Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spicy Pumpkin Smoothie & Why You Should Buy Organic Pumpkins


To repeat the theme of my last post, because it's a worthy thought: I love this time of year.

Actually, not completely, because it's tax time again, and I'm none too enthused about that, but the weather is perfect for certain things that I truly love. For example: lighting the fire and pumpkin.

This spicy pumpkin smoothie was a happy accident.  I looked in the freezer for something to thicken up my smoothie, and found that someone had gotten there before me, and forgotten to re-stock.  No berries, no frozen bananas.  

But, there was a bag of frozen cooked pumpkin pieces. Why not?

Ingredients:

1 cup (approx.) frozen pumpkin pieces or puree
1 banana
1/2 - 1 tbsp nut butter (optional)
*1 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp Ascorbic Acid
tsp vanilla essence
pinch of salt
pinch of stevia (optional)

Method:

Start with the 'pulse' mode to break up the pumpkin if it's in chunks (you might need to stab the pieces with a knife if they are large).

Once the blender can handle it, blend until smooth.

Drink with a yellow or orange straw. ;) 

* If you want to make a vegan version, either use a vegetable protein powder, or coconut milk, reducing the amount of water. I have made this with coconut cream and it was very, very good, but a bit too rich.

In terms of getting your hands on frozen pumpkin, the one I used was from Shore Mariner (non-organic), but that's only because I've been lazy. It's easy enough to freeze your own. I prefer to bake it (whole pumpkin in the oven for 30-40 minutes) before chopping up into chunks, removing the seeds and skin. 

The trick to happy frozen pumpkin, is to try and remove as much air as possible from the batch before freezing. Pack the tupperware to the brim, or squeeze out the air if you're using freezer bags. You can also freeze raw pumpkin but I don't think this would make a good smoothie, and, dear lord, who needs the frustration of hacking up a raw pumpkin?

Pumpkin is, unfortunately, one of those veges that you really should get organic. It seems a bit counter-intuitive, because they have this hard skin that you don't really eat. You'd think this would protect the flesh from evil pesticides. But, no, along with other members of the squash family, pumpkins have a special skill: they suck up pesticides from the earth.  Good for the earth, but bad for pumpkin-scoffing humans.  I've written to Shore Mariner to ask if pesticides are used on their pumpkins and for some details of their testing regimes and will update this post when they reply.

Hope your weekend has been fantastic.  I have plans to finish a couple of newsletters, make some kombucha and watch 'Frozen'. Has anyone seen it?  Worth the time investment?

6 comments:

  1. I loved "Frozen" - yes, worth the time. :)

    Pumpkin smoothie; that is pure genius! I'm so limited in my fruit selections these days and get a bit sick of bananas, strawberries and oranges, so will definitely give this a go. Soon. When autumn actually kicks in here....it's still quite warm, and I'm enjoying mangos and raspberries while they last.

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    1. I'm all over the raspberries too. I find they disguise the taste of 'green' in a green smoothie (doesn't help with the look though... kind of turns it from green to 'baby poo' coloured).

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  2. Oh good grief, I got most of the way through this post thinking your pumpkin was raw. It's Friday afternoon and my brain is in weekend mode; I can't think straight. I was thinking "raw pumpkin smoothie - has Sara lost her mind?" But I see that you haven't - it's only me. That's reassuring.

    Re "Frozen" - yep, I've seen it with a six year old. I liked it, the six year old (boy) - not so much. Bit of a girl movie I suspect.

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    1. Watched 'Frozen' and loved it. And, I'm not usually a fan of cartoony musicals. I fixed the post to make it clear that the pumpkin I used was not raw. Um, yes, I am losing my mind a bit with the study and the biz, but.. that's the fun of life, huh?

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  3. This one will be added in my book of delicious smoothies. Not a real book though just a personal collection of healthy and delicious smoothies I'm making for my momma who is going through rough times after her bad teeth has been extracted. She is scheduled for a denture molding in two weeks so for now, it's all soft food and smoothies for her. Oh, and 'Frozen', great movie huh? My niece has it on replay almost everyday and you can't help but get LSS.I really love Anna's quirky character.

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    1. I know, Anna is cool... Wishing your mum all the best for healing. Smoothies are definitely the way to go, she'll feel a lot better without bad teeth. x

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