This time of year, many people catch Pumpkin Fever, a perfectly harmless virus kept in check only by immediate administration of pumpkin pie, or other pumpkin-rich treat.
When you’re in the kitchen baking up a batch of tasty gluten-free pumpkin muffins, or pumpkin recipe of your choice (I recommend my Pumpkin-Date Blondies, which happen to be not only delicious, but vegan, refined sugar-free, and grain-free as well) you don’t have to wait for that timer to buzz. You can get a quick and easy pumpkin fix by sipping a wonderfully refreshing Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (also vegan, refined-sugar free, and grain-free). Bonus: It’ll keep you cool while the ovens heat up the kitchen.
You can use canned or homemade pureed pumpkin in this smoothie. If you roast your own pumpkin, it’s better to chill the pumpkin puree before using it in a smoothie. Hot, fresh from the oven roasted pumpkin is deliciously tempting, a lot of mine gets directly eaten as soon as it’s done, but for smoothies, it’s much better cooled off first. In fact, the more ingredients that are pre-chilled, the frostier your smoothie will be.
You can even freeze the coconut milk. Just measure out the desired amount of coconut milk and sliced bananas and place into a freezer bag. Carefully squeeze all the air out of the bag, seal it, and lay it flat in your freezer. A thin layer of coconut milk and banana works best. Don’t squeeze too many into a bag or you’ll end up with a tropical frozen brick. When you’re ready for a smoothie, take a bag out, gently bend it to break up the contents into pieces, and pour into your blender with the other ingredients.
To make your smoothie even frostier, make ice cubes out of some of the cup of coconut water ahead of time. The ratio of coconut water ice cubes to liquid coconut water will be determined by how well your blender handles ice.
- 1 cup coconut water (without added sugar)
- 5-6 (40 grams) Deglet Noor dates, pitted
- 1 tablespoon shelled hemp seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated if possible)
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (canned or homemade)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk (cooking kind, not coconut milk beverage)
- 1/2 cup frozen sliced bananas
- Put the coconut water, dates, hemp seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg into a blender jar. A high-speed blender works best. For a BlendTec, press the WHOLE JUICE button. For others, blend until smooth. If your blender is not very powerful, you may need to chop and/or soak the dates first.
- Add the pumpkin, coconut milk, and banana slices. Press the SMOOTHIE button, or blend until smooth.
- Serve as is, or top with whipped/chilled coconut cream, coconut cream froth, or your favorite gluten-free gingersnaps or graham crackers.
Be creative and add toppings to your Pumpkin Pie Smoothie. Chilled/whipped coconut cream is a classic vegan whipped cream replacement, but did you ever try Coconut Cream Froth?
I discovered Coconut Cream Froth one day when I didn’t chill my canned coconut cream far enough ahead in advance. It’s light, airy, and delicious, and will make you look like a vegan master chef.
You’ll need coconut cream, canned or UHT. Make sure there are no added gums or stabilizers. Pour it into a container with a tight fitting lid and extra room for shaking. Shake well, let it settle a bit, and a light frothy foam will rise to the top or stick to the lid. Like frothed milk for a latte.
Dee-lish! Makes me want to whip up a hot pumpkin drink just so I can top it with Coconut Cream Froth.
To give your Pumpkin Pie Smoothie a real pumpkin pie vibe, crumble some gluten-free gingersnaps or graham crackers on the top for a crust-like crunch. I’m not sure which gluten-free cookies are best. I generally try to avoid sugar, and now grains as well. If you have a favorite gluten-free cookie brand or recipe, especially grain-free or refined sugar-free, please share.