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Healthy Christmas ginger pumpkin protein smoothie: Sugar-free holiday recipes

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Opting for a healthy ginger pumpkin smoothie just might save you from competing with Santa's waistline this holiday season! Remember that not only is this a delicious smoothie recipe, but it is a filling and healthy alternative to the sugary temptresses that are laid out before you this time of the year.

Try this delicious holiday treat instead of, or perhaps along with, a couple of cookies from that festive holiday cookie tray that is taunting you at meal time or right before bed. Smoothies come in handy just about an hour before a main meal when our cravings generally kick in because we haven't eaten in a while.

With a dash of cinnamon (an excellent health benefit for your digestive system) and pinch of ginger (also aiding in the relief of gastrointestinal distress while providing a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6 and E, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Manganese) you will have pep in your step - instead of feeling as though you've packed more junk in your trunk over the holidays.

Next, treat yourself to a generous dollop of coconut whipped cream...oh, go ahead - it's sugar-free! This way you can feel good about being able to hang in there through the cravings and eat reasonably at meal time, all without embarrassing yourself in front of the in-laws.

Ginger pumpkin protein smoothie
Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free

Blend the following ingredients (in order) until smooth:

  • 1 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin
  • 1/2-1 cup unsweetened almond milk, or other dairy-free milk
  • 1 scoop unflavored (or vanilla) protein powder (optional*)
  • 2-3 T. Agave
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg*
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger*
  • Small pinch of cloves
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 1 medium frozen banana
  • Additional ice (optional)

Add more almond milk to thin to the desired consistency.

Coconut whipped cream*

Important: Place (1) 15oz can coconut milk (do not used reduced fat) into the refrigerator to chill overnight.

• Prepare the coconut mild and mix in a bowl:
• Remove the 15 oz can of full fat coconut milk from the refrigerator.
• Turn the can upside down and open the can.
• Pour off coconut water; *set aside.
• The remains will be the separated coconut fat.
• Spoon this out into a bowl, and whisk or beat with a mixer until smooth.
• Mix in a little agave, some vanilla and/or other spices, to taste.
• Store any extra in the fridge and re-whip when ready to use.

Yields: 1 large serving of pumpkin ginger protein smoothie
Yields: 3 cups coconut whipped cream

*Tips:
• Before freezing bananas, remember to remove the peel.
• The coconut whipped cream is also excellent for other deserts in place of processed whipped toppings.
• Eating protein regularly throughout the day helps the body stay satisfied longer and curbs cravings.
• After adding the coconut whipped cream, garnish with a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg.
• The excess coconut water can be saved for later use in other recipes or simply for drinking.

From my home to yours: another favorite recipe - enjoyed with nutrition in mind.

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