Meatless Monday: Chocolate-PB Smoothie

The Trader Joe’s “Fearless Flyer” came in last week’s mail. Evidence that fall’s flavors have arrived, you may now purchase pumpkin bread mix, coffee, chai, cereal, pancakes/waffles (ready-made or mix), rolls, muffins, scones, ice cream, seeds, yogurt, granola, croissants, bagels, cream cheese, soup, beer, ravioli, caramels, brittle, cookies (of several pumpkin varieties), crackers, cheesecake, pie, biscotti, oil, croutons, cornbread, snack bars, butter, toaster pastries, and of course, pumpkin itself, canned, cubed, and whole, again in several varieties and colors. Pumpkin lovers, unite!

Although I like pumpkin as much as the next girl, do you think we might be overdoing it…?

And yet, while I will skip most of the above, one of my fall favorites is the Pumpkin Gingerbread Smoothie from Oh She Glows. I always have quick oats and almond milk on hand; I usually have bananas in the freezer (my kids insist on bananas but can’t devour the bunch before spots develop, hence we have lots of banana bread + frozen bananas for smoothies); add some pumpkin, a drizzle of molasses, spices, and ice, and YUM-O!

This morning I enjoyed my first pumpkin smoothie of the season. I usually stick to fruit+greens smoothies, so this one is a delicious treat. It requires remembering to soak the oats the night before (I find the overnight-soak preferable to the 1-hour soak), but it’s worth the effort. One can of TJ’s pumpkin (sole ingredient: organic pureed pumpkin) = 2 smoothies + a little leftover to mix in to a bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice and drizzled with maple syrup. As Guy doesn’t love a pumpkin smoothie (a true mystery, as Thanksgiving has not happened if pumpkin pie hasn’t yet been consumed), it’s all mine, yippee-hooray!

If you like this one, here’s another variety of oat-soaked smoothie:

Chocolate-PB Smoothie
1/4 c quick oats
4 dates, seeded and diced
1 c non-dairy milk
1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 Tbsp peanut butter (optional)
a dash of cinnamon
5 ice cubes

Soak oats and dates in milk in the fridge overnight. Combine in blender with remaining ingredients. Add additional milk as necessary to blend smooth. Makes 1 serving.

BTW, (shame on me?) I haven’t caught on to the chia craze but I add flax oil to every smoothie I make. It doesn’t affect the flavor, and it adds those healthy omega-3’s. I have chia seeds. Maybe I’ll try them tonight…

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