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 a very important distinction. Any time a recipe calls for either pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie filling, it's really important to use what the recipe calls for...these aren't interchangeable with one another.
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 or more, to taste
- 1 scoop protein powder vegan (I use Vega protein in vanilla)
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or more, to taste)
- 5 ice cubes
- a pinch cinnamon added on top before serving
- 1 tablespoon ground flax
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- Greek yogurt or other yogurt for added creaminess
- 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!
By the way, I also have a new page on my site with a bunch of helpful links. It has links to my social profiles, LTK, Amazon Storefront, etc. There's NO pressure to shop from any of these links. But if you're curious about the products I use, etc., that's where you'll find them. As always, I appreciate your support SO much!
This pumpkin smoothie recipe was first published in 2019, but it was refreshed in 2021.
Pumpkin Protein Smoothie: FAQs
Hi! It's me, in 2023, and I'm adding some helpful FAQs about pumpkin smoothies in case there are any questions you have that the original blog post doesn't cover.
Why is pumpkin puree recommended over pumpkin pie filling for this smoothie?
Pumpkin puree is just pure mashed pumpkin without any added sweeteners or spices. This allows you to control the sweetness and flavor of the smoothie, unlike the pie filling which is already sweetened and spiced. A can of pure pumpkin should literally just have one ingredient: pumpkin. Whereas you'll notice on a can of pumpkin pie filling, the second ingredient is usually sugar!
What are the nutritional benefits of pumpkin puree?
Along with it tasting great, one of the reasons I love this pumpkin protein smoothie so much is because of the nutritional goodness in pumpkin!
Pumpkin puree is a good source of:
- Iron: Vital for the production of red blood cells and transporting oxygen in the body.
- Magnesium: Essential for bone health, energy production, and muscle function.
- Vitamin A: Good for vision and skin health.
- Fiber: Aids in digestion and satiety.
- Vitamin C: Immune system support.
- Potassium: Supports heart health.
Why add flax and hemp seeds to the smoothie?
They are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids! Flax adds a slightly nutty flavor without altering the pumpkin pie taste.
Can I substitute the vegan protein powder with another type?
You bet. I first made this years ago using Vega protein (which I still love). Over the years, I've made it with several other kinds of protein powders, including whey, which isn't vegan.