Pumpkin Smoothie

What. is. up?

I was just about to tell you all about the person I’m mad at, the situations I’m frustrated with, and things I’m worried over.  Thats lame though, and really, I don’t think you wanna hear about it.

Instead, I’ll tell you this…

Love well today.  Be grateful for the sunshine.  Delight in the clouds.  Rest in the truth that you are loved.  Share your heart with the people around you.  Be vulnerable enough to real talk a couple of conversations.  Walk into your fear.  Confront what challenges you.  Tell five people you appreciate them.  Find meaning in the silence.
Go for a walk.  Crunch fallen leaves under your feet.  Drink water.  Don’t beat yourself up.  And make a smoothie.

A pumpkin smoothie, of course.  Super simple and full of good for you ingredients.

Literally, it takes less than five minutes to make this smoothie.  All the ingredients blend perfectly into a cold, fall beverage without the guilt (or cost) of a pumpkin frappe.  Winning.

Happy Friday!

Don’t forget to give the next person you see a high five/fist bump… whichever you prefer.

Pumpkin Smoothie

Adapted from Lululemon Blog

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (you can also use vanilla)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • Toasted pecans, optional

Directions

  1. Place pumpkin, banana, protein powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and almond milk in a blender with a few ice cubes.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour smoothie into a glass.  Top with cinnamon and toast pecans.
  3. Now drink it like nobody’s business.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Truth:  I’ve been trying to think up ways to get out of doing school assignments.  These ideas center around bribing my teachers with baked goods.  Unfortunately, these ideas will most likely never come to fruition because I’m too self-conscious to actually do that.  I don’t talk much to my professors so I have visions of them looking at me strangely and asking if I’m even in the class.  It would get uncomfortable.  I would turn bright red like I always do when I’m nervous and embarrassed.  My palms would be sweating.  That makes things awkward.

Truth:  I have tried to bribe a teacher with baked goods before.  I was in high school, my senior year, and I was taking Government.  I had very little idea about what was going on in the class.  Everyone else seemed to get it.  I sat in the back.  Stayed quiet.  I went to study sessions before tests and I brought bags of homemade chocolate chip cookies.  I liked baking.  My teacher liked eating cookies.  He had the power to give me an A.  It was a natural progression.  A win-win situation.

Truth: I doubt that the above story has any actual truth behind my grade in that class.  Just so you know.  Cramming the night before the test may have helped too.

Truth: Bribing isn’t good.  It will get you no where because it’s not honest.

Question:  Is it different if you’re just offering tasty treats to people who look like they could use a little sugar while they’re grading?

No?  Thats not different?  You sure?

Fine, forget the bribes.  Or the offerings.  However you’d like to phrase that.

Lets just talk about another truth.

Truth:  These pumpkin whoopie pies are one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.  I’m not exaggerating.  I love them.  And if I didn’t have really good self control, I would have eaten them all.

The first time I made these was last October.  My friends and I were having a wine and cheese party at my house.  I made these as a little sweet bites for people to munch on after they had enough cheese.  Lets just say, that at the end of the night we had leftovers of everything except these.

People went crazy for these pumpkin whoopie pies.  The pumpkin cakes are light and delicate, full of spices, but not too sweet.  They are sandwiching a filling of smooth, creamy mascarpone cheese slightly sweetened with powdered sugar and flavored with vanilla.  The combination of the two is divine.

I don’t enjoy when desserts are overly sweet.  These have a perfect balance of sweetness, with warmth from the spices, and comfort from the familiar taste of pumpkin.

These playful sandwiches will make you smile, they might make you giggle with excitement, and if you’re trying to bribe someone with these, they might even get you what you want.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Recipe slightly adapted from Baked Bakery via Martha Stewart

Yields: about 20  pumpkin whoopie pies

Ingredients

For the pumpkin whoopie cakes

 

  • 11/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ginger
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cloves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 11/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the mascarpone filling

  • 1  8 oz. container of mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

  1. To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare two sheet pans with parchment paper, a silpat liner, or non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and spices.  Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil.  Whisk in pumpkin puree and then add in the egg.  Whisk until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
  5. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart.
  6. Transfer to oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for about 5 minutes on pan, then transfer to a cooling rack.
  8. To make the filling: sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto a piece of parchment paper.
  9. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat mascarpone cheese until fluffy.  Add in powdered sugar and vanilla.  Mix until combined.
  10. Transfer to a piping bag and snip the the end of the pastry bag.*
  11. Once the cakes are cooled completely, pipe the filling onto half of the cakes.  Top those with the other half, creating little sandwiches.
  12. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.

*If you do not have a pastry bag, you can use a plastic sandwich bag.  Just fill the bag with filling and snip one end off.