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Nutritious pumpkin smoothie with yoghurt and chia seeds

You guys, it is dark out. Dark, dark, dark. The darkness has taken over my brain. Today was one of those days where it just didn’t get light. Got up in the dark, went to school in the grey, came home in grey, then back to dark. My ‘office’, as it were, is also our kitchen table, which is pushed up against a large south-facing window. I sat here trying to write for ages. I’d glance out the window – dark. I’d look at the clock on my computer – 2pm. Glance out the window – darker. Look at the clock on my computer – 2:15pm. Is that too early for gin? Cause it’s sure dark enough for gin. The darkness makes me feel anxious. Like I’m running out of time, even though there’s still plenty of day left.  I don’t like it one bit, and we’ve still got weeks to go before the shortest day. Ugh.

I think that the weekend after American Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a downward slide into the holidays. I have a couple of rules for myself as far as that goes: 1. No Christmas music before December 1st (I have already broken that rule). 2. No watching Christmas movies before December 1st (I know what I’ll be doing on Saturday!), and 3. Eat as light as possible for as long as possible. Or December 15th, whichever comes first.

I’ve you’ve still got pumpkin puree kicking around, here’s a good way to use it up. These pumpkin smoothies are light, tasty, and packed full of nutrients. It’s like a pumpkin pie you can drink for breakfast. Try swapping out the blackstrap molasses for pomegranate molasses to fancy it up, or, add a handful spinach (I’m using frozen spinach in my smoothies these days) to get some extra greens in your day.

Nutritious pumpkin smoothie with yoghurt and chia seeds

One year ago: Pannkakor
Two years ago: Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding

Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe:

Use gluten-free oats if gluten is an issue for you, or skip the oats and replace the water with milk (dairy or otherwise) if you prefer.

Makes 2 medium smoothies, or one large. I drank both of these after shooting the photos.

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2 Tbsp oats
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 cup cold water
1/2 large banana
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup plain low-fat yoghurt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp blackstrap molasses
2 tsp fresh grated ginger (or 1 tsp ground ginger powder)
8 ice cubes

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Combine the oats, chia seeds, and water in the base of your blender, and soak for about 20 minutes (you can skip this step if you’re in a hurry, but the texture won’t be quite as smooth). Add everything else, and blend until smooth. Pour into one or two glasses, and drink immediately.

Pumpkin, and other yellow fleshed winter squash, are jam packed full of carotenes, which is the compound ultimately responsible for their colour, and also is a pre-cursor to Vitamin A (you need that so you can see). Pumpkin also contains a good dose of fibre, potassium, vitamin C, and manganese. Chia seeds are a concentrated source of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), are rich in dietary fiber. They are also an excellent source of essential minerals such as phosphorous, manganese, calcium, sodium and potassium. Yoghurt is a great source of calcium, vitamin B12, and protein, to name a few. The live bacterial culture is very beneficial for digestive health.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012

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