Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

pumpkin spice smoothie with whipped cream and garnished with nutmeg from betteristhenewperfect.com

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

 

I’m a pumpkin fanatic. I stock up on plain canned pumpkin puree the second it hits the shelves at the end of the summer because I use it year-round in these muffins, these donuts, and in this Pumpkin Spice Smoothie. To be honest, my children think I have a “pumpkin problem.” I wonder if that’s because I get nervous if I have any less than 10 cans in the house at a time? Oh well, I suppose I could have bigger things to worry about!


Did you know?

Technically, pumpkins are a fruit!


Health Benefits of Pumpkin Spice Smoothie 

I love the taste of pumpkin, but I also love the nutrition it offers, including the following:

  • Beta carotene, a plant compound that protects cells, gets converted to vitamin A in the body, and supports eye and skin health.

 

  • Potassium, a mineral that helps to keep blood pressure in check and regulate heart beat, among other functions. 

 

  • Fiber, which supports gut health and helps to stabilize blood glucose levels. You’d have to eat a entire cup of raw kale to get the fiber found in 1/2 cup of plain canned pumpkin puree, the amount used in Pumpkin Spice Smoothie. 

Pumpkin isn’t the only wonderful ingredient in this smoothie. When paired with milk, this delicious drink supplies 8 grams of protein, 4 grams fiber, vitamin D, and about one-third of the calcium you need in a day, and all for under 200 calories.


Did you know? 

Eating more fruits and veggies helps lower breast cancer risk


Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Delicious and nutritious pumpkin spice smoothie with fewer than 200 calories!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkinsmoothie, pumpkinspice, smoothie
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup 1% low fat milk
  • 1/2 cup plain canned pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch ground nutmeg, if desired
  • 4 teaspoons instant whipped cream, if desired

Instructions

  • Place all the ingredients except the whipped cream in a blender and blend until smooth on high speed until smooth, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Top with whipped cream and enjoy immediately.

Notes

Per serving (with whipped cream): 192 calories; 6 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 8 grams protein; 21 milligrams cholesterol; 90 milligrams sodium; 30 milligrams carbohydrate; 9 grams added sugar; 4 grams fiber; 2.3 micrograms vitamin D (90 International Units); 283 milligrams calcium; 2 milligrams iron.  

pinterest graphic for pumpkin spice smoothie with whipped cream and garnished with nutmeg from betteristhenewperfect.com

 

 

5 Stress-Free Family Meals

September is National Family Meals Month.  I’m a big fan of eating together, but I also know that even the thought of making that happen on a regular basis can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s a good idea to have 5 stress-free family meals on repeat!

young boy eating spaghetti at a table

Why Family Meals Matter

It’s no wonder why there’s an entire 30 days devoted to encouraging families to eat together more often. Experts frequently tout the benefits of family meals, including better nutrition, improved school performance, and higher self-esteem in children.

In a perfect world, spouses, partners, and kids would be home at the same time, nobody would be cranky, tired, or hormonal, and nobody would complain about the food. But we know that rarely happens.

Still, as the mother of three, it’s important to try.

Sitting down together over a meal helps kids in a number of ways, no matter how often your three year-old wanders off in search of something more interesting, your partner turns up late, or your teen turns up her nose at what’s for dinner.

family-eating-at-the-table-619142

Do you really need to eat together as a family?

Family meals help kids develop a sense of regularity and routine that could carry into later life. A study of college students suggests eating at the same time promotes better nutrition. And, eating together allows you to teach kids good table manners and expose them to new foods.

If you can’t make family meals happen as often as you like, take comfort in this: A large study that examined the effects of family dinners on children found that spending time with your kids and taking an interest in their daily lives matters most for their well-being, whether that happens during at meal times, or at other times.


Interested in more family meals with less stress?  I highly recommend lowering your standards.


5 No-Fuss Family Dinners

Keep dinner as simple as possible. Cook at home as often as you can, and don’t worry about dining out or ordering in every so often, but do make healthier choices.

Here are five healthy dinners you can have on the table in 20 minutes or less:

  • Stir-fry 8 to 12 ounces of lean ground beef or 100% ground skinless, boneless turkey breast with a large chopped onion, cumin, and salt and ground black pepper. Combine with 1 cup canned, drained black beans. Spoon the cooked meat/bean mixture onto 4 whole wheat tortillas. Top with shredded cheese, chopped tomato, lettuce, and low-fat sour cream. Or make this chili, and pair it with fruit.

Easy Beef and Bean Chili from www.betteristhenewperfect.com

  • Store-bought rotisserie chicken; salad of prewashed greens, cherry tomatoes, and olives; quick-cooking grain such as whole wheat couscous, and milk.
  • Grilled cheese or tuna melt with sliced tomato; cup of lentil soup (beans are vegetables!); fruit, and a cup of yogurt.
  • Serve Brinner (breakfast for dinner): French toast made with whole grain bread, fruit, milk; pancakes made with whole wheat flour served with fruit and milk; or an omelet prepared with cheese and leftover vegetables, with fruit, milk, whole grain toast or roll.

Kids love breakfast for dinner like these pancakes with blueberries.

  • Pizza prepared with whole grain tortillas or whole wheat Naan bread and store-bought shredded cheddar cheese; green salad; fruit.

Here are some additional family-friendly meals:

 

 

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