Halloween is hands down, my favorite holiday. I adore the crisp, cool morning, the leaves changing, comfort food, spooky decorations, and dressing up. It also makes me want to transform into a domestic diva. No, this is not a trick, rather a sweet treat, especially for The Husband. I don't know what comes over me, but I suddenly feel like cleaning, cooking, and doing crafts. Scary!
E is probably more excited about Halloween than Christmas, Disneyland, snow, candy, and sadly his family. As early as September he wanted to start decorating the house. Superheroes have been replaced by skeletons, goblins, witches, bats, vampires, and mummies. Last week we made a calendar for October because I wanted him to realize that even though it is October, Halloween doesn't come for another 31 days. My child doesn't really even care about the candy!! He is more excited about all the decorations and spooky critters at home and in stores. Today he asked me if we can ask Santa for a new soccer ball with a witch chasing a goblin on it. Adorable!
Do to the fact that we MUST get pumpkins wherever we go, they are rather quickly taking over my house. Being surrounded by them, I felt inspired. As you may know, I drink my Amazing Grass Amazing Meal smoothie every morning. Today I wanted to see if I could transform it into a delicious pumpkin smoothie. I guess I am sick of Starbucks having all the fun with their insanely good pumpkin spice latte (one that I seem to constantly crave). Even though this isn't a warm, cozy treat, it might just make you smile and your mornings a little yummier.
Pumpkins are not just the perfect squash to carve silly or spooky faces into, they are actually really healthy. They are packed with disease-fighting nutrients. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and both the flesh and seeds are equally nutritious. Best part, they will not hurt your waist line (unless it is in a pie) because they are low in fat and calories.
Pumpkins are high in:
Alpha-carotene and beta-carotene- these are powerful antioxidants and are pro-vitamin A carotenoids, meaning the body transforms them to vitamin A. The beta-carotene might also reverse skin damage caused by the sun and act as an anti-inflamimatory. Alpha-carotene is thought to slow the aging process and also reduce the risk of developing cataracts and prevent tumor growth.
Fiber- one-half cup serving contains 5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, protect the body from heart disease, controls blood sugar levels, promotes healthy digestion and plays a critical role in weight loss.
Vitamins C and E- the C in pumpkins boosts immunity, reduces the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, and regulates cholesterol levels. The E in pumpkins promotes healthy skin by protecting the body from sun damage and may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and certain cancers.
Potassium- aids in balancing fluid levels in the body, promotes strong bones, is necessary for energy production, and helps to control blood pressure.
*according to Jennifer Murray from Suite 101
Pumpkin Spiced Latte Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp of maple syrup
1 frozen banana
sprinkle of Pumpkin Pie Spice (I got this at Trader Joes)
* 1 scoop of Amazing Grass Amazing Chocolate Meal
*optional. I do this for my morning breakfast and love it. On the days I need an extra treat, I add some dark chocolate chips.
Also, I left out kale. I do blend it into my smoothies for added nutrients.
There are so many options you could do to add a little flare- vanilla ice cream, yogurt, chia seeds, spinach, dark chocolate....
If you make smoothies regularly, get in the habit of freezing bananas. I always have them in my freezer and they do wonders for smoothies. They make it creamy and add just the right amount of sweetness.
FYI- this smoothie without the Amazing Grass powder is only about 195 calories. With the Amazing Grass it close to 305. Not bad for a breakfast with all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Plus it keeps me satisfied (and the kids) until lunch.
Directions- combine all ingredients and BLEND baby BLEND!
You will be so happy you made this. I actually look forward to getting out of the bed in the mornings because of it.