Baking pumpkins, Blending Pumpkins

I was on vacation in the islands, recently, and my hostess purchased a large, local pumpkin, fresh from the field.

When I arrived in the kitchen later, the pumpkin was baking at 350 degrees, for about 45 minutes. She had cut it in a few pieces, and scooped out the seeds (yes, you should save them for later to roast).

“I just love baked pumpkin!” she said. And I thought, hmm…I’m her Health Coach, and I’d never known about her love of this big orange squash. What is she going to do with it?

When it came out of the oven, the aroma was intoxicating. She cut it into smaller serving sizes and served it aside a fresh fish dinner. And added a green salad. Perfection.

The next morning, I spied that simple pumpkin in the ‘fridge. Unlike me, my friend is not a lover of cinnamon, so it sat unadorned and plain (but rich and tasty!).

I took a slice and placed it in a bowl, and added ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg (anti-inflammatory, anti-viral spices) which I do adore. Then I added a teaspoon of ground chia, (omega 3 fatty acids, protein) and a teaspoon of my hosts DIY granola. (nuts, oats, dried fruit)

Just writing this makes me crave it still. Given that there are no local pumpkins in the northeast in January, I plan to head to my best produce market today and find me a pumpkin worthy of breakfast.

I then decided to give it a whirl in the blender for the other guests. I used a Be Well Sustain protein packet which I had brought along for an added breakfast boost…we were headed to tennis after all! Chia, granola, banana, and those same pumpkin pie spices helped create a dreamy pumpkin smoothie.

Recipe below. I hope it brings you to a sunny memory too!

Island Pumpkin Smoothie

1 cup baked pumpkin
1 and half cup fresh nut milk (you can substitute cow’s milk if you want)
1 banana
1 protein packet, or scoop of protein powder. Vanilla tastes best! Love this protein powder
1 tablespoon granola or a low sugar granola of choice Here’s a DIY granola
1 teaspoon ground chia seed
Big dash of cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg

Blend it all in your high speed blender!