September 13, 2014

Healthy Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie

This morning I woke up feeling hot. Sadly, it wasn’t hot like “damn I look good,” but more of “damn it, Colorado, I turned the heat on because it snowed Thursday night but now it’s going to be 70 today so I should have had the A/C on to sleep.” The weather here is so flaky! (But I still love it.)

I decided I wanted a smoothie for breakfast, so first I checked through my arsenal of random samples to see what protein powders I had and could use up… but I ended up mixing, tasting, and discarding all three. Ugh, I hate the taste of most protein powders! I settled on my go-to, Optimum Nutrition’s Any Whey, which I like because it’s completely flavorless so you can put it into anything. However, I’m almost out and realized this has now been discontinued – anyone have recommendations?

I was almost going to make Ashley’s yummy-sounding pumpkin spice latte smoothie, but decided at the last minute to change things up. I didn’t really want to have coffee, since I want to try to get to bed super early tonight, and halfway through putting the ingredients together, I decided to really change it up. Instead of doing a version of a pumpkin spice latte, which I don’t usually even drink, I thought I’d do a pumpkin smoothie that reminds me of my one of my favorite fall desserts: Pioneer Woman’s Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake, which I usually only make once a year at Thanksgiving. This cheesecake is pretty darn indulgent, but in smoothie mode, I managed to lighten it up quite a bit.

First, make sure that you’re getting pure pumpkin and not one of those pre-mixed pumpkin pie fillings that comes loaded with spices and sugar. Then I used cottage cheese to mimic the cream cheese of a cheesecake, while also adding protein. I used a graham cracker for extra fiber/body and to mimic a cheesecake crust, but if you’re feeling extra virtuous, you could substitute two tablespoons of ground flaxseed. The banana provides all the sugar you need, but if you’re feeling really indulgent, you could also drizzle it with a bit of caramel after blending 😉 Enjoy!

Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie

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Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie

Healthy Recipe: Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie

Loosely based on Pioneer Woman's Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake, this indulgent-tasting but low-fat smoothie is perfect for warm fall mornings and clocks in at 270 calories.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Breakfast, Smoothie
Servings 1 glass


  • 1/2 whole frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup skim milk (I love Fairlife!)
  • 1 whole graham cracker
  • 1/3 cup nonfat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg


  • Put all ingredients into blender and blend thoroughly.
  • Add water or ice cubes as needed to get your preferred consistency - some like it thin and others like it milkshake-thick!


Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie Nutrition
Despite not having protein powder, this recipe still has a whopping 17 grams of protein. It is a bit high in sugar, but that primarily comes from the banana, pumpkin, and milk. There is a good amount of fiber, which, along with the protein, will help keep you full. And it has a ton of Vitamin A!

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