Pumpkin Smoothie

This creamy pumpkin smoothie tastes like pie…but it’s loads healthier! This tasty drink features yogurt, fruit and pumpkin spice. Ready for pumpkin season? We’re here for it! Many of the season’s recipes are sugar loaded: pumpkin cookies, cakes, and of course good old pumpkin pie. But why not enjoy all the flavors in a healthy and delicious way? This Pumpkin Smoothie is creamy and full of pumpkin-spiced flavor: and made with Greek yogurt and fruit! It’s a deliciously cozy way to usher in the season…without the sugar high. It’s also packed with protein from the yogurt. Our son Larson was very into this one (especially sipping it out of his new pumpkin mug.) Bring on the pumpkin! Ingredients in this pumpkin smoothie This pumpkin smoothie is full of good-for-you ingredients. It’s also got a drizzle of added maple syrup to make it just sweet enough that it feels like a treat. Here are the ingredients in this tasty smoothie: Pumpkin puree: Make sure not to use pumpkin pie filling! You’ll just need plain unsweetened pumpkin puree. If you do have pumpkin pie filling, omit the spices and maple syrup, then add to taste. Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt adds a creamy […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This creamy pumpkin smoothie tastes like pie…but it’s loads healthier! This tasty drink features yogurt, fruit and pumpkin spice.

Pumpkin smoothie

Ready for pumpkin season? We’re here for it! Many of the season’s recipes are sugar loaded: pumpkin cookies, cakes, and of course good old pumpkin pie. But why not enjoy all the flavors in a healthy and delicious way? This Pumpkin Smoothie is creamy and full of pumpkin-spiced flavor: and made with Greek yogurt and fruit! It’s a deliciously cozy way to usher in the season…without the sugar high. It’s also packed with protein from the yogurt. Our son Larson was very into this one (especially sipping it out of his new pumpkin mug.) Bring on the pumpkin!

Ingredients in this pumpkin smoothie

This pumpkin smoothie is full of good-for-you ingredients. It’s also got a drizzle of added maple syrup to make it just sweet enough that it feels like a treat. Here are the ingredients in this tasty smoothie:

  • Pumpkin puree: Make sure not to use pumpkin pie filling! You’ll just need plain unsweetened pumpkin puree. If you do have pumpkin pie filling, omit the spices and maple syrup, then add to taste.
  • Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt adds a creamy body and loads on the protein. It also provides probiotics for gut-health. You can also use any type of plain yogurt.
  • Banana: No need to freeze your banana! Use it room temperature, and it helps to add creaminess.
  • Apple: Apple also adds texture and body.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: This brings in the magic! Use store-bought or our homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice blend.
  • Maple syrup: Adds the final sweetness: you’ll need this to combat the bitterness of the pumpkin.
Pumpkin smoothie

Blending up the perfect smoothie

This pumpkin smoothie has just the right texture using Greek yogurt and pumpkin puree as the main liquid components. But here’s a note if your smoothie doesn’t start to blend right away:

  • Place all the liquid items into your blender first. This helps the blades not get stuck when you start to blend.
  • If necessary, add a splash or milk or water to your smoothie to help it blend. Whether you’ll need it depends on the consistency of your yogurt and how powerful your blender is.

Variations and add-ins!

This pumpkin smoothie tastes pretty great as is. But you can mix it up if you like! Here are a few ideas for other add ins for this smoothie:

How to make a pumpkin smoothie

Pumpkin smoothie topping ideas

Want to take this pumpkin smoothie over the top? If you’re serving it for guests for a fall brunch, it could be fun to step it up a bit. Here are some ideas for toppings: let us know what other ideas you have!

  • Granola: Add healthy maple pecan granola for a tasty treat!
  • Chopped pecans or walnuts: A few chopped nuts look like lovely confetti.
  • Pumpkin seeds: Pepitas would be perfect! Or even pumpkin seed granola.

Vegan pumpkin smoothie variation

Want to make this into a vegan pumpkin smoothie? You can substitute oat milk or almond milk for the Greek yogurt! You can also use your favorite brand of vegan yogurt. It will have a slightly thinner texture than with yogurt, but it will taste just as good.

This pumpkin smoothie recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use the variation in the recipe.

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Pumpkin smoothie

Pumpkin Smoothie


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 small smoothies or 1 large
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This creamy pumpkin smoothie tastes like pie…but it’s loads healthier! This tasty drink features yogurt, fruit and pumpkin spice.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or plain yogurt (or oat milk for vegan)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh apple chunks (skin on, about 1 medium apple)
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • For the topping: pumpkin pie spice, maple pecan granola, etc.

Instructions

  1. Place the ingredients in the blender in the order indicated, breaking the banana into pieces as you add it.
  2. Blend on high until fully pureed and smooth, stopping and scraping as necessary. Depending on your blender and the consistency of your yogurt, you may need to add a splash of milk or water to get it to start. Eat immediately or refrigerate up to 1 day. 

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pumpkin smoothie

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Byrrh Cassis Aperitif

We spent part of our summer vacation in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The region is famous for its wines, especially the reds and rosé (which we sampled – generously…), while it was once the most popular apéritif in the world, selling over 30 million bottles annually, Byrrh is also made in the region but nowadays less well-known. In fact, if you order a Byrrh in France, more…

We spent part of our summer vacation in the Languedoc-Roussillon. The region is famous for its wines, especially the reds and rosé (which we sampled – generously…), while it was once the most popular apéritif in the world, selling over 30 million bottles annually, Byrrh is also made in the region but nowadays less well-known. In fact, if you order a Byrrh in France, more often than not, you might be brought a glass of bière, unless your ear for French is pretty good as it’s pronunciation is close to ‘beer.’ (I once had to point it out on the menu at a wine bar in Paris, as the waiter had no idea what I was talking about.) There’s no beer in Byrrh, but there’s plenty of flavor in this iconic French apéritif.

Continue Reading Byrrh Cassis Aperitif...

Negroni Sbagliato Spritz

[NOTE: Learn more about making this apéritif with Brad Thomas Parsons, award-winning author of Bitters, Amaro, and Last Call, on my IG Live Apéro Hour today at 6pm CET (Noon ET, 9am PT) Tune in and join us!] I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better way to relax in the warm weather, than with a refreshing Spritz. I was introduced…

Negroni Sbagliato spritz cocktail

[NOTE: Learn more about making this apéritif with Brad Thomas Parsons, award-winning author of Bitters, Amaro, and Last Call, on my IG Live Apéro Hour today at 6pm CET (Noon ET, 9am PT) Tune in and join us!]

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a better way to relax in the warm weather, than with a refreshing Spritz. I was introduced to the Spritz when I went to coffee school in 2007, in Trieste, Italy. I drank at least six cups of espresso every day – how could I not? – surprising even the Italian teachers. And by the end of the day, I needed to wind down.

Negroni Sbagliato spritz cocktail

So after class, I’d go to a local caffè in the early evening where I noticed everyone drinking colorful drinks in large, wide goblets filled with handfuls of ice. Since icy beverages are often hard to come by in some countries in Europe, it was surprising to see people drinking cold drinks loaded up with ice. And I wanted one.

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Coffee and Irish Cream Iced Shakerino

I’m not sure how I came up with the name Shakerino for this drink. It may have been a goof when I mixed up the Italian name, and concept of the drink. But this Shakerino is sort of dyslexian (or dystopian, if you’re an authenticarian – another word I made up) riff off the Italian Shakerato, a caffè drink made by shaking espresso and sugar…

I’m not sure how I came up with the name Shakerino for this drink. It may have been a goof when I mixed up the Italian name, and concept of the drink. But this Shakerino is sort of dyslexian (or dystopian, if you’re an authenticarian – another word I made up) riff off the Italian Shakerato, a caffè drink made by shaking espresso and sugar syrup to a froth with ice.

I revisited it recently when I was cleaning out files on my computer and came across this recipe that I developed so long ago that my word processing program was struggling to find a compatible program or method to open it with. But I shook one up and after that first sip, I remembered why I liked it so much. In fact, I didn’t remember how good it was! (If that makes sense.)

Continue Reading Coffee and Irish Cream Iced Shakerino...

Cucumber Mint Cooler

I was astonished when I was eating a sandwich at Mokoloco, which I can pretty confidently say makes the best sandwiches in the world. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of hyperbole, but every sandwich I’ve had there has been spectacular. From the Cuban sandwich made with pulled pork, ham, pickled vegetables, spicy mustard, and griddled on house-made bread, to a Katsu Meatball “burger” served with…

I was astonished when I was eating a sandwich at Mokoloco, which I can pretty confidently say makes the best sandwiches in the world. Okay, perhaps that’s a bit of hyperbole, but every sandwich I’ve had there has been spectacular. From the Cuban sandwich made with pulled pork, ham, pickled vegetables, spicy mustard, and griddled on house-made bread, to a Katsu Meatball “burger” served with anchovy mayonnaise on a toasted brioche bun, it’s always a tough decision to decide which to have. The menu changes daily so you never really know what’s going to be on offer, but lately they’ve been doing an excellent Fattoush salad, the best I’ve ever had, which I guess I should be glad is a seasonal thing because I’d be in there every day they’re open, all year round.

The restaurant is owned by Moko Hirayama and Omar Koreitem, although calling Mokoloco a restaurant is a bit of a misnomer. (The couple owns the nearby Mokonuts, which became so popular that they created Mokloco sandwich bar to offer more casual fare.) It’s a sandwich bar in the best sense of the word, with the friendly staff making sandwiches and salads to order, handing them off to customers who either get them to go, or to enjoy perched on a stool in the sparse, modern space.

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Strawberry Spritz

Recently I started reaching for my bottle of Vermouth Blanc more and more. I had opened it to make an El Presidente cocktail, but during an interview on my IG Live channel with Pierre-Olivier Rousseaux, owner of Dolin distillery in France, he remarked that their Chambéryzette apéritif, made in the French alps, could be made at home, anywhere, with fresh strawberries and white vermouth. So…

Recently I started reaching for my bottle of Vermouth Blanc more and more. I had opened it to make an El Presidente cocktail, but during an interview on my IG Live channel with Pierre-Olivier Rousseaux, owner of Dolin distillery in France, he remarked that their Chambéryzette apéritif, made in the French alps, could be made at home, anywhere, with fresh strawberries and white vermouth. So I took the plunge and made a batch myself.

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Fresh Ginger Lemonade

Note: I’ll be making this ginger lemonade today at 6pm CET (Noon ET, 9am PT) on my IG Live Apéro Hour on Instagram. To watch, head to my profile on my IG profile page at that time, and when the circle around my profile pic says “Live” – click on it to tune in. More info, as well as how to watch it in replay…

Note: I’ll be making this ginger lemonade today at 6pm CET (Noon ET, 9am PT) on my IG Live Apéro Hour on Instagram. To watch, head to my profile on my IG profile page at that time, and when the circle around my profile pic says “Live” – click on it to tune in. More info, as well as how to watch it in replay in my IGTV channel archives, is here.

I once got into a Scrabble tiff when I was challenged for using the word “ade.” I’ve played Scrabble in English, and in French, and I’ve determined that it’s impossible to win if facing off against French players due to the astounding selection of verb conjugations they have at their disposal. (Except for this French Scrabble champion who doesn’t even speak French, but won by memorizing words in the French dictionary. Wow.)

Fortunately, I don’t have a competitive streak, although I did dig my heels over the word ade when I was playing Scrabble with some fellow anglophones one time, who refused to concede that ade was an actual word. There was a dictionary on hand in the summer house we were staying at, which confirmed that ade is, indeed, a drink made with fruit.

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How to Make Clear Ice

Clear ice cubes make the most impressive cocktails! After lots of research, we found the very BEST method for how to make clear ice. Looking for how to make clear ice for cocktails? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve spent hours researching the best way to do it, and found an easy method that works every time! Here’s exactly what you need to do to make the beautiful, crystal clear ice sphere you see in that cocktail glass above. Why spend the time making clear ice? Well, that’s what I asked Alex when he told me he wanted to create this method. Clear ice? It can’t be that cool, can it? Well, color me impressed when I saw the first cocktail he made with it. The glistening artisanal ice cubes are incredibly beautiful to look at, and make any cocktail look simply stunning. It’s the perfect party trick to impress your guests: and they’ll feel like 1 million bucks drinking it. Here’s our simple method. How to make clear ice: a tutorial Here’s the basic idea behind how to make clear ice. Normal ice cubes are frozen from all sides at the same time. This results in uneven freezing, […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Clear ice cubes make the most impressive cocktails! After lots of research, we found the very BEST method for how to make clear ice.

How to make clear ice

Looking for how to make clear ice for cocktails? You’ve come to the right place. We’ve spent hours researching the best way to do it, and found an easy method that works every time! Here’s exactly what you need to do to make the beautiful, crystal clear ice sphere you see in that cocktail glass above.

Why spend the time making clear ice? Well, that’s what I asked Alex when he told me he wanted to create this method. Clear ice? It can’t be that cool, can it? Well, color me impressed when I saw the first cocktail he made with it. The glistening artisanal ice cubes are incredibly beautiful to look at, and make any cocktail look simply stunning. It’s the perfect party trick to impress your guests: and they’ll feel like 1 million bucks drinking it. Here’s our simple method.

How to make clear ice

How to make clear ice: a tutorial

Here’s the basic idea behind how to make clear ice. Normal ice cubes are frozen from all sides at the same time. This results in uneven freezing, which makes less perfect ice formations and traps all air and particles in the center of the cube. By freezing water in a cooler, you force the water to freeze directionally: from the top down. This allows for the ice to form perfect crystals: crystal clear ice! All of the dissolved air and particles end up in the water beneath the ice block.

Step 1: Freeze warm water in a cooler for 18 to 24 hours.

Find a small cooler that fits inside your freezer. Then fill the cooler with 4 to 5 inches of warm tap water. Make sure the water is not hot! Place the cooler inside your freezer with the lid off. That’s it! Freeze the cooler for 18 to 24 hours until several inches of the water have frozen. You’ll want to still have some water left under the ice, which prevents the ice from getting cloudy.

Here’s what it will look like at this point. You’ll see that our ice does have a few crystals on the outside edge: you can discard anything that’s too frosty. Or use it, if you don’t care (like us!).

Ice in cooler

Step 2: Remove the ice from the cooler.

When the block ice is ready, remove it from the cooler to get ready to get it into cubes. To do so, place the cooler upside down in the sink for 5 to 10 minutes. The ice block may fall out on its own. Or, give it a gentle shake to pop it out of the cooler.

Step 3: Cut the ice into cubes with a serrated knife.

Here’s where it gets fun! You’ll use a serrated knife to cut the ice into the desired size of chunks. It will be less about cutting and more about scoring the ice so that it snaps off. Here’s what to do:

  1. Hold the ice with a towel or oven mitt.
  2. Cut out a strip of ice: lightly score the top of the ice with a serrated knife, sliding the knife back and forth until a strip of the ice snaps off.
  3. Use the same scoring method to cut the strip into cubes.
Cut the ice with a serrated knife

Step 3: Shape the clear ice chunks with an ice pick (optional).

For any ice you plan to serve right away, you can use an ice pick to hone the final shape. There’s a whole art to shaping ice that we won’t pretend to be experts in! We use an ice pick to hone the shape into what you see in the pictures: like to make an ice sphere or to simply fit it into the glass. See the section below on shaping ice for more info!

Shape the ice with an ice pick
An ice pick isn’t required, but it makes for beautifully shaped cubes!

Step 4: Store the clear ice.

Store any ice you’re not planning to use immediately in the freezer in a closed container, where it keeps indefinitely. But important! Before using the frozen ice in a drink, allow the ice cube to sit at room temperature to temper it for 2 minutes. This prevents cracking. It also allows the outer layer (and any freezer burn) to melt off of the ice.

Lemon margarita
Glistening ice in a Simple Lemon Margarita

Cocktails made perfect with clear ice!

Ready to serve your clear ice? So many cocktails are made more perfect with clear ice in the glass. Here’s a list of cocktails we’ve made lately and photographed using clear ice (click over to see the photos):

  1. Classic Margarita
  2. Simple Lemon Margarita
  3. Sea Breeze Cocktail
  4. Salty Dog Cocktail
  5. Classic Mojito
  6. Tom Collins
Sea breeze cocktail recipe
Crystal clear ice makes a Sea Breeze Cocktail more fun!
How to make clear ice

Alternate method: how to make clear ice cubes

Those artisanal ice spheres are simply stunning, aren’t they? Luckily, that’s the easiest method and our primary path for how to make clear ice. This is the method Alex uses to make clear ice when we want to make it for cocktails. However, what if you want to make clear ice cubes that are perfectly spherical?

Well, we’ve got a method for that too! Since way to make clear ice for cocktails requires a bit more special equipment and requires a little more effort, we recommend the primary path above. But if you like the look of these ice cubes, here’s how we did this version:

  1. Use a silicone ice cube tray with holes punched into bottom of each cube. Place the ice cube tray on a small riser inside of your small cooler (we used cookie cutters).
  2. Fill the cooler so the warm water just barely covers the ice cube tray.
  3. Place the cooler in the freezer and wait 15 to 20 hours until several inches have frozen.
  4. Remove the ice by placing the cooler upside down in sink for 5 to 10 minutes, then gently shaking the ice block out.
  5. There will be a large block of ice around the ice tray, which you can break off with an ice pick or your hands and use for block ice.
  6. Pop the cubes out of the silicone tray. Perfectly clear ice cubes, ready for action!
Clear ice

Tips on how to shape clear block ice

For the purposes of this article: anything goes with shaping your ice! It’s definitely an art form that some bartenders take to a very high level. This method is intended for home cooks who want to up their cocktail game, so we won’t provide an in-depth shaping resource. However, here are a few tips:

How to make clear ice

Troubleshooting clear ice: what if it doesn’t turn out perfectly clear?

Many online sources recommend using distilled, filtered, or boiled water in ice cube trays. Alex and I tested all of these methods, and here’s what we found: generally, this will not result in fully clear ice! So luckily, you don’t have to bother with this in our method.

That said: if for some reason you don’t get perfectly clear ice using our method, you can experiment with filtered or boiled (and cooled) water in the cooler! This may reduce dissolved air or particulates.

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How to Make Clear Ice


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Total Time: 24 hours
  • Yield: 1 bunch clear ice

Description

Clear ice cubes make the most impressive cocktails! After lots of research, we found the very BEST method for how to make clear ice. Note: This results in large chunks of ice. If you’re interested in making clear ice cubes, see the section above.


Ingredients

  • Small cooler that fits in your freezer
  • Warm tap water

Instructions

  1. Freeze the ice (24 hours): Fill the small cooler with 4 to 5 inches of warm tap water (making sure it is not hot). Place the cooler in the freezer with the lid off. Freeze for 18 to 24 hours until several inches have frozen. You’ll want to still have some water left under the ice (this prevents the ice from getting cloudy).
  2. Remove the ice: Place the cooler upside down in the sink for 5 to 10 minutes. Then gently shake the ice block out (or it may fall out on its own).
  3. Cut the ice into cubes: Place the ice block on a cutting board. Then use a serrated knife to cut the ice into the desired size of chunks by doing the following: Hold the ice with a towel or oven mitt and lightly score the top with the knife until a strip of the ice snaps off. Then cut that strip into cubes.
  4. Shape with ice pick (optional): If you’d like, you can use an ice pick to hone the final shape (see the section above).
  5. Store the ice: Store the ice in the freezer in a closed container. Before using the ice in a drink, allow the ice cube to sit at room temperature to temper it for 2 minutes to prevent cracking. Tempering the ice also allows the outer layer (and any freezer burn) to melt off of the ice.

Notes

Method adapted from Alcademics

  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: How to make clear ice,

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes