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A pumpkin smoothie is a frozen drink similar to a shake but made with pumpkin puree rather than ice cream. Creamier than ice-and—syrup slushies, smoothies are usually a healthier frozen drink choice than many alternatives. A pumpkin smoothie is easy to make at home and usually uses canned pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie filling as its main ingredient. Vegetarian-friendly, this smoothie can easily be made vegan friendly as well.
Although canned pumpkin is normally used, homemade pumpkin puree can be used as well. A sweetening agent, normally honey, brown sugar, or an artificial sweetener, is usually included in the smoothie when the puree is used, but molasses may be included instead. When pumpkin pie filling is chosen, however, the sweetening agent is omitted.
Whole milk, soy milk, or almond milk is also normally added to aid in the creamy texture of the drink. Alternatively, vanilla, plain, or Greek yogurt may be added. Spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, may be included for additional flavor. Normally fewer spices are included when using pie filling versus puree. Bananas are also sometimes added to dampen the strongly pumpkin taste, and orange juice can be included as well.
Other ingredients may include vanilla extract, pumpkin seeds, and cottage cheese. To increase the health benefits of the drink, flaxseed or chia seeds may be added. Spicier variations of this smoothie usually add additional spices, such as ginger and allspice.
A pumpkin smoothie must be cold upon serving but is not chilled in a refrigerator or freezer, nor is it normally served over ice. The frozen affect of the drink is obtained most often by freezing the pumpkin puree before it is blended with the other ingredients. The puree can be measured and stored in a plastic bag or freezer-proof container, or it can be placed in ice cube trays to freeze. Alternately, ice cubes or crushed ice can be pureed with the other ingredients to chill the drink. If bananas are included, they also may be sliced and frozen to serve as the cold element.
To make a pumpkin smoothie, all the ingredients are simply placed in a blender and blended until smooth. Afterward, the drink can be poured into glasses and garnished. Vanilla yogurt or whipped cream may top a pumpkin smoothie. Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or even colored sprinkles can also garnish this drink. Cinnamon sticks or crushed graham crackers may add a nice visual appeal to the beverage as well.
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