Pumpkin protein smoothie served in a glass with straw and with 3 pumpkins in the background.

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

Enjoy the flavors of pumpkin pie in this cool and creamy smoothie packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients and made with 8 simple ingredients.

It’s a perfect power-up and pick-me-up when you don’t want to deal with cooking and need something satisfying.

Make it in minutes for a convenient grab-and-go breakfast or snack.

WHY THIS WORKS

  • Healthy with nutrient-dense ingredients: pumpkin, chia seeds, milk, banana, and peanut butter.
  • Filling with 23 grams of protein and 22 grams of fiber for this specific recipe
  • Rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fat
  • Natural sweet flavor from banana
  • Minimal ingredients
  • Can be made in advance
  • Easy to customize with your choice of milk and adjust the amount of flavors
  • Ready to drink in minutes

INGREDIENTS & NUTRITION

Ingredients for pumpkin protein smoothie: pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, canned pumpkin, chia seeds, maple syrup, milk, peanut butter, banana. Three ornamental pumpkins (not in the ingredients) were added in the background.

Canned pumpkin

Nutritious and low in calories, a half cup of canned pumpkin contains 4 grams of fiber. The USDA recommends 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed to promote gut and heart health.

Canned pumpkin is also a good source of iron at 2 milligrams for a 1/2 cup serving. The recommended intakes for iron range from 8-15 milligrams, depending on age and gender.

Additionally, pumpkins are chockful of vitamins A and E.

Vitamin A supports the body’s growth and development and the immune system. Vitamin E is also involved in immune function and is an important nutrient for the eyes, brain, blood, and skin.

Banana

Rich in nutrients and natural sweetness, bananas are a good source of potassium–a mineral and electrolyte that helps the body send nerve signals and regulate fluids and muscle contraction.

Bananas are also high in vitamin B6–a vitamin that supports metabolism, cognitive development, and the creation of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the body) and red blood cells.

What’s more, bananas are a great source of vitamin C–a key nutrient and antioxidant that promotes immune function, collagen production, and absorption of iron from plant-based foods.

For this recipe, I’m using chopped frozen bananas. If you are using a fresh banana, add ice to give it a cool and refreshing taste.

Chia seeds

Tiny yet mighty, chia seeds contain an impressive amount of nutrients and antioxidants. A 2-tablespoon (1-ounce) serving contains about 4-5 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber.

Chia seeds are loaded with omega-3 fat, an essential nutrient linked to a lower risk for heart disease. In addition, they’re high in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus–minerals that play a role in bone and muscle health.

Peanut butter

Low in carb, peanut butter has a good amount of protein at about 7-8 grams in a 2-tablespoon serving.

Peanut butter is also filled with heart-healthy fat, fiber, and nutrients such as magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 chemical processes in the body. Phosphorus helps cells make energy and supports bone health. Lastly, zinc is essential for protein production, metabolism, and immune health.

Unfortunately, peanut butter brands today add ingredients such as sugar and trans fats, reducing the nutritional value. Select a peanut butter that’s naturally made with no additives and with little to no salt.

You could also use almond butter which is just as nutritious.

Milk

Add your choice of milk. Milk typically contains calcium and other nutrients but not all milk is created the same. Check the nutrition label to see which milk best meets your needs.

For something like a smoothie that serves as a convenient breakfast for me, I want my milk to have sustenance.

Since I have an intolerance to cow’s milk, I usually choose soy or pea milk as they come closest to the protein content of cow’s milk.

If the milk you use has a lower protein content and you want to boost the protein in this smoothie or other smoothies, consider adding a protein powder. Or you may be ok with just the way it is.

Even if you go with lower-protein milk, you still have protein coming from chia seeds and peanut butter.

Other ingredients to make pumpkin protein smoothie

  • Pumpkin pie spice – Common spices in this blend include allspice, cinnamon, clove, ginger, and nutmeg.
  • Vanilla
  • Maple syrup – optional. I don’t typically add sweeteners to smoothies, but I add a little to this smoothie recipe to enhance the pumpkin pie taste.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT USED

Any blender should be able to work for this recipe. Blenders are a must-have for making smoothies–especially if you hate to cook for breakfast.

Moreover, smoothies are a foolproof, customizable, and convenient way to consume an appreciable amount of nutrients.

If you’re shopping for a blender, consider all the things you’d like to make with it and the accessories they come with.

Some blenders are sold with a travel cup and other accessories such as a peanut butter maker.

They range in price, but you can find a quality blender that won’t break the bank.

STEPS

Ingredients in a blender and 3 pumpkins in the background.

It doesn’t get any easier than this. Just add all the ingredients into the blender, blend, pour in a cup, and enjoy your pumpkin protein smoothie!

For beginner smoothie makers, check with your blender’s instructions to see if there’s an order to how ingredients should be added to the blender.

FAQ

Can I make this smoothie in advance?

If you’re making any kind of chia smoothie in advance, note that chia seeds will expand and absorb liquid.

The smoothie will be thicker after refrigerating overnight. You might like that consistency.
Otherwise, a simple solution is to blend it with a little more milk to thin it out.

Best way to freeze bananas?

The best way to freeze bananas is to peel, chop into 1-inch chunks, and store them in freezer-safe bags or containers.

I like to do this right when I get home from the grocery store so they’re ready to go when it’s time to make smoothies.

To avoid a giant clump of chopped bananas sticking together in the freezer do any of the following listed below. The key is to not overpack your bag or container with bananas.

– Use small snack-size plastic bags for single servings of bananas

– To freeze bananas in larger plastic bags, space out the bananas in a single layer and lay them flat in the freezer. This will make it easier to break apart when it’s time to make your smoothie. A quart-size plastic bag will hold 3 medium bananas this way.

– To freeze bananas in large containers, consider using wax paper to separate layers of bananas.

Nonetheless, if you prefer not to deal with chopping and freezing bananas, use a fresh banana and add ice to the smoothie.

Can I freeze canned pumpkin?

To freeze canned pumpkin, try any of the following methods:

– Measure out the amount you need for a recipe and place it in small freezer-safe bags or containers.

– If you’re using large bags or containers, make space around the individually portioned pumpkin servings.

– Freeze canned pumpkin in ice cube trays

Will chia seeds make me poop?

Yes. Chia seeds can help with regularity due to their high fiber content. A 2-tablespoon serving can have 8-10 grams of fiber.

Overdoing it on fiber is not a good idea as it may cause digestive issues. As such experts recommend a moderate intake of no more than 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds per day.

What can I use in place of pumpkin pie spice?

Spice blends are a handy way to add flavor to food and they save on space. However, if you don’t have pumpkin pie spice but have some of the other single spices like cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg, give those a try. Add about a 1/2 teaspoon of the spice you have on hand.

Substitute for banana?

Bananas are commonly used in smoothies because they are widely available, cheap, and give a creamy base.

However, you can use mangos, which are sweet and smooth, too. Mangos don’t have as much water as other fruits, making them a suitable substitute for bananas.

Another option is to increase the amount of pumpkin.

Avocados are also a smooth fruit, satiating, and used as a smoothie base, too. However, they are not sweet like bananas and mangos, so you’ll need to play around with the recipe and taste test.

Alternative to peanut butter or nut butter for people with allergies?

Sunflower seed butter is nut- and peanut-free and made from roasted and ground sunflower seeds. Its taste is similar to peanut butter and also contains 8g of protein in a 2-tablespoon serving.

Always check the product label to make sure that the sunflower seed butter is made in a peanut- and nut-free facility.

While allergy to sunflower seeds is rare, it is possible to be allergic to them. Check with your doctor if you’re not sure if sunflower seeds are safe for you.

Other ways to sweeten pumpkin protein smoothie?

Adding a sweetener is optional though brings out the pumpkin pie taste. If you don’t have maple syrup or don’t care to use it, try these other options:

– Honey is the closest thing to maple syrup
– Molasses is sweet and warm, with a hint of smokiness.
– Agave nectar sweetener
– 1-2 pitted and chopped dates
– Sugar – reduce the amount to 1/2 to 1 teaspoon

Pumpkin protein smoothie served in a glass with straw and 3 pumpkins in the background.

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

Delicious and creamy pumpkin smoothie is packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients, made with 8 simple ingredients, and ready in minutes. Power your mornings with the flavors of Fall in this smoothie, perfect for a grab-and-go breakfast beverage or snack.
Prep Time 5 mins
Course Breakfast, Snack
Servings 1
Calories 628 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 blender
  • 1 measuring cup if your blender doesn't have measurement marks (or eyeball the amount)
  • set of measuring spoons (or eyeball the amount)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup milk of your choice (see note)
  • 1 frozen ripe banana (or fresh banana with ice)
  • 1/2 cup ice if you're using a fresh banana
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter, nut butter, or seed butter
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 1 tsp vanilla (you may omit if your milk is already flavored)
  • Optional: 1 tbsp maple syrup

Notes

Cow milk, soy milk, and pea milk tend to have a higher protein content compared to other types of milk. Read the nutrition label to compare. If you prefer milk that is lower in protein content and want to boost the protein in this smoothie or other smoothies you make, consider adding a protein powder. 
Chia seeds absorb liquid. If you make a smoothie with chia seeds in advance, note that the texture will be thicker the next day. If you want a thinner consistency, just add a little more milk and blend. 
 
*Nutrition information is an estimate based on ingredients used. 
Keyword chia banana smoothie, protein, pumpkin

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