You can search the world for the best protein smoothie recipes but until you try this one, your search won't be over! This pumpkin pie protein smoothie is like the most delicious dessert that doesn't TASTE healthy, but IS healthy and you just can't believe it.
In my quest to eat more iron AND protein, a pumpkin protein smoothie seemed like the obvious choice. But little did I know you could make a smoothie that tastes exactly like pumpkin pie filling (and I LOVE pumpkin desserts).
My love affair with a protein smoothie
For the last two weeks or so, I've been drinking one of these every afternoon! I'm going through cans of pure pumpkin like there's no tomorrow.
Oh, and did I mention this is a VEGAN protein smoothie? Just use vegan protein powder and almond (or another dairy-free milk) and you've got the best vegan protein smoothie recipe you've ever had on your hands. And in your mouth, of course!
On that note, let's talk about the difference between pure pumpkin and pumpkin pie filling.
Pure pumpkin vs. pumpkin pie filling
Maybe you've noticed every recipe that calls for pure pumpkin also specifies "NOT pie filling." It's an important distinction.
Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin is just what the name suggests: It's pumpkin! Mashed, cooked, flesh, but it doesn't come from the "pumpkins" we think of when we think of Halloween (this stuff doesn't taste great). Instead, it includes a variety of other hard-skinned winter squash. This includes butternut squash, acorn squash, and spaghetti squash — you can learn more about winter squash here.
I also found this great article outlining the differences between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling more specifically, and it also says, pumpkin puree can be called: 100% pure pumpkin, pumpkin puree, solid pack pumpkin, or simply "pumpkin."
Pumpkin pie filling
Pumpkin pie filling, on the other hand, includes that pumpkin puree, but it also has spices like cinnamon and nutmeg AND it's sweetened. It is ready to go as a pie filling (hence the name!), whereas pumpkin puree can be used for a lot of things.
In the case of my pumpkin pie protein smoothie recipe, we use pumpkin puree because we are going to add the spices ourselves as well as the sweetener.
Ready to find out exactly how we do that? Here we go!
Pumpkin pie protein smoothie recipe
Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie
- ½ cup pumpkin puree not pie filling
- ⅓ cup almond milk unsweetened, or milk of your choice
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 scoop protein powder vegan (I use Vega protein in vanilla)
- ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 5 ice cubes
- a pinch cinnamon added on top before serving
- 1 tablespoon ground flax
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- Add all ingredients (except the pinch of cinnamon) to a blender. Blend until you get a pure, smooth consistency. Pour into a glass, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and enjoy!
- I've used almond milk and cow's milk for this recipe and both of them taste great!
- I love adding a tablespoon of ground flax to this protein smoothie for an extra dose of omega-3 fatty acids and it doesn't change the taste much at all — just adds a slightly nutty flavor.
- I use a cookie dough protein powder or a vanilla protein powder
So easy and so good!
I hope you love this protein smoothie as much as I do!
This pumpkin smoothie recipe was first published in 2019, but it was refreshed in 2021.