Yummy, healthy and filling!
Yummy, healthy and filling!

It’s autumn, and here in Vancouver you can’t walk a block without passing a cafe offering delicious Pumpkin Spice coffee drinks. The creamy, spicy aromas waft out onto the sidewalk to tempt you with their sweet, warming flavours. Yum!

Reality check to the rescue

source: Starbucks
source: Starbucks

Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks bulges with 350 calories and overflows with 50 (!) grams of sugar. That’s the sugar equivalent of more than 3 Twinkies or almost 2 Mars Bars. “Criminal,” said Charles when I relayed those nutrition facts.

If you crave the flavours of fall but want to avoid those calorie-dense, nutritionally empty coffee desserts, try this amazing, healthy Pumpkin Spice Smoothie recipe. Canned pumpkin is very high in vitamins A and K, fibre and magnesium. Frozen banana and fresh dates add natural sweetness. Avocado contributes healthy fats, while seeds, nuts and yogurt provide protein for an active lifestyle. Supplement with good-quality protein powder if you like (I use Kaizen Naturals New Zealand whey isolate).

Guilt-Free Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie “mix” or “filling” which is sweetened)
  • 3 T plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 frozen chopped banana
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 4 fresh dates, pitted
  • 3 T hemp hearts
  • 3 T chia seeds
  • 3 T ground almonds
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Ice water to desired consistency

Toss everything in the blender & purée. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Try it for breakfast with a French Press coffee!

Healthy Recipe: Guilt-Free Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Sorry Starbucks, Your PSL Doesn't Hold A Candle To This!" >