Every year, fall doesn’t really feel like fall to me until I’ve had my chai. For some people, it’s the pumpkin spice latte that marks the turn of the season. But once those leaves start to turn and the air takes on a chill, I am all about the spicy sweet warmth of the chai.
I will admit that this year I’ve also been all about the pumpkin. From pumpkin butter, to cake, to cereal, to pumpkin mac (oh yes, folks, there is a mac), to half a dozen other applications, it seems I too have caught the pumpkin bug.
After Halloween passed, I momentarily wondered if the time for pumpkin had gone as well. But of course not! What would the Thanksgiving table be without pumpkin pie? So I’ve continued to indulge myself pumpkinly (it’s an adverb now too!), giving myself through Thanksgiving to do so—at least publicly. You know, dignity and such.
One of my favorite indulgences this season has brought my old and new autumnal obsessions together in beautiful, straw-sippable harmony. Behold: the Pumpkin Chai Smoothie.
It’s thick and creamy, with an equal balance of pumpkin and banana, a hint of vanilla, and a dose of warm seasonal spices. Next to an actual mug of chai, it’s the perfect comforting afternoon pick-me-up. Well, that is until a certain little copper-headed kid decides he wants a sip and then sucks down the entire last half of your smoothie. It’s a good thing this recipe makes two.
This smoothie combines the warm spices of chai with quintessentially-autumn pumpkin for a deliciously creamy fall treat. If you have a favorite chai spice blend (or chai masala), feel free to substitute 1 teaspoon for the spices listed in the recipe.
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 frozen bananas (peel and cut into chunks before freezing)
- 2 pitted medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds*
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Pinch of ground cloves
- Pinch of ground black pepper
- Punch of ground turmeric (optional, but nice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup water
- Add all the ingredients to the jar of a blender. Blend on high until completely smooth.