Pumpkin Power - Spice Up your Fall with this Healthy Smoothie

In the hot summer months things like watermelon and fresh strawberry smoothies sound amazing after a long run. Refreshing and cold. But, as the weather cools down and the leaves start to change our cravings tend to veer towards warmer, spicier flavors. Hence the reason pumpkin spice has become the quintessential fall flavor in America.

The scientific response that our bodies have to this flavor in sweet treats has actually programmed us to associate it with a specific time of year and crave it. According to Catherine Franssen, assistant professor of psychology and director of the neurostudies minor at Longwood University in Virginia, "Our sense of smell  and 80% of flavor is actually smell -- has its own superhighway directly to the limbic system in your brain, which is the center of our emotional memory”.

Unfortunately, scratching your pumpkin spice itch with store bought products also comes with a whopping amount of sugar and not a lot of nutritional value. Almost none of them contain any actual pumpkin, and that’s where the goodness is at. A cup of pumpkin has more potassium than a banana, with 564 milligrams, compared to 422 in a banana.1 Potassium is a mineral salt, or electrolyte, and it can help restore your muscles delicate balance after a long run and prevent cramping.

Get your fix this fall without the sugar crash! Try this delicious pumpkin spice smoothie recipe perfect to help you refuel and indulge in your fall cravings at the same time.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup frozen pumpkin
  • 1/2 of frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (to taste)

Tip: Freeze the pumpkin puree in an ice cube tray and pop out a cup full of the cubes when ready to blend.

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