Hi, Fed and Fab friends! So, apparently today is National Pumpkin Day – which is bomb, because I don’t know about you, but I have always been a huge fan of pumpkin. I could easily eat an entire pumpkin pie in one sitting (with heaps and heaps of Redi-Whip on top, of course). I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin beer — and don’t even get me started on Pumpkin Spice Lattes.
While most of my pumpkin faves are loaded with sugar, fat and general yumminess, pumpkin itself is chock full of health benefits. It’s rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene, it’s low-calorie and has plenty of fiber, and a serving has more potassium than a banana. That makes it an ideal post-workout choice. If you’ve ever run a race, they most likely gave you a banana at the end, since potassium helps balance your body’s electrolytes after an intense workout. Well, it turns out that pumpkin is an even better option.
That’s why I’m so excited to share today’s post with y’all. One of my favorite workout bloggers, Lauren Gleisberg (who I talked about in my last post about fall fitness) recently posted a recipe for a pumpkin protein smoothie. Given my obsession with pumpkin, I immediately had to try it out. And oh my goodness, is it ever good!!!!
This smoothie is a great option to refuel after your workout, because it has both protein and carbs – which, in combination, help refuel your body by restoring glycogen (which is essentially the energy source your muscles use). It also works great as a mid-day snack, as the protein really helps you feel full.
Here’s the recipe, which I’ve adapted from LaurenGlesiberg.com.
Yields 1 serving:
1/4 cup pumpkin-flavored Greek yogurt (or sub plain, lowfat Greek yogurt if you can’t find pumpkin)
1/4 cup chilled pumpkin puree
1/2 ripe banana
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup ice
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Place ingredients into a blender or smoothie maker (I love my Magic Bullet!). Blend until smooth, pour into a glass and enjoy!
I’ve tried this with both plain, low-fat Greek yogurt (I love Fage) and also with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Greek Yogurt. The pumpkin yogurt added just a hint of extra deliciousness, so if you can get your hands on it, it’s definitely worth adding. Other brands I’ve seen with pumpkin-flavored Greek yogurt include Chobani, Siggi’s (which isn’t actually Greek-style, but rather Iceland-style yogurt) and Green Mountain Creamery. If you’re watching your sugar intake, you may want to stick to plain Greek yogurt, as these flavored varieties will have a little more sugar.
You could certainly sub out regular yogurt for Greek, but you’ll lose out on some of the protein this smoothie packs.
Here’s the nutrition breakdown for the recipe as detailed above:
Calories: 246; Protein: 24g; Carbs: 31g; Fat: 4g; Sugar: 17g
(Nutritional information based on estimates from MyFitnessPal.com)
This makes a giant serving. It nearly filled up my 20oz glass, so it will definitely be filling.
Beyond this tasty pumpkin smoothie, I rounded up some other pumpkin recipes that are definitely worth trying out. I start out with the healthy and move into the not-so-much. (I’m seriously eyeing up the pumpkin spice poke cake recipe – YUM!)
Paleo Pumpkin Mug “Pie” from The Paleo Mama
21 Day Fix-Approved Pumpkin “Pie” Bites from AutumnCalabrese.com
Chai Pumpkin Oatmeal from Healthy Green Kitchen
Spiced Pumpkin Seeds from MarthaStewart.com
Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins from Averie Cooks
Pumpkin Magic Cake from I Wash, You Dry
Double Pumpkin Poke Cake from Beyond Frosting
Melt In Your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies from Parent Pretty
Do you have an amazing pumpkin recipe? Share it with me in the comments below!