Happy Autumn Equinox!!! Or Mabon or Harvest Home or just plain Fall! Whatever you call it, Wednesday is the official end of summer and the beginning of the cooler, harvest season. I'll miss the 100-degree temps of summer (seriously, I love the heat!), the crazy humidity, and the comfy flip-flops.
I often view Fall as a prelude to the hellish Winter ahead. But I'm trying to learn to love this season for what it is, rather than spending the whole Autumn dreading the next season. It's this whole "live in the now" thing I'm trying to do. One way I can remember to appreciate Fall is through through the bounty of Fall produce, like hard squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin. I only allow myself to cook pumpkin in the Fall and Winter so it remains a special treat.
Tonight, I had pumpkin two ways — one super-healthy and one sorta-sinful. Let's start with sinful first, shall we? Check out these Vanilla Spice Cupcakes with Pumpkin Buttercream:
These are definitely going in the cookbook, so I can't divulge the recipe. But the frosting contains pureed pumpkin courtesy of my friend Lindsay, who gave me several containers that she'd cooked down from a whole pumpkin and then frozen last season. Of course, canned pumpkin puree works perfectly here as well.
The cupcakes were delicious, but if you're looking for a healthier way to get your pumpkin fix, check out this creamy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:
I had some leftover pureed pumpkin from the cupcake frosting, so I tossed it into the blender with a frozen banana and some other stuff and voila! Instant (and healthy) pumpkin pie in a glass. I'm posting the easy-peasy recipe below. Hope y'all have a Happy Equinox! I won't be posting on Wednesday night because I've got a bad-ass party (Best of Memphis party! Holla!) to attend, but I'll return on Thursday.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
1 frozen banana, broken into about 5 small pieces
1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup soymilk
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp. hemp protein powder (I used Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein)
Dash of cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground ginger, and ground cloves
Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend. Enjoy.