Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe (Without Pumpkin)
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Craving a smoothie that tastes like a pumpkin pie but has no pumpkin?
Believe it or not, the first smoothie I ever tried that tasted exactly like a pumpkin pie actually didn’t contain any pumpkin. Can you believe that? 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 contained zero 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 spice 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 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 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 Smoothies with Frozen Fruit
Like all my smoothies, this one uses frozen fruit which just so happens to be only bananas. Bananas are incredibly easy to freeze on your own. You just need to plan a little ahead of time. If they are available, you can buy frozen bananas at your local grocery store. But with how easy it is to freeze them at home, there really is no need to.
Plus, overripe bananas are really best for smoothies and I don’t think the prepackaged ones will be. So if you’ve got a few bananas that you were planning to turn into banana bread, you can freeze them instead!
All you need is either a freezer safe container or plastic storage bag. Peel and break the bananas into thirds or quarter pieces. Place them in the container and let them freeze overnight or for a day. That’s it. I can break down a bunch of bananas in less than 10 minutes. And trust me, overripe bananas really do make a better, sweeter smoothie.
I am a huge advocate for frozen fruit smoothies over fresh fruit or ice. They are much creamier and more flavorful. It’s like drinking a healthy ice cream shake. The only real downside to making smoothies with frozen fruit is you really need a good high-performance blender with variable speeds. The standard ones usually just can’t keep up.
I personally use a Vitamix 5200 series blender and I love it! It is the most used small appliance in my kitchen beside the stovetop. I use it so much daily that it has a permanent place on my counter top and I’ve got very limited counter space in my kitchen, unfortunately. It really makes me cry sometimes (the kitchen, not the blender).
A high-performance blender can do many things that a standard blender cannot. It can serve a range of functions from blending smoothies to emulsifying salad dressings to making hummus, soup, and even nut butters. If you are interested in knowing more about the Vitamix 5200 blender, I wrote a review about it in detail here. Since I use a Vitamix blender, all my instructions are focused around the speeds and functions of this particular machine. However, the controls of other high-performance blenders are very similar so it shouldn’t be hard to translate the instructions to a different blender.
The only other thing worth mentioning briefly is how much liquid to use. I like my smoothies so thick that you really need one of those bubble tea straws or a spoon to eat it. To achieve this kind of consistency, you really need to err on the side of conservative with the juice, milk, or other liquid. Just be careful doing this as it can overtax your machine.
Since this recipe calls for three different liquids, I usually put the smaller amount in first and then fill the rest with the larger amount until I get about 1-inch from the top of the fruit. You can even try 1 1/2 inches from the top. In this case, I would recommend put all three liquids in the same measuring cup and then pour into the blender as needed.
When you are ready to blend, just turn your machine on the lowest setting. If your blender blades are not turning properly, slowly add more juice while the machine is on until they do. I usually leave my blender on a low setting like 2 or 3 for the first minute until the banana pieces are just beginning to break up. Then slowly increase your speed to 10. Once you are getting the vortex at the top hit the variable switch (if you have one) to high or simply blend on the highest setting for about 30 more seconds. That’s it!
If you would like to know more in detail about the fine art of making smoothies with frozen fruit, I’ve got a comprehensive post all about it here.
Now let’s get to blending!
Have a craving for pumpkin but do not have any pumpkin on hand? We got you covered! This is a smoothie that tastes exactly like a pumpkin pie but actually has no pumpkin in it. It's completely vegan and gluten-free.
- 1 1/2 cups banana, frozen (approx. 2 medium)
- 1 slice fresh ginger (approx. 1/4" thick)
- 1 tbsp. hemp seeds, hulled
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, ground
- dash nutmeg, ground
- dash clove, ground
- dash allspice, ground
- 1/4 cup coconut water
- 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/4 cup carrot juice
Place everything in the blender but the liquids.
Pour the almond milk, coconut water, and carrot juice in the same measuring cup. Add enough of the carrot juice and almond milk mixture until it sits 1 inch below the top of the fruit.
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 the smoothie is thoroughly blended and you are getting the vortex at the top, turn the variable switch to high (if you have the option) or let it blend on the highest setting possible for additional 5 seconds.
If you do not have fresh ginger on hand, substitute with a 1/4 tsp. ground ginger.
I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. It’s completely vegan and gluten-free. It’s just what you need for a pumpkin pie craving!
Got a favorite topping you enjoy on your pumpkin pie?
I would love to hear about it! Chances are we can get it in your drink too. Just leave me a comment below. Likewise, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to hearing from you!