Starting work before the sunrise has always been a norm in my house. That means coffee is a must. But breakfast? Not so much. My stomach is not ready to digest that early in the morning, but inevitably by mid-morning, I'm starving. Too late for breakfast at that point, and too early for lunch.
My solution? Mixed fruit smoothies. They have turned into my go-to mid-morning "meal." I like to make them the night before and store in the fridge so I don't come up with an excuse to reach for something unhealthy in my pantry instead.
This time of year I love to make a pumpkin smoothie. Not only is this pumpkin smoothie delicious, it has a lot of added health benefits. Did you know:
- Pumpkin has loads of Vitamin A: Important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction and helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly
- Pumpkins contain antioxidants, which can neutralize free radicals, stopping them from damaging your cells
- Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients (Vit A, Vit E, & Vit C) that can boost your immune system.
- Pumpkin is high in carotenoids, compounds that can function as antioxidants. This allows them to neutralize free radicals, which may protect against certain cancers.
- 1 banana (frozen if possible)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. almond butter
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg)
Put all ingredients into your mixer and blend until smooth. Top with whipped cream or a splash of vanilla creamer and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Meghan Griech is the publisher of Macaroni Kid Upper Bucks, Pa.
Want to see more smoothie recipes? Don't miss Smoothies: 3 Recipes to Keep Busy Families Eating Healthy from Macaroni Kid EATS!