
How did I come up with this recipe?
Unfortunately, this is not a recipe I can claim as completely mine. As I stated earlier, this was a pumpkin pie smoothie I tried a few years ago. I remember it very distinctly, it was a special at a locally owned smoothie shop in October. The name of the drink had me interested but I wasn’t completely convinced that I was going to like it. After all, would you think that carrots and bananas with coconut water sound appealing?
Maybe you would. But I didn’t.
However, that has never stopped me from trying something especially food. This may sound strange but if my initial reaction to food is met with reluctance, I usually try it. I’ve always been of a mind that most things should be tried at least once and with food that is doubly true. So this is my version of that pumpkin pie smoothie. Although this doesn’t taste exactly like that one at the smoothie shop, I think I got pretty darn close. And as I always tend to do, made some adjustments on the drink that I personally find improves it.
Tips and Tricks for This Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Smoothies are a pretty straightforward drink to make. You just put everything in a blender and blend for a few minutes. Done! However, there are some nuances I have picked up over the years from making frozen fruit smoothies that just make them that much better. We are talking about smoothies that taste just like a milkshake. And like all my smoothies, this one is easily customizable. So here are some tips to make this the creamiest, silkiest, and tastiest smoothie you will ever have.
- This one uses frozen fruit which just so happens to be bananas. Bananas are incredibly easy and quick to freeze on your own. I can break down a bunch of bananas in less than 5 minutes. You just need to plan a little ahead of time. Plus, this is a great way to minimize your waste too. All you need is either a freezer safe container or silicone storage bag. Stashers (affiliate link) are a great one! Peel and break the bananas into thirds or quarter pieces. Place them loosely in the container and let them freeze overnight or for a whole day. That’s it!
- Overripe bananas are best. This is partly why I don’t suggested buying pre-packaged frozen bananas from the grocery store. These bananas usually tend to be a little under ripe and won’t taste as good. And trust me, overripe bananas really do make a smoother and sweeter drink. That being said, you can still use store bought ones for this recipe if you prefer.
- You will need a high-performance blender to make this recipe. These appliances are more expensive than conventional machines but completely worth it. I have a Vitamix 5200 blender and I use it for all my recipes. However, I have been hearing really good things about the Blendtec Total Classic blender (affiliate link) as well and the price is comparable (or possibly cheaper) to the Vitamix. However, there are many good choices on the market so I suggest you do your research first before buying.
- And like all my drinks, this one is easily customizable. Allergic to peanuts, you can trade them out for almonds or omit them entirely. Want to add some other spices? Try a ½ tsp ground cardamom, ¼ tsp. allspice, ¼ tsp. ground clove, and/or a dash of nutmeg. Don’t have hemp seeds? You could replace that with chia seeds or leave it out. Want it a little sweeter? Add 2 deglet dates. Want some greens? Add a handful of spinach. You won’t even taste it and it’s a great way to get some greens for the kiddos! You could also add a tablespoon of hemp, flax, or melted coconut oil for some extra fats!
- If you’d like to use this as a meal replacement, workout drink, or just want a little extra protein, you can easily add 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite protein powder to it. Unflavored and vanilla flavored protein powders work wonderfully! Hemp powder (affiliate link) is my favorite!
- When using raw ginger, keep in mind a little goes a long way. A slice of ginger about 1/8 inch thick and 1-inch in diameter should be enough. You can, of course, adjust the size for more or less depending on your tastes. I wash them before use but I don’t bother to peel the outer skin off since my Vitamix does such a great job thoroughly blending everything. Although, you can choose to remove the skins if you desire. You can replace the raw ginger with a ½ tsp. ground ginger as well.
- Since this recipe calls for two different liquids, I usually add the carrot juice first and then the coconut water (more veggies please!). I eyeball it by pouring until I’m about halfway and then pour in the coconut water until I get about 1 1/2 inches from the top of the fruit. If you are pretty new to making smoothies, I would recommend put both liquids in the same measuring cup and then pour into the blender as needed.
- Lastly, I like to make my shakes very thick. To do this you need to pour in just enough milk that it sits about an inch to 1 1/2 inches below the very top of the bananas. Be conservative about this! You can always add more. Start the blender up on a very low setting and see how it does. If your blender is laboring to turn, just add more milk slowly until the blades turn. Be careful that you don’t crank the setting up too high before doing this or you’ll likely burn out your engine.
If you would like to know more in detail about the fine art of making smoothies with frozen fruit, my Smoothies 101 post might be useful.
That’s it! On to the recipe!
Want to try some other frozen fruit smoothie inspirations?
- The Texan PB&J Milkshake
- Matcha Green Tea and Pistachio Smoothie
- Golden Chai-ger (chai latte milkshake)
- Spiced Pumpkin Smoothie
If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!
The Pumpkin-less Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
- Measuring Cup and Spoons
- 1 cup banana, frozen (about 1-1½ bananas)
- 1 slice raw ginger (1" diameter & ⅛" thick)
- 1 tbsp. hemp seeds or hemp hearts, hulled
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 cup carrot juice
- 1/4-1/2 cup coconut water
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts (optional)
- Place everything but the banana and liquids in the blender.
- Add the bananas.
- Pour in the carrot juice and coconut water until you reach about 1½ inch below the top of the bananas.
- Turn on blender at the lowest setting and let it run until everything is starting to blend together. Add more liquid if needed to reach desired thickness.
- Slowly turn the setting to high. Once you get the vortex, turn the blender off.
- Serve immediately.½
Did you give this recipe a try?