Although the weather is still warm here at our Hope4Cancer locations, much of the United States is transitioning from summer to fall.
In recent years, a “pumpkin spice” food trend has emerged and fall has brought an onslaught of pumpkin flavored items. Popular coffee chains advertise pumpkin spice lattes each fall, but that’s just the beginning. From pumpkin spice baked goods to candies to even potato chips, it is a hard-to-avoid trend in American grocery store.
Unfortunately, many of these pumpkin-flavored items utilize artificial flavors and sugars to replicate the pumpkin flavor. Artificial flavors and sweeteners break down into highly toxic chemicals that can damage the body and contribute to disease and cancer.
Scientifically, sugar is a known cause of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and a variety of other diseases. The sugar industry has fought to change the public’s perception, and this has brought about a dangerous trend. In 2012, more than 50% of all Americans consumed half a pound of sugar each day — which adds up to a shocking 180 pounds of sugar a year! At Hope4Cancer, we strongly advise our patients to avoid sugar in all its forms because of its dangerous effects.
But here is the positive news: natural pumpkin is a welcome addition to a healthy nutrition plan! Low in fat, cholesterol and sodium, pumpkin is a great source of Vitamins A, C and E, as well as fiber, iron and magnesium. This pumpkin spice green smoothie elevates the nutritional benefits with nutritious kale and almond milk.
This fall, skip the sugary artificial pumpkin flavors and go for natural pumpkin instead. This smoothie is a delicious healthy option for breakfast, or enjoy half a serving for a light and refreshing afternoon pick-me-up.
Pumpkin Spice Green Smoothie
- 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin or canned pure pumpkin puree (ideally from a BPA-free can)
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1 slice of fresh ginger (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup water, or more as needed
- 2 large leaves of kale or turnip greens, stems removed
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1-2 pitted dates (This will be a savory smoothie; add dates if you prefer a sweeter options)
- Rinse kale or turnip greens thoroughly.
- Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Mix until smooth.
- Cool in the refrigerator or freezer before enjoying; to serve immediately, pour over ice.