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A delicious, healthy pumpkin spice smoothie recipe that’s great for your bod, for your autumn vibes, and for using up leftover canned pumpkin. Vegan, gluten-free, and ready in five minutes.
Why we love this recipe
This recipe first appeared in one of my columns on Serious Eats in 2011, right after Thanksgiving. According to the BBC, the pumpkin spice trend has only escalated since then — by 79% between 2011 and 2015 alone, as measured by U.S. sales.
A lot of pumpkin spice products are absurdly sweet and not great for ya, but there’s no reason that has to be the case. Pumpkin itself is packed with nutrients, cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar, and the list goes on.
This smoothie is:
- Packed with all the flavors of pumpkin pie, but not the excess fat and sugar
- Great for using up canned pumpkin
- Vegan and gluten-free
- Balanced just right to leave you feeling great
What you’ll need
Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make a healthy pumpkin spice smoothie.
- Canned pumpkin puree is perfect here. It’s easy and readily available. Freeze it in advance in an ice cube tray if you like. If you’ve made your own puree from roasted pumpkin, that’s great too of course. If the consistency is thinner than canned pumpkin, you may not need quite as much almond milk.
- Frozen banana is a genius ingredient for perfecting the texture of this smoothie and many others. It also contributes sweetness. You won’t get a big hit of banana flavor — just enough to round out the profile of the pumpkin and the spices.
- I love using Medjool dates as a smoothie sweetener since they have both a gentle caramel-like flavor and all the fiber of a whole food. If you have a high-speed blender, you can just pit them and toss them in whole. If you don’t, chop them before adding for a smoother result. Maple syrup is also a fine choice.
- A word about the spices: You can use 3/4 teaspoon of a pumpkin pie spice blend instead of the ground spices listed here if you like. And feel free to add 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger to the list if you like. I’m not always a fan, so I left it out — but it’s usually a component of pumpkin pie spice.
How to make it
Here’s what you’ll do to make this smoothie. You can see all the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.
- Add the pumpkin puree, banana, and dates to the blender. If you’re using a high-speed blender, you can pretty much drop everything in whole (after pitting the dates). If not, slice the banana and chop the dates fairly finely. If you like, you can freeze the pumpkin puree in ice cube trays before adding.
- Pour in the almond milk.
- Add the spices.
- Blend until perfectly smooth. That’s it!
Expert tips and FAQs
Start with a sugar pumpkin (these are smaller and more round than a pumpkin you’d carve into a jack-o’-lantern, and the flesh is sweeter and less woody).
Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the center. Carefully cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh from the center. (You can reserve the seeds to roast.) Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment for easy clean-up and lay the pumpkin halves cut-side down. Roast until tender throughout, likely 45 to 60 minutes depending on size.
When cool enough to handle, scoop flesh into a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until perfectly smooth.
Most pumpkin spice blends are a mixture of warming spices. Try two to three parts cinnamon to one part each nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and clove.
For the best texture and flavor, we prefer our smoothies blended up right before drinking. It only takes a few minutes, especially if you’ve prepped the ingredients in advance. Some people make smoothies the night before and keep them in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for the next morning. If you’re in the habit of doing that with other smoothies, you could do it with this one, too.
More favorite pumpkin recipes
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or purchased), frozen if you like
- 1 medium frozen banana
- 1 cup almond milk ( homemade or purchased)
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted, or 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- Combine all ingredients in blender and puree until perfectly smooth.
- You can freeze the pumpkin puree in an ice cube tray in advance if you like.
- If using a standard blender and not a high-speed one, slice the banana and finely chop the dates.
- If using homemade pumpkin puree, you may need to adjust the liquid ratio. As always, add more or less liquid to suit your taste.
- Instead of the ground spices listed, you could use 3/4 teaspoon of a prepared pumpkin spice blend.
- I haven't listed ground ginger here because I don't always love it, but you can add 1/8 teaspoon to the mix if you like. Most pumpkin spice blends include it.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 239Total Fat: 4.4gCarbohydrates: 50.7gFiber: 8.3gProtein: 4g