I think this was the year that my favourite season changed, from summer to autumn. Not only is it the most beautiful season, I truly believe that fall flavours are the best — it’s the time of year I feel most inspired in the kitchen, and always come up with tons of new recipes. If you’ve been with me for awhile, you know that I love to add unique ingredients to my smoothies. I drink smoothies and fresh juices a lot — it’s is the easiest way I can make sure I’m properly nourished, even when I’m super busy. But, I get bored easily, so I never make the same smoothie more than a few times!
This fall, I’ve been really into making my own pumpkin puree (it’s easy, and I tell you how I do it in the post!). It’s so much better than store-bought. One day when I was experimenting, I tried some in a smoothie, combined with sweet and creamy persimmon, and spicy fall flavours like fresh ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. This is one of my favourite smoothies yet — it tastes like an indulgent treat, but it’s brimming with healthy, nourishing ingredients!
There are 2 different varieties of persimmons — which I actually didn’t know until hunting for produce for this recipe! Sweet persimmons are round and flat on the bottom, and they’re lighter in colour than the other variety, which are just simply called persimmons (or they might also be called hachiya). Persimmons (or hachiya) are richer in colour, taller, and more of a cone shape — you also can’t eat them until they’re really squishy. And I mean really squishy — at the point you would think other fruit had spoiled. If you eat one before it’s properly ripened, it’s too high in tannins and it makes your mouth feel really… dry and fuzzy. Haha. That’s the best way I can describe it! Like that feeling your mouth gets from having too many glasses of a really heavy red wine (and the subsequent purple teeth!).
The moral of the story is — make sure to use sweet persimmons for this recipe! Sweet persimmons are loaded with fibre, vitamins and antioxidants that help to keep your lungs, colon and bones healthy. They also have a wonderfully sweet, creamy texture and help to balance the spicy flavours of this smoothie. Some people liken the taste of a persimmon to a date, but the texture is completely different.
My Spicy Pumpkin Persimmon Smoothie is loaded amazing-for-you ingredients. It’s very high in vitamin A and beta-carotene (a powerful antioxidant), thanks to the pumpkin and persimmon. Health benefits of eating pumpkin include improved heart and eye health, lower blood pressure and higher immunity against colds and disease. The fresh ginger and classic fall spices in this recipe also boast a wide array of health benefits and medicinal, healing qualities. So, next time you’re craving a pumpkin dessert, try whipping up this smoothie instead — it will totally satisfy your craving, and nourish your body at the same time! It actually reminds me of a delicious Pumpkin Trifle that my boyfriend’s Mom makes for the holidays.
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN PUREE
First, if this isn’t an option for you don’t worry — just go buy a good can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!), and skip this section.
Making your own pumpkin puree is the best, and it’s so easy! First, you’ll need to find some pie pumpkins — they’re the small, sweet variety. I have the best luck at farmer’s markets. The photo below shows you the size of a pie pumpkin compared to an apple, for example.
To begin, preheat your oven to 350°F. Start by removing the pumpkin stem, then cut the pumpkin in half, down the middle. Remove the seeds and pulp (reserve the seeds if you want to roast them up!). Then, drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the insides of the pumpkin, and spread evenly over the flesh. Season lightly with salt. Then, place the pumpkin halves skin up on a baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, allow the pumpkin halves to cool completely before removing the flesh with a spoon, into your Vitamix (or similar), or food processor. Then, blend until smooth. You may need to add a little bit of water to get a smooth blend.
The puree will keep refrigerated for about a week. Personally, I make a big batch (I roast 2 – 3 pumpkin at a time), then freeze it in small batches. It freezes and thaws very well!
SPICY PUMPKIN PERSIMMON SMOOTHIE
Yield: 2 cups (16 oz)
• 1 cup frozen bananas
• 2/3 pumpkin puree
• 1 sweet persimmon
• 1/4 cup coconut milk
• 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice (just a squeeze)
• 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
• 1 tsp fresh, minced ginger
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp ground cloves
* Organic produce is preferable
• Crushed ginger snap cookies
• Coconut flakes
• Star anise
• Cinnamon stick
Peel the persimmon, and chop into small pieces. Mince ginger. Add all of the other ingredients to your Vitamix (or similar) and blend until smooth.
Garnish is totally optional — but I thought it looked really pretty with with crushed ginger snap cookies, coconut flakes, star anise and a cinnamon stick, or a fun straw! My favourite ginger snaps are these ones. Serve, and enjoy!
[yumprint-recipe id=’1′]P.S. – For this post, I used a new tool that (I hope) makes it easy for you to print and save my recipes! I’d love to hear your feedback on it — please let me know how it works for you.
What are you guys using your pumpkin puree for? I’m sure this isn’t first, or the the last recipe you’ll see involving pumpkin this fall, but I always strive to incorporate unique, seasonal ingredients into my recipes! If you try my Spicy Pumpkin Persimmon Smoothie, please report back. Leave me a comment, tag me on social media, or use the hashtag #justinecelinarecipes!
This recipe is part of a Fall Recipe Roundup I created for Little Blue Canoe. For my other favourite fall recipes, head over to the LBC blog!
Thank you to The Calgary Herald for featuring this recipe.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and contains my genuine thoughts and recommendations. JustineCelina uses affiliate and referral links, which allow me to receive a small commission when you make a purchase through one of my links. Your purchases help to support JustineCelina.com!