Apparently I’m all about the seasonal recipes lately and I’m totally owning it!
Isn’t it funny how sometimes the most unplanned things end up turning out the best? This smoothie was never meant to make it on the blog. I randomly made it for breakfast one day because a) we were low on food and b) I remembered that I still had two cans of pumpkin in the pantry from last fall and wanted to use it in something besides a baked good.
Cans are perfect for when you need some produce in a pinch by the way. I think they get a bad rap for being nutritionally sub-par, but in reality some vegetables are actually more nutritious after having been cooked/processed.
A few of my favorite canned vegetable staples are:
Beans (garbanzo, black, and pinto)
Diced tomatoes for soups, chilis, marinara sauce, and a stand-in for pizza sauce
Corn (when out of season) for burrito bowls and Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes
Pumpkin for adding to oatmeal, smoothies and muffins/quick breads
What else would you add to this list?
You guys know that I’m a huge proponent for keeping a well-stocked pantry because it makes weeknight cooking a million times easier and can be a lifesaver when you run out of fresh produce but still want to make a balanced meal.
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So back to this smoothie… I knew I had made something similar to this in the past, but I cannot for the life of me remember exactly what I put in it. I rummaged through the fridge to find anything that I thought would pair well with the pumpkin and here’s what I came up with:
Milk for the liquid component. Use your favorite! I used 1%.
Frozen banana, because in my opinion, no smoothie is complete without it. This is what makes smoothies extra creamy and it also adds a little bit of natural sweetness.
Fresh figs because I needed to use these up ASAP before they went bad (do not procrastinate with the figs you guys)
PB Love Co cinnamon almond butter for fat, protein and flavor
Hemp hearts for more protein, texture and because in all honesty, smoothies are the opposite of photogenic without something on top, especially when they are pale orange in color
Cinnamon because I love it and seem to put it on almost every breakfast food out there
The result is thick and creamy, has a serving of orange vegetables (always impressive at breakfast) and to be honest, kind of tastes like dessert. Let me know if you give it a try!
Pumpkin & Fig Smoothie
Author: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
Yield: 1 serving | Prep time: 10 minutes
1/2 large frozen banana
3 fresh figs, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp cinnamon almond butter (see note)
1 cup milk
2-3 ice cubes
1 Tbsp hemp hearts
Cinnamon to garnish
Add banana, figs, pumpkin, almond butter, milk and ice to a blender and blend on high until very smooth.
Pour into a glass, then top with the hemp hearts and a shake of cinnamon. Serve immediately.
If you can’t find a cinnamon almond butter (or don’t want to buy one specifically for this purpose), add regular almond butter + 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon.
I keep a gallon-sized zip top bag in my freezer for bananas that get too brown to eat raw. Just peel, break in half, and throw it in the bag to freeze. They make for the best smoothie add-in for extra creaminess and natural sweetness. You can also use in baked goods! It’s way easier to use them if you peel before freezing.