Indulge in pumpkin spice without loads of sugar and fat

Pumpkin spice is the crack of fall. The eyes closed, take a deep inhale, warming spice and sugar combo is down right addictive. Unhealthy holiday pumpkin-ing is fueled by Starbucks launching a gazillion dollar Pumpkin Spice Latté (PSL) campaign, and ice cream crafters releasing their seasonal flavors just when pumpkin loaf decorates the bakery case at Peet’s Coffee.

Anyone who is a pumpkin spice junkie ends up having to fight the remainder of the year to undo the damage done by routinely indulging in the seasonal favorite. It’s frustrating.

Fortunately for all of our sakes, I discovered a way to enjoy pumpkin spice without bulldozing guilt and shame.

With a little experimentation I developed a nourishing superfood smoothie that’s dressed in a costume of pumpkin spice intoxication. This creamy, seasonal treat is healthy enough for breakfast, but can second as a milkshake. Go ahead. Indulge all you want.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Makes: (1) 18-ounce smoothie

Time: 10 minutes


3/4 cup pumpkin purée

2 tablespoons Vega vanilla protein powder

1/4 medium avocado

1 tablespoon flax meal (ground flax seeds)

3 pitted prunes, soaked for 10 minutes

1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

One pinch each ground allspice, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt

2 rotations of cracked black pepper

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

6 ice cubes


In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Transfer to your favorite glass, garnish with fresh ground nutmeg and a cinnamon stick. Sip slowly!

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