This delicious and brilliantly coloured pumpkin spice smoothie with cranberries is perfect as a Christmassy treat.
As autumn blends into the Christmas season, I love the way the contents of my supermarket trolley reflects the colours of the trees outside. As pumpkins, squash and gourds have come into season, rich shades of orange abound. Time for pumpkin and squash with everything! This pumpkin (or butternut) spiced smoothie has a glorious cheerful colour which will brighten up a dull morning, with the sweetness of the roasted butternut tempered by the tartness of gloriously red berries. Bright cranberries are one of the delights of Christmas, and it’s such a shame to only see them on our plates once a year next to the turkey.
Butternut squash is one of my favourite ingredients; once peeled, chopped (with the aid of a good heavy sharp knife) and roasted, the flavours become concentrated and the flesh caramelised and sweet. It is the perfect addition to salads, wraps, dips, bakes, omelettes and pasta sauces. Once cooked you can freeze it, but it loses some texture so once defrosted it is better reheated, or puréed with other ingredients. I also like it raw; the trick is to grate it which makes it easier to chew, or you can juice it. For this recipe I roasted the squash with a sprinkling of Biscoff or speculoos mixed spice blend, or you can use your favourite spice blend; they all vary massively – I’m not a fan of either too much cinnamon or nutmeg, which some people love.
I find you can use squash and pumpkin interchangeably – I prefer the flavour of squash and the fact that they are generally smaller (and thus easier to carry home from the supermarket) means that Ed and I get through them faster, and crucially before they go off!
If you are not used to green, or other veggie containing, smoothies this pumpkin spiced smoothie with cranberries is a really good first step to establishing the habit of adding a portion of vegetables to your glass and eating vegetables for breakfast. My mantra for a healthy diet is to concentrate on the good stuff – namely veggies – and the less good stuff will look after itself. The flavour is all about the spice, rather than the pumpkin which does not stand out, or seem strange at breakfast time, but its sweetness is necessary to offset the cranberries’ acidity.
This brilliantly coloured smoothie with the secret ingredient of spiced pumpkin is perfect as an autumnal or Christmas treat.
- 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash (or pumpkin)
- 1/2 cup cranberries
- 1 cup grapes
- 1 tbs ground linseeds or chia seeds
- 200 ml small glass orange juice
Chill all the ingredients overnight, or freeze the grapes
Place all the ingredients into a blender and whizz until smooth.
Add a little water if needed to get the desired consistency.
If you get a taste for smoothies, keep a box of ingredients in the freezer. With a good blender chunks of banana, pineapple, stone fruit and individual berries and grapes can all be whizzed up from frozen for your breakfast. Whizzed frozen banana is especially thick and creamy, and by itself makes and excellent ice cream. A stick blender should be enough to whizz soft fruit with a few frozen additions.