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Pumpkin is everywhere, thanks to the cult of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. Now you can get pumpkin in anything and everything. I wanted to create an all-natural pumpkin protein shake and after much experimenting, I’ve come up with this recipe. This is a great breakfast shake, but it also works for any meal or as a post-workout snack.

Health Benefits
Turns out, pumpkins are a super healthy and amazing food for so many reasons. Pumpkins have carotenoids, beta-carotene, and vitamin A; with their antioxidant power and free-radical fighting properties, they can cut your risk of cancer, aid eyesight, and keep your skin wrinkle-free. They are a good source of fiber to keep you full longer and aid in weight loss. They are also a great source of potassium, which helps to balance electrolytes after a workout. They also have vitamin C which can help protect your immune system. They really are a perfect fall food!

In addition to all of the benefits of pumpkin, the other ingredients are healthy too: Low-fat Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and probiotics which help with digestion and weight loss. Protein is filling and helps to build muscles, so the 34g in this shake will satisfy you for hours. Cinnamon helps to control blood sugar. Nutmeg has great detoxification properties and can help with digestion as well as improve concentration and alleviate anxiety. Chia seeds are a superfood with omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber. And vanilla also has polyphenols which reduce inflammation and fight free radicals.

Ingredients
1 container (6oz) Fage Total 0% Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1/2 cup Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin Puree
1 scoop Tera’s Whey Organic Bourbon Vanilla Protein Powder
1 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Chia Seeds
1 tsp Madhava Pure Light Agave Nectar
1 tsp Organic Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Organic Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Trader Joe’s Pure Vanilla Extract
5 ice cubes

Directions
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Pour and enjoy!

Notes
Feel free to sub out different brands, I just like to show you the brands I prefer the most; try to use all-natural and organic when possible. My protein powder is from Whole Foods. The scoop is smaller than regular protein shake scoops, so you can just use one for this recipe, or 1/2 of any regular size scoop of a brand of your choice. You can also substitute pumpkin pie spice for the spices if you prefer. I like to get my spices from a boutique spice shop and make sure they are organic. Feel free to substitute honey for agave or add more agave if you prefer a sweeter shake. The chia seeds are a great addition to add some fiber and they act as a natural thickening agent; you could also add ground flaxseed meal, oats, nuts…there’s no rules, just experiment until you find ratios you prefer. Happy pumpkin season!

Nutrition
323 calories, 34g protein, 8g fat, 32g carbs, 8g fiber

Further Exploration
You can read more about the health benefits of the ingredients at Huffington Post, Self Nutrition Data, and Nutrition.gov.

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