Recently I made a pumpkin spice latte and it got me thinking about other drinks that I could make using this Fall flavor. The girls love smoothies, so it seemed like an obvious choice.
I combined some pumpkin purée with traditional pumpkin pie spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon to form the base of the smoothie. Maple syrup and brown sugar provide the sweetness, and oatmeal helps to thicken the drink and provide texture. No bananas here.
If you're looking for a healthy alternative to gorging on slices of pumpkin pie, this smoothie fits the bill. It has the same flavor but with fewer calories and more nutrition. If that's not your goal, you could always throw in a scoop of ice cream and make a milkshake...
Servings: 4 servings
1 (1.23 ounce) package maple and brown sugar oatmeal
1-1/2 cups vanilla soy milk, as needed (depending on how thick your like your smoothie)
3 cups ice cubes
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon extract
1/8 teaspoon anise extract
1 pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
5 tablespoons pumpkin purée, as needed
1 ounce whey protein powder (optional)
5 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste
Combine the maple and brown sugar oatmeal and 1/2 cup of vanilla soy milk in a small bowl. Place in the microwave for 2 minutes.
Combine the oatmeal, pumpkin purée, whey protein powder (if used), ice cubes, maple syrup and all the spices in a blender. Blend all the ingredients for about 2 minutes. While the mixture is blending, add the remaining vanilla soy milk. The consistency of the smoothie should be smooth and creamy.
You'll get about a yield of 3-3/4 cups. Pour into 4 glasses.
Finish with a cocktail drink umbrella for decoration if you like.
You can find whey protein powder in health food stores like GNC, or many supermarkets like Whole Foods. I like using protein powder as a supplement for my husband, who's a vegetarian! Just make sure the protein source is clearly labeled. You should get either whey or soy protein. If the source is unclear, it is very likely that the protein is derived from remnant animal parts.
I use the Vitamix blender. It's rather expensive but so worth it. I got it as a wedding gift, and it's really powerful. It crushes ice into sno-cones almost instantaneously. It's perfect for smoothies. Just make sure there is some amount of liquid so that the motor does not burn. Vitamix also carries an additional container just for dry ingredients.
I only mixed 4 spices that are Fall flavors. You can add any other typical Thanksgiving flavors that you like, such as allspice, mace or finely-powdered clove.
I use McCormick cinnamon and anise extracts. If you don't have any, you can use star anise seeds. Dry roast them and grind them finely in a mortar and pestle and do the same with cinnamon sticks.
I used a fine Microplane (spice grater) to grate the nutmeg.
For a vegan version, you can also use almond, potato or rice milk.