Fall is one of my favorite seasons, largely because it's the time when it finally gets a little cooler in Texas, but also because it has the really fun holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving). It's especially exciting when I get to be HOME for these holidays. Fall is a busy time for the opera and for the last few years I've been gigging on Halloween and right up to the edge of Thanksgiving.
And this fall has been super busy, so I haven't gotten to do as many fun fall activities as I'd like, though while in Syracuse I did get to visit an apple orchard and get a fall foliage fix.
Having been traveling for a while and doing all my food prep on top of a toilet and cooking in a microwave (hi-ho the glamourous life, y'all), I am happy to settle in at home and do some healthy and delicious cooking. It's hard to eat well on the road --- so many temptations to hang out with your colleagues and munch, eat late after rehearsal, and the aforementioned limitations of hotel-room cooking --- so I am buckling down and nixing booze and sweets for the month of November (except, of course, for Thanksgiving, because --- HELLO! NOT CRAZY!).
This all has a point, so bear with me. One of the things I hate about fall is the marketing madness surrounding holidays but this year, more than ever, the heretofore innocuous pumpkin. Pumpkin is a great food --- yummy, low fat, great source of fiber, potassium, and Vitamins A & C. But the marketing overkill has killed my desire for it. PUMPKIN LATTES! PUMPKIN SPICE ROOM FRESHENER! PUMPKIN FACIAL SCRUB! PUMPKIN ENEMAS!
I was done with the pumpkin before a bite ever passed my lips ... but this afternoon, as I was wondering what kind of healthy delicious smoothie to make for a snack ... there it was. PUMPKIN. And suddenly a pumpkin spice smoothie sounded really good. And it was, children, it was.
PUMPKIN SPICE SMOOTHIE
1 cup milk product of your choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (I use Whole Foods')
1 tablespoon peanut butter (I use PB2 powder; it's peanuts with the oil squeezed out and a little sugar and salt added, resulting in 85% fewer calories, but it tastes like ... peanuts.)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (you get hipster points if you roasted your own)
1-2 tbsp of sweetener or your choice (I used maple syrup)
Spices to taste (I used cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves)
Ice to taste
Toss it all in your blender ... add ice until it reaches the consistency you like ... drink it up. YUM. I'm going to guesstimate it comes in at about 325 calories, which makes it a pretty good breakfast or snack.