Do you have a can of pumpkin in your pantry that you thought would just languish away until Thanksgiving? With all of the health benefits and flexibility of pumpkin, it’s time to get that can off the shelf, blow the dust off, and get busy in the kitchen.
You may be thinking “Pumpkin? But it’s summertime!”. Believe me, I get that. We have become so entrenched into thinking of pumpkin as a fall and winter ingredient that we often overlook the wonderful ways we can use this ingredient all year long. But did you know that pumpkin is actually considered a “superfood”? In fact, it is the most flexible of all super foods.
Here are just a few examples of that flexibility:
- You can substitute pumpkin for oil in cakes and brownies.
- 1/4 cup of pumpkin will take the place of an egg in a recipe.
- When you’re baking you can replace 1/2 of the butter in your favorite recipes with canned pumpkin as well.
Canned pumpkin is a great source of fiber, Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, and a whole slew of other benefits. Another great benefit is that it blends really well with other flavors, especially summertime fruits, and is good source of potassium, which my son tries to load up on following a run.
I’m about to share one of my son’s favorite smoothie recipes with you but I also want to let you know that you can go to pumpkincan.com to see lots more recipes and get more information about how and why to add pumpkin to your diet year round – not just at Thanksgiving.
Now this smoothie doesn’t taste like a pumpkin smoothie as you’d think it would. The pineapple and juice along with a bit of lemon blend seamlessly with the pumpkin to produce a tropical flavor that even my picky husband loves (more about that later in the post).
Let’s make Brady’s smoothie…
You’ll need: Libby’s Canned Pumpkin*, Nonfat Greek Yogurt (vanilla or plain), Honey (local, if possible), Pineapple chunks in juice, Lemon Juice, Milk, and Vanilla.
The Pineapple chunks and juice along with the lemon juice really bring the summer to this smoothie!
*Pumpkin is usually found on the baking aisle in most grocery stores.
Dump all of the ingredients in the blender (actual amounts are at the bottom of this post). Add 1 cup of ice and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
It will look like this.
Now, being the crafty gal that I am and knowing full well that my husband professes to not like pumpkin, I took advantage of this orange coloring and told him this was a cantaloupe smoothie. After he drank his second one, I fessed up. His response was “Wow! I was NOT expecting that to be pumpkin!”.
I sweetened his just a little bit more than mine and I think the extra sweetness mimicked a melon enough to fool him :).
Pour up into two glasses and enjoy your creamy, healthy, summer smoothie!
- ¼ cup local honey*
- ½ cup canned pumpkin
- 8 ounce chunkpineapple, with juice
- tsp vanilla
- ½ cup low fat greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- ½ cup milk (whole or 2%)
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup ice
- Combine all ingredients into a large blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Libby’s Pumpkin Blogger team and as such I’m helping to spread the word about the #PumpkinCan Campaign! As a team member, I receive product and incentives in exchange for participating in brand related activities and helping to spread the word. Stay tuned because I’m going to show you some thing to do with Pumpkin that will have you stocking your shelves!
“When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.”
~ Ralph Waldo EmersonYum