En español | My older daughter, Maggy, started her own pumpkin craze nearly a decade ago while living in England: She craved cans of pumpkin for her favorite bread recipe, as well as all of the pumpkin bars and cakes, cookies and pies, muffins and waffles she wanted to try.
Canned pumpkin wasn't common in England back then, so for the three years she lived there, my husband and I would fill our suitcases with it before every visit.
Now back in the U.S., Maggy can enjoy this superfood ingredient (a beta-carotene and potassium-rich squash) even more frequently. In her honor, this week I'm offering a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. Buoyed by wholesome goodies like Greek yogurt and honey, flaxseed and milk, this morning shake tastes like a slice of pumpkin pie.
To make canned pumpkin taste like pie, you need to cook down the puree with spices, but it only takes five to seven minutes in a saucepan over medium heat. The cooking evaporates some of the moisture, intensifying the spiced pumpkin taste. When the color shifts from bright orange to caramel and the puree just starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, it's ready. Not only can you use this base to make Pumpkin Pie Smoothies, you can also stir it into all sorts of breakfast dishes — oatmeal, Greek yogurt, muffins and cream cheese for bagels. Just add it and a little sweetener to taste.
Once the pumpkin base has been made and cooled, just dump and whir. I usually blend a frozen banana into my smoothies, for heft and nutrients, but not here: The pumpkin and banana flavors clash. Instead I add ice and extra Greek yogurt for that creamy milkshake texture, while the ground flax seed offers Omega-3 essential fatty acids and fiber. The mixture can be prepared, covered and refrigerated days in advance — you can even make it in bulk for a weeklong smoothiefest.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothies
Makes 2 cups, serving 1 to 2
- 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup dairy or nut milk, your choice
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 cups ice
Heat pumpkin and spice in a medium saucepan over medium heat to improve and blend flavors and evaporate some of the moisture, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Spoon half the pumpkin mixture along with remaining ingredients into blender; puree until mixture is a smooth shake. Serve immediately.