Mmm, who doesn’t like the idea of pumpkin spice? I promised myself that I would not post anything pumpkin until at least October 1st and guess what? Today is the day! I don’t know about you, but I like changing up my smoothies with seasonal flavors. And since today is officially October, it’s time for me to share my absolute favorite PUMPKIN SPICE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE!
The pumpkin is soothing, the spices are invigorating and the whole combination elevates this recipe to smoothie heaven!
I have been suggesting pumpkin to my clients for years. It has been on my meal plans in various forms, but probably my favorite way to have it is mixed up with a good protein source and yummy spices. It’s perfect for a healthy treat that you can feel good about!
Health Benefits of Pumpkin
You may only think about eating pumpkin during the fall of the year, but it actually has many potential health benefits that you might want to consider year round. Let’s take a look a just a few of the benefits that pumpkin has to offer:
1. It offers health-boosting antioxidants
Pumpkins are packed with carotenoids, helping to protect your cells against free radical damage. Like carrots, this orange fruit is rich in beta-carotene, as well as alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. After consuming beta-carotene, for instance, your body converts it into vitamin A, all while boosting overall immune function.
2. It protects your eyes
As mentioned, pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene and when consumed, you benefit from a safe source of vitamin A. In fact, when you consume just one cup of pumpkin, you benefit from nearly twice your recommended daily intake. This important vitamin helps to promote optimal vision health, reducing your risk of degenerative eye conditions, while also promoting healthy teeth and bones.
3. It boosts your fiber intake
Fiber is critical for optimal health, supporting normal bowel movements, blood sugar and even cholesterol levels. We all know fiber supports a healthy digestive system, but did you know it can also support your weight loss journey? When consuming a fiber-rich diet, you will curb hunger and avoid overeating.
4. It reduces inflammation
Offering anti-inflammatory benefits, pumpkin can help improve symptoms of arthritis. As reported in one animal study published in Pharmacological Research, researchers found pumpkin seed oil to be equally effective when compared to the pharmaceutical drug indomethacin, without the associated side effects. Whether you have a toothache or an inflamed throat, adding pumpkin to your regular diet can help reduce painful symptoms.
5. It boosts your magnesium consumption
It is estimated that up to 80 percent of Americans are not getting enough magnesium, a mineral that is used by every organ in your body. Although magnesium plays an essential role in bone and heart health, it is also found in more than 300 different enzymes. From producing energy to activating nerves and muscles, magnesium is essential.
When consuming just one ounce of pumpkin seeds, you benefit from nearly 40 percent of your daily recommended intake, just like that. Considering a deficiency can lead to anything from anxiety disorders to osteoporosis, pumpkin seeds are an easy and effective way to ensure you’re getting enough. Cooked spinach and dark chocolate are also great sources of magnesium.
Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie Recipe
Here’s the recipe for my favorite Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie!
- 1/2 Cup milk of choice (almond, coconut or cow’s, etc.)
- 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein powder of choice or 1/2 Cup plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 Cup plain canned pumpkin or pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)
- Cinnamon or Allspice to taste (I use about 1/2 tsp. or less)
- 6-8 ice cubes and a little cold water (depends on how thick you like it)
- Natural sweetener to taste (honey, stevia, maple, etc.)
- Pinch of salt
- Nutmeg – used to sprinkle on top (optional, but highly recommended)
Put all ingredients into your high speed blender (this is the one I use here) and blend for approx 30-45 seconds or until smooth. Pour into your favorite glass and sprinkle with nutmeg.
And there you have it! The perfect Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie that is loaded with fiber, anti-oxidants, protein, healthy fat and tons of vitamins and minerals. It’s perfect for breakfast or even an afternoon snack.
I can’t wait to hear what you think! Let me know if you try my recipe and please SHARE this post with your friends!
Thanks so much for reading!
You may also like “3 Delicious Morning Drinks that aren’t Coffee“
You may also like “How to Make Your Home Smell Like Williams Sonoma“