Quick Fall Recipe: Amazing {& Healthy} Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Over the past couple of September weeks the weather has definitely transitioned. The sun is still shining strong, but it seems like over night we went from the hot summer air that hugs your skin to the cool crisp breeze that is such a sweet compliment to warm rays.

Well, what welcomes fall better than pumpkin?? Not much. Even Starbucks boasted that they brought back the adored Pumpkin Spice Latte early this year! So, this morning I had a craving and was inspired to make a pumpkin pie smoothie. AND let me tell you it was AMAZING. I thought, “This is the perfect thing to put up on the blog this morning!!”

Ingredients:

2 frozen bananas

1/4 c of pumpkin puree

2 & 1/2 c unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

1 Tbsp coconut sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

(makes 2 large smoothies)

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Give it a try! Hope you enjoy it as much as my hubby and I did this morning!

Sweet Tooth Secret Weapon

It happens to all of us…some more frequent than others…but, sooner or later, it happens…the attack of the sweet tooth. Dun-dun-dun.

Maybe you are like me, and chocolate – luscious, dark, pure, delicious chocolate – makes you weak in the knees.

It is challenging being health conscious and vegan to find quality, wholesome & dairy free chocolate. Not to mention, that typical store bought chocolate is loaded with processed sugar, milk fat, preservatives & other processed ingredients.

Question – Do you ever wonder why you urgently crave sweets or chocolate? Do you ever wonder what the heck is going on in your body when you indulge in the sweet treat your co-worker brought in for an office birthday, or splurge on the $10 box of candy at the movie theater and chow down? I do. So, being my curious self, I did some research, and here’s what I discovered:

Serotonin is the body’s natural feel-good brain chemical. Sugar raises the serotonin level in our brain, which causes a chemical high mentally, and that, in turn, results in a lifted mood. Ever have a rough day and demand chocolate like a baby screams for a pacifier? Just me? Anyways…

This is a momentary high! Eventually excess sugar consumption, especially processed white and brown granules, and varieties of glucose, fructose & sucrose, will throw the body’s natural serotonin balance off, and even lessen the body’s natural production of serotonin, as your brain becomes addicted to getting the serotonin high artificially. No thank you. (source)

Aside from this, there is a laundry list of negative effects that refined sugar has on the human body, including: speeding the aging process, free radical formation in the bloodstream, suppression of immune system, depleting the body’s natural nutrient stores, toxemia in pregnancy, fueling cancer cells & much, much more. (source)

Someone help a girl conquer the attack of the sweet tooth with something that won’t ravage my body!!

Enter: CHOCOHOLISTIC.

You may have heard that I have a knack for winning free things lately. And you may remember that I attended the CT Veg Fest last weekend, and that my favorite item was Chocoholistic. Well, guess who won a free box of Chocoholistic chocolates…Me! And y’all should know more about it.

Kenzie Harrick, creator of KHolistic & Chocoholistic, sent me a sweet handmade package of her delicious chocolates, and I was THRILLED to receive it!

Cute little package.

They come 9 in a pack…some were obviously eaten at this point. Couldn’t resist.

Kenzie describes her product this way: “The only chocolate you can eat everyday that will improve your health while you eat it!” Conquering a sweet craving, while boosting my health? That is my kind of chocolate.

Savor, I will. Or did, actually.

Chocholistic redeems the true value of chocolate. As we can learn from Chocoholistic’s website, chocolate eaten the right way can powerfully support the immune system, be anti-aging, be a happy “medicine”, support weight loss, provided non-stimulant energy, and promote longevity! These chocolates are raw, herbal, organic, sugar free, nut free, soy free, dairy free, corn free, wheat & gluten free, non-GMO and are chock full of superfoods. Some of the ingredients include:

Cacao – supports heart health, relieves stress, relaxes muscles, lowers blood pressure, has anti-inflammatory functions, & is highest food in antioxidants, which boosts immune system and fights aging.

Chia Seeds – great Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio, supreme energy food, contributes to mental health, bone health, breast health & prenatal health.

Coconut Oil – antimicrobial oil that kills unwanted bacteria, viruses & parasites, a fast absorbing fat that does not affect the waistline, lowers cholesterol & triglycerides, provides energy & boosts immune system.

Passion Flower – soothing mood booster that calms anxiety, promotes happiness, helps eliminate stress & promotes good sleep.

Reishi – medicinal mushroom known for outrageous immune support & helping the body return to homeostasis so it can operate at optimal efficiency. It has a variety of vitamins & minerals. (source)

Could you tell they are hiding all that good stuff in there?! Sneaky buggers.

Wondering how they taste? YUMMY. You bite into the handmade morsel and it hits your tongue with the deep taste of pure cacao, with hints of herbal notes and the perfect amount of sweetness. It also has an enjoyable slight grittiness that adds a perfect texture. It pairs well with morning coffee, afternoon tea, wine after dinner…and anything anywhere in between.

I so enjoyed experimenting with different ways of enjoying this chocolate treat. Here are some of my faves:

In a smoothie!! (2 bananas, 1.5c blueberries, 2c almond milk, 1c spinach, 1tbsp flax seed meal, 2 coarsely chopped Chocoholisitic chocolates and blend for 2 smoothies!)

Grainy cracker topped with almond butter and shaved Chocoholistic chocolate. Fun late night snack.

Keep a look out for more from the talented Kenzie Harrick & Chocoholistic…like the new Goji Superberry flavor!

Oh, and you’re welcome for your new sweet tooth secret weapon. 🙂

Do you have any fun healthy treats that you go to when you are in need of the sweet?? Do share, friends!