Loving the BITE: Delicious Pumpkin Smoothie


Walk into any grocery store this time of year and you’re sure to see a big pumpkin display.  Orange pyramids of winter squash just waiting to be carved – or better yet, roasted and enjoyed!  While you’ll surely want to pick one up for a Jack o’ Lantern masterpiece, go ahead and grab a couple extra baking pumpkins to get loads of antioxidants like beta-carotene in your diet.  And no, you don’t have to bake a pie.  Just use this week’s Loving the Bite recipes:

Recipes of the week: Delicious Pumpkin Smoothie


  • ½ cup roasted fresh pumpkin (choose a baking pumpkin – smaller than Jack o’ Lantern pumpkins)
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ small banana
  • ½ -1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Water/ice as needed for desired consistency


Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

*To make a perfect RECOVERY FUEL SMOOTHIE: Ensure adequate recovery carbohydrates, protein, and medium chain triglycerides after a long ride by using 1 Tbsp honey and adding ½ scoop undenatured whey protein (~10 grams) and 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil.

*To roast a pumpkin: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds and strings.  Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Poke the skin side with a fork in several places on both pieces. Place in oven and roast until soft (a fork should go through the skin and flesh with ease once it’s done). Most small baking pumpkins take about 90-120 minutes.  Once cooled, scoop out flesh and place in a sieve over a bowl to allow water to drain.

*To freeze pumpkin: Roast pumpkin. Once cooled and flesh is scooped out, puree in food processor.  Freeze in single servings.


As you can see, it’s all about pumpkins this week at Loving the Bite.  And for good reason.  Good cycling requires a healthy body.  Like other winter squash, pumpkin flesh and seeds provide:

Antioxidants: Alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.  These antioxidants will work together to fight free radicals, reduce risk of cancer, promote heart health and reduce plague formations, and preserve eye health.

Anti-inflammatory nutrients: The cell walls contain pectin, and this pectin contains components that are anti-inflammatory.  A high anti-inflammatory diet can lead to less chronic bodily inflammation which means less chronic bodily disease.  Pumpkin seeds offer their own anti-inflammatory components that may reduce arthritis.

Anti-cancer action: Specifically, a reduction in the risk of prostate cancer due to zinc and components in pumpkin seed oil.

Heart-Health Components: Pumpkin seeds contain phytoestrols which can reduce “bad” cholesterol.

Additionally, fiber, monounsatured fats, omega-3s, B-vitamins, and copper (important for energy production).

Bonus Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Remove the seeds from the pumpkin.  Wipe off excess pulp and moisture.  Spread in single layer on paper bag overnight to dry out completely. Then, place seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Roast at 160-170°F (about 75°C) for 15-20 minutes. By first allowing them to dry, then roasting at a low temperature for a short time better preserves the healthy oils and nutrients (compared to higher heat and longer roasting).

The more I work with cyclists, the more I am absolutely convinced that a diet high in foods and nutrients that combat inflammation, toxins and oxidative stress makes a huge difference in overall energy, endurance, stamina, recovery, health, metabolism and fat loss.  This week, you’ve got a delicious breakfast smoothie and delicious snack.  Loads of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.  Not bad for a holiday decoration.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.


Enjoy Your Ride

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8 Responses to “ Loving the BITE: Delicious Pumpkin Smoothie ”

  1. Kelli Myers Jennings on October 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    You’re very welcome Luanna – hope this one works out better for you!

  2. Luanna Moorewood on October 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    This looks so tasty.  I made a pumpkin smoothie once before but it didn’t include a lot of the things you have in your recipe.  Maybe that’s why it didn’t taste very good.  Just like Anita, I would like to thank you for providing us with the reasons why these ingredients are good for us.

  3. Anita on October 20, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Wonderful.  I was just thinking about what exciting recipes I could try with this year’s pumpkins.  Thank you Kelli for these recipes.  I think you are a dear for educating us all on how all these regular foods have so many benefits.

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on October 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm

      Thank you, Anita! I think that’s the key: there’s a lot of goodness for us in whole, natural, regular foods.  Hope you enjoy!

  4. DAKIR on October 20, 2011 at 8:07 am

    I like this one.  I’m going to share this with my friends for sure.  Thank You.

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on October 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm

      Thanks Dakir!  We hope you and your friend enjoy it!

  5. Jane Peters on October 20, 2011 at 7:50 am

    I never realized how much good nutrition can be found in pumpkin.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but that pumpkin smoothie recipe sounds incredible.  I can’t wait to try it.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on October 20, 2011 at 1:28 pm

      I agree with you Jane.  I never would have thought to make Pumpkin into a smoothie, but man does it look good.  We always make pumpkin seeds so that one is a given, but I know I’ll be making the smoothies as well.  Let me and Kelli know what you think of the Pumpkin smoothie.


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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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