T’is the season for all things pumpkin. And even if it’s not technically pumpkin season when you read this post, in my book, it is ALWAYS pumpkin season.
So get your morning coffee in with this delicious healthy pumpkin spice latte smoothie recipe made with frozen banana, pumpkin puree, frozen cauliflower (YUP, YOU READ THAT RIGHT), coffee, protein powder, and a hint of Manuka honey. This is one of my go-to smoothie recipes post-workout when I need something to replenish sore muscles. And note, even if you hit snooze on the alarm and skip the workout all together, this recipe is the perfect way to start the day!
This smoothie is lightly sweetened with a frozen banana and a touch of Manuka honey, and together, that combination is unbeatable. The banana provides thickness and a touch of sweetener, and while the Manuka honey also provides a touch of sweetness, it happens to be a superfood that is part of my everyday life. For the last 5+ years, my go-to brand has been Wedderspoon — and that’s not changing any time soon.
If you aren’t familiar with Manuka honey, that’s about to change. Manuka honey is native to New Zealand, and what makes it different from other honey, is it’s antiviral, antimicrobial, and antioxidant benefits. Wedderspoon’s Manuka honey is independently tested to meet or exceed the MPI standards for authentic Manuka honey (which means you aren’t getting any faux Manuka). kFactor is pure Manuka honey that is raw and unpasteurized, Non-GMO Project Verified & free of any glyphosate, preservatives, or added ingredients. In essence, you really do get what you pay for.
I know some of you are trying to reduce your sweetener intake by cutting out things like bananas and honey from your diet. And I totally get that, but unless you have an issue that prevents you from enjoying nature’s sweeteners (fruit and honey), I would encourage you to indulge. For one, bananas are a great source of energy and potassium. And Manuka honey is a superfood, known for so many wellness benefits. Do a little research and you’ll see. In previous posts, I mentioned needing to ween off sugar when I healed from my eating disorder, and I want to be specific, and remind you that it was REFINED SUGAR that I needed to cut back on consuming — not because any foods are bad or good (I don’t assign values to food), it’s simply that refined sugars made me have the urge to binge. Natural sweeteners, like fruits and Manuka honey, not only keep my cravings at bay, they allow me to enjoy sweet treats!
Here are ingredients you’ll need to make my pumpkin spice latte smoothie. Of course, you can feel free to change things up to your liking, but in general, I suggest trying to stick to the ratios listed in the recipe to ensure that the smoothie turns out thick and creamy.
Coffee: I make a large pot of coffee every morning and I just save the extra coffee so that I have enough to make this smoothie. So you don’t need to brew an extra pot of coffee to make this recipe, just make EXTRA when you brew your daily pot. Another option is to simply purchase a cold brew coffee from your local grocery store to use in this recipe!
Almond milk (or milk of choice): feel free to use any milk you’d like in this smoothie recipe. Some fun, alternative options include coconut milk, oat milk, hemp milk, and soy milk, and you can even use regular milk for a boost of protein.
Manuka honey: Like I said above, Manuka honey is not only a superfood, it is absolutely delicious. I use it in many of my baking recipes, but it’s also fantastic in smoothies, like this one! Other fun ways to use Manuka is in a homemade face mask, but I’ll save that secret for another day, another blog post!
Pumpkin Puree: When you go to the store to buy your ingredients, make sure you are purchasing pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling (which is filled with lots of sugar and likely other ingredients you can’t pronounce). Pumpkin puree is simply pureed pumpkin, and that’s all you need.
Frozen banana: I always use frozen bananas in my smoothies! They are packed with potassium and such a great source of natural energy. Want to omit it? Go for it. Substitute for anything you like!
Frozen cauliflower: I know what some of you are thinking, why in the world would you put cauliflower in your smoothie? I’ll tell you. One, it doesn’t taste like anything – it’s tasteless. But, it’s a very easy way to sneak in your daily servings of veggies, and it adds so much creaminess to your recipes — they get perfectly thick! If you don’t have frozen cauliflower, other great alternatives are frozen butternut squash and frozen zucchini. And yes, I am talking about RAW veggies. You don’t need to cook them first.
Pumpkin pie spice: I always purchase pumpkin pie spice from the grocery store, but if you don’t have any, you can make your own. Pumpkin pie spice is cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, nutmeg, and ground ginger. Because I don’t feel like mixing together five different spices, I prefer to buy it already made. Call me lazy. Or just smart.
Protein powder: Ahhh, protein powder. Everyone has their own taste in protein powder, some people opting for sweeter versions and others running away from protein powders that have any added sweetness. What ever your preference, I do recommend using SOMETHING, because smoothies are the perfect opportunity to get extra protein in with little effort. You can do plain collagen, flavored collagen, plant based protein powders, etc. I always love this recipe with a plant-based vanilla protein powder that’s NOT too sweet. This one is my all time favorite these days!
Make sure you use frozen fruits and veggies. Why? Because you want to have a perfectly cold smoothie. If you must use room temp fruits and veggies, be sure to add ice cubes to the smoothie. Do what you can, don’t stress over it. I always keep a silicone Stasher bag full of frozen bananas in my fridge just for smoothies!
Don’t be afraid to add more liquid if your smoothie is too thick or won’t fully blend. High powered blenders tend to blend frozen fruit and veggies much better, so if you have a regular or personal size blender, you may need to add more milk. And of course, most high speed blenders come with a blending stick, which helps tremendously when making smoothies.
I recommend starting your blender on low speed, then gradually increasing to high speed. Doing it this way, vs. starting on high speed, is the best way to ensure creaminess!
Don’t get stuck to recipes. Making a smoothie that is perfect for your own tastebuds is a personal thing. Mix and match ingredients. For instance, not a protein powder person? That’s ok. Perhaps add some chia seeds or hemp hearts for extra protein, fiber, and to keep you feeling full all morning.
Okay, enough rambling from me. Go make the recipe. I hope you guys love it, and if you make it, be sure to leave a comment for me below and tag me on Instagram so I can repost!
Photography by Yoga Of Cooking
I’d love to see what you made - tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!