It is unfortunate that pumpkins often show up in recipes that are high in fat or sugar and low in nutritional value, like pumpkin pie and pumpkin ravioli. This gives the impression that pumpkins are unhealthy, when they are actually great for you! They are high in antioxidants, which help strengthen our immune system and help neutralize free radicals. Eating foods high in antioxidants can help prevent anything from the common cold to cancer. In addition, pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which is good for maintaining healthy bones. If you are using fresh pumpkin for this smoothie, roast the pumpkin seeds with a little salt at 350F for about 30 minutes.
Makes 4 cups
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned with no sugar added, or fresh)
- 1 carrot diced
- 1/2 cup of chopped kale, about 2-3 leaves (optional)
- 2 cups apple juice or apple cider (no sugar added)
- 1/2 cup plain soymilk (use vanilla soymilk for a sweeter tasting smoothie)
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
Steam the carrots and kale together until soft (the kale is optional but it adds a super boost of Vitamin A and K to your smoothie). Let carrot and kale cool to room temperature. Using a blender, blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. *If your carrot and kale were not cooled to room temperature before blending, you may want to chill the smoothie in the fridge for 30 minutes before drinking.