Winter squash has got to be one of the most versatile vegetables out there. Sweet or savory, it pushes any dish into the extreme yumminess zone. You can roast it, puree it, chop it, stuff it, throw it in a stew, a salad, or a cake. What’s not to love?
I’ve been putting pumpkin in my cereal for breakfast every morning for a couple weeks now. It doesn’t replace my usual banana but it adds creaminess and makes every morning really taste like fall. When I saw that this week’s Fall Fest theme was pumpkin or winter squash I immediately thought “I want to do something with squash that I’ve never done before.” Before long, inspiration came from one of my favorite newly acquired kitchen gadgets: my blender! I made smoothies like crazy all summer and have kept it up this fall. Lee and I both like protein shakes after workouts and I love experimenting with different flavor combinations.
Originally, I wanted to use something like an Acorn squash or the cute little Delicatta squash I got from Beth’s last week. Alas, my schedule didn’t allow for a trip to Beth’s this week so I went with the only squash I had: a pie pumpkin I’ve been working up the courage to cook. I don’t think I’ve ever started with a real, whole pumpkin to cook before. The canned stuff is just too easy! This year, though, I saw a tutorial on Baking Bites on how to make your own pumpkin puree and I decided it was time to give it a try. It’s a great post if you’re thinking about taking on a pumpkin! The only part I had difficulty with was peeling. After cutting the pumpkin in half and scooping out the seeds, I found it easier to peel if I cut each half into even smaller chunks (each half into about 8 pieces).
Here it is, my Fall Fest Squash smoothie. I just caught onto fall fest a few weeks ago, For more information, visit A Way to Garden to find out more.
Squash Smoothie (serves 1)
1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked squash chunks – any squash, except maybe spaghetti, works!
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt (such as a 6oz yogurt cup)
1/2 cup apple cider*
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
optional: 1 teaspoon maple syrup (if you want it sweeter)
Place all ingredients in a blender. I like to start with the chunks.
Don’t forget to put the lid on the blender!
Blend on a low setting for 30-45 seconds, or until all the squash has been pulverized.
Pour into a nice, tall glass and enjoy! (I like sipping smoothies through straws)
*Use milk or your favorite non-dairy milk if you prefer more protein and creaminess. This will make the smoothie less sweet but you can always add the maple syrup! Use applesauce or soy yogurt to make this vegan.