This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been rephotographed and updated for quality and relevancy!
I know I’m not the only soul who thinks that all things pumpkin = delicious. Every year when pumpkin season rolls around I start adding pumpkin puree to my oatmeal, making pumpkin treats, and adding it to smoothies, just like this one!
Pumpkin is a great source of fibre, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and it’s LOADED with vitamin A… in fact just 100g of pumpkin provides 170% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A.
I think the key for delicious pumpkin recipes is also the pumpkin-pie spice mix with aromatic cinnamon, nutmeg, spicy ginger, cloves, and intense all-spice to really bring out that gorgeous pumpkin flavour.
For this smoothie I chose to combine naturally sweet banana, pineapple, and peaches (it sounds odd, but trust me, it works) to make a great smoothie base that blends perfectly with the slightly tangy, slightly earthy taste of pumpkin. Along with vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, pumpkin-pie spice, and almond milk, this smoothie becomes rich, filling, creamy, and velvety.
To add a little somethin’ somethin’ to the smoothie, I topped it with a dollop of vanilla coconut yogurt (because I was out of coconut whipped cream, which would work perfectly too!), a crumble of gluten-free graham crackers, and a little dash of cinnamon!
Cinnamon is naturally warming, stimulates circulation, and helps to regulate blood sugar levels! I never go easy on the stuff! Cinnamon has to be one of my all-time favourite spices.
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve finally been able to start eating somewhat normally again. I don’t want to complain too much, but to be honest, the first trimester of pregnancy was NOT kind to me.
Not in the slightest.
Around week 6 I started to feel sick. I thought “Ok, I can deal with this, a little nausea, morning sickness or whatever they call it, no biggie.” What I thought would be morning sickness turned into unrelenting all-day nausea and without giving TMI, at least once or twice a day I spent a good amount of time “singing” my guts out into to the porcelain throne.
As holistic as my approach to health is, when I found myself glued to my couch feeling like death had warmed over me day after day, and after trying ginger, acupressure bands, and every other natural alternative under the moon, I paid a visit to my doctor and got a prescription for Diclectin. It helped to take the edge off but definitely didn’t rid me of feeling sick, and I’m still now, at week 15 in my pregnancy, taking a lessened dose and hope to ween off soon.
Despite the sickness, feeling seriously tired, and a bit out of sorts, I am still very grateful and feel unbelievably blessed to have this little life growing inside of me (which is currently the size of an orange and very possibly sucking it’s mini thumb!!!) and I wouldn’t take it back for anything!
Also, after experiencing what I did in my first trimester, my advice to any woman who’s pregnant and struggling with sickness but wanting to eat healthy and exercise… just do the best you can, and cut yourself some slack. If just the hint of raw vegetable disgusts you (my personal experience) and all you really feel like you can stomach is chicken fingers and bread (again, my personal experience), it’s ok. Your normal appetite WILL come back and then you can load up on all the veggies, fruits, superfoods, and chia seeds your heart desires.
I’d like to give a little thanks to several pep talks from my Mom and sisters, who encouraged me that despite my crazy, unusual eating habits over the last couple of months, my baby will be just fine and I’m doing a good job.
- Smoothie Base:
- 1 scoop natural vanilla protein powder, vegan or grass-fed whey
- ½ banana, frozen
- ½ cup frozen pineapple
- ½ cup frozen peach slices
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2-3 ice cubes
- Optional Toppings:
- 2 tablespoons coconut vanilla yogurt or coconut whipped cream
- dash of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon crumbled gluten-free graham crackers
- Place all of the smoothie base ingredients into a high speed blender and blend for 1-2 minutes until smooth.
- You may add more almond milk if you prefer a thinner smoothie consistency.
- Pour into a glass and top with the optional toppings.
Have a wonderful rest of the weekend enjoying this gorgeous Fall weather!
Nutritionist in the Kitch