Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Pumpkin was probably my first ever favorite pie and it still ranks pretty high on the list. Aren’t you excited to see all the pumpkin recipes out now? I for one, can’t get enough of them…and I will have no problem eating pumpkin “whatever” until winter.

Pumpkin to me is very much like the white potato. It gets a bad rap because it is usually paired with things that aren’t as healthy…like cream cheese frosting and ice cream. However, pumpkin is actually one of the healthiest foods that you can eat – very much like it’s orange friend the sweet potato. Both are very rich in antioxidants including beta-carotene (which gives them the orange color) and vitamins A and C. It also has lots of fiber and potassium. The vitamins A, C and zinc are great for your skin, too. So,just like the potato – eat your pumpkin – just try to eat it in the healthy form every once in a while. Plus, I always say, if you are going to have a dessert it is great if you can include some type of nutrition among the sugar and butter. I am not a nutritionist so I could be totally off on that, but I like that whole school of thought:-)

So this smoothie is a great option for an afternoon snack and a great treat for the kiddos when they get off the bus. I wanted it to have some pumpkin pie flavor so not only did I use the pumpkin pie filling, but I also added some graham crackers right into the blender with the other ingredients. The cracker kind of melts right into the smoothie and gives it a little different texture. I like it.

I use non-fat plain yogurt and add my own sweetness with the honey and the pumpkin pie filling is already pretty sweet. I have to admit, I normally would not use the filling because I like to spice and sweeten things myself, but my store only had the filling left so that is what I bought. It is still not a bad option. Oh yes, and Libby’s pumpkin is the best (right mom?)

So try this smoothie today – it is a great one for fall. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup pumpkin pie filling
  • ½ cup plain non-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 graham crackers
  • 1 good handful of ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in the food processor and blend well until the ice cubes are completely crushed and blended into the smoothie.

Healthy things my kids love – homemade applesauce and Camelbaks

When there are healthy things that my girls really love, I tend to love them too.  Applesauce is something that my mother always made us growing up and now she makes it for the grandkids.  If you have never had homemade applesauce you are really missing out.  It’s nothing like the stuff you buy in a jar at the store.  Nothing.   It’s also easy peasy to make – which is why I love it even more.  The most tedious part of making it is running it through the food mill (or a strainer if you don’t have a food mill.)  Still, that’s not even very hard.

Here is another great secret about making applesauce.  Does your grocery store have marked down produce sitting off by it’s lonesome in shame in a dark corner?  Do you ever look at it?  Sometimes I’m like – Huh?  It usually looks perfectly good to me – and it usually is still fine.  It might not be at it’s peak, but if you slow cook it, roast it or grill it, very often you will never know the difference – cross my heart. Plus, it’s usually at least half the price of the regular priced fruit and veggies… So, when I want to make applesauce I head straight for this rack and grab several of the packs of fruit.  I will usually get more than just apples, too.  I am pretty sure you can  throw in any fruit that you can get your hands on.   The sauce in the picture actually has bananas (that were a bit overripe), pears and a peach.  The pear might give it a hint of grittiness, but the banana makes it a bit creamy. You could also add strawberries or even some mango – yum.

Another thing that my kids love are their Camelbak Mini M.U.L.E.’s  We like to go on hikes and ride bikes and we find that if we  keep the kids hydrated and fed throughout the trip they can pretty much keep up.  Jim always carries his own Camelbak and they love drinking out of it.  So, as they got a bit older we decided we would get them each their own.   It was actually a great present for Grammy and Grandpa to get them for the holidays.

Now when we go on hikes or bike rides they can get a drink when they would like and it’s easy for them to grab their own little snack.  They feel like explorers with them strapped to their backs and they each have their own cool colors (pink for Taylor and blue for Ella.)  They are a lot smaller than a regular backpack so you can’t store tons of stuff in it, but things like a snack, sunglasses and maybe a hat can all fit in there perfectly fine.  Plus, as most Camelbak products, they are made really well.  Now our hikes and rides last a lot longer and are much happier:-)

This is my oldest daughter, Ella with her Camelback.  We are at Duke Gardens and this is my birthday weekend.  I always choose to go here for my birthday:-)  It’s one of my favorite places.  Oh, by the way, don’t you love Ella’s color blocking??

So, back to this applesauce.  I should also tell you there is no need to add any sugar to it.  I might add some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, but other than that, its pure fruit.  If you have never made it at home – I urge you to try it.  Honestly, it just couldn’t be  easier to make and your kids will eat it like ice cream – I promise!

Crock-pot Applesauce

6-8 Apples – any variety you have

Cut and core the apples, leaving the skin on and throw into the Crock-pot

Add any additional fruits you want to try (pears, banana, peaches), but I usually have at least 50 percent apples

Cook on low for 6 hours

Let cool and run through a food mill or a mesh strainer to get rid of the skins.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice to taste.

Enjoy!

Note- the opinions on the Camelbak’s are my own.  This is not a sponsored or paid post by the maker’s of Camelbak.