The plan was to make a pumpkin smoothie, something seasonal, wholesome, nourishing, and yes, delicious. I pulled out the ingredients that I figured would, in some combination, result in the smoothie of my imagination: pumpkin puree, plain yogurt, low-fat milk, almond milk, honey, maple syrup, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, whole oranges, and frozen bananas. But all didn’t go down as planned. What started as a creative endeavor turned into a wrestling match yielding frothy concoctions that tasted “good for you,” but not especially “good.”
A Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
After several attempts, I abandoned my best intentions, grabbed the car keys, and high-tailed it to the supermarket for the one ingredient that I was sure would lead to success: a quart of vanilla frozen yogurt. Once back home with my frozen treat, it was only a matter of minutes before I hit the smoothie jack pot. But it wasn’t really a smoothie anymore, it was a shake. And when topped with crumbled graham cracker, it became a Pumpkin Pie Milkshake.
On the Lighter Side
The whole exercise was a reminder that sometimes there’s no substitute for sugar and cream and egg yolks. Even so, my shake comes in at under 200 calories and just 1 gram of saturated fat. And although it may not be quite as “good for you” as I’d planned, it certainly is very very good.
Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 generous cup low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt (or favorite dairy/non-dairy vanilla ice cream)
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 1 to 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 6 small (from refrigerator ice machine) or 3 conventional (from an ice cube tray) ice cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Dash nutmeg
- 1/2 graham cracker, broken into pieces
Put the milk, pumpkin puree, frozen yogurt, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, ice cubes, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a blender. Run the blender until the ingredients are frothy and smooth. Add a second tablespoon of maple syrup if more sweetness is desired. Blend again.
Pour into two glasses. Top each shake with crumbled graham cracker.