Smoothies are just milkshakes with a better reputation.
Or at least they can be. Sure, they carry this yoga-pant-wearing, Whole-Food-shopping, healthier-than-thou connotation but often include sugar-laden yogurt (regular or frozen), lots of fruit (more sugar) and some commercial versions are made with smoothie mix – a base designed to extend the drink, and its profitability, with an ingredient list I suspect is quite extensive as well.
On the other end of the spectrum are veggie-based smoothies which can be quite the transition if used to the sweet tooth versions. Somehow filling my blender with spinach, celery and cucumbers in the morning not only gives me a head jump on my vegetable servings for the day but actually gives me a slight glow. Like I’m a little smarter. Nutritionally superior even.
But while my palette catches up to my gloating, I still yearn for something that bridges the gap.
While reaching for the carrot juice to thin out the latest veggie extravaganza, I spied a jar of herbal chai and the wheels started churning. What kind of smoothie could I use that in? Pumpkin seemed like a natural partner for the rich and warming spices. Add a little banana for sweetness. Top with a float of canned coconut milk and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon to add some pizazz. And just like that this Chai Pumpkin Smoothie was the bridge I’d been looking for.
- 1 cup chai concentrate
- 1 cup organic pumpkin
- ½ banana
- Splash of vanilla extract
- Hefty dash of cinnamon
- Sweeter to taste, optional
- Canned coconut milk, optional
- Place all the ingredients except for coconut milk in a blender and throw in a few ice cubes (or use frozen banana).
- Blend until thoroughly mixed.
- Poor into a glass, top with a float of canned coconut milk if desired, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!