Everyone loves to hate on pumpkin spice-flavored beverages, but it's time you face the facts: These orange-tinted, cinnamony sips spread joy every autumn and, despite the "basic" label, can taste really good.
So this season, leave your preconceptions at the door and try whipping up this mouth-watering pumpkin spice smoothie, created by Kim Rose, R.D.N., an in-house registered dietitian at Splendid Spoon. Whether you're team PSL or have always been a hater, this pie-like beverage will plant you firmly in the pro-pumpkin camp.
A blend of just three ingredients — water, pumpkin puree, and dairy-free pumpkin spice creamer — this heart-warming smoothie is dairy-free and chock-full of nutrients. For starters, pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A, a nutrient that plays a key role in supporting normal vision, maintaining a strong immune system, and helping the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs function properly, according to the National Institutes of Health. By incorporating a quarter-cup of the gourd into the bevvie, you'll score 475 micrograms of vitamin A — nearly 68 percent of the recommended dietary allowance, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Plus, the orange squash adds 1.5 grams of fiber — which has tons of health benefits, such as keeping your digestion regular. While those couple of grams account for just 5 percent of the RDA for the nutrient, the tasty drink will at least help you get one step closer to meeting your daily fiber goal.
Thanks to the pumpkin smoothie's simplicity, you also have countless options to jazz it up as your tastebuds see fit. To give the drink a stronger kick of those warming spices, add a dash or two of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, or cloves into the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Sneak in some veg by adding a little bit of zucchini, spinach, or cauliflower, or boost the protein content by adding your favorite vanilla or unflavored protein powder. Better yet, top off the blend with a swirl of whipped cream, a sprinkling of crushed graham crackers, and a drizzle of melted chocolate for a luxuriously sweet drink. It's the smoothie-milkshake mash-up you didn't know you needed this season.
But as you've likely learned from past years, canned pumpkin starts flying off supermarket shelves when the first leaf drops. So if you plan on whipping up a pumpkin smoothie at any point this autumn, do yourself a favor and stock up now on enough ingredients to make the delicious concoction all season long. Trust, it's worth the pantry space. (Next up: These Pumpkin Spice Mini Muffins Are the Perfectly Sized Snack)
3-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Makes: 1 smoothie
Total time: 3 minutes
1 handful of ice cubes
1/2 cup water
Place ice, water, pumpkin spice almond milk creamer, and pumpkin puree into blender. Blend until smooth, pour in glass, and enjoy.