Are you tired of *every*single*smoothie* having banana in it?
Bananas are delicious and make smoothies very creamy (in fact, frozen bananas make great ice cream all on their own!).
If you love creamy smoothies but you’re looking for a little variety in your smoothie repertoire, let me introduce you to the Butternut Smoothie. Henry and I agree: It tastes exactly like a plant-based Butterfinger candy bar!
This smoothie is a kick-starting breakfast, a tasty late-summer dessert, and just all-around delicious. It is fairly sweet, but I’ve added a ton of “optional” ingredients that mitigate the sweetness and allow you to play around with the flavor.
- 6 ice-cream-scoop-sized chunks of baked-then-frozen butternut squash
- 2 cups flax milk, or plant milk of choice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp each of peanut butter or almond butter
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup (definitely optional, or you can simply add 1 Tbsp instead for a less-sweet smoothie, or see date substitution below)
- 2 Tbsp ground flax meal
- Optional: 1 scoop-size serving of Vanilla Spirutein powder
- Optional: 1/2 tsp cinnamon or to taste (makes it taste like pumpkin pie!)
- Optional: 1/8 tsp turmeric or to taste (you can barely taste it, and it gives it a vibrant yellow color)
- Optional: Replace maple syrup with 4 pitted honey dates, or 3-4 pitted medjool dates that have been soaked in warm water for about a half hour
- Optional: 1 cup unsweetened plant-milk yogurt for added creaminess!
Instructions: Start with the squash and milk in the blender, and blend for about 30 seconds, just to give the squash a head start. Add all other ingredients, and blend for about 2 minutes. The goal is for the mixture to have a uniform “rolling” action in the blender. If it looks chunky, add some more milk, 1 Tbsp at a time. If it looks thin, add more squash or peanut butter, small amounts at a time. The end result will be creamy and delicious!
A (rather long) note about the butternut squash: This ingredient will “cream” better when frozen. My method is to “cook ahead” by roasting a few butternut squash a day or two ahead of time. I line a cookie-tray with baking parchment, then scoop the butternut squash into chunks onto the cookie sheet. I freeze for a few hours on the cookie sheet, then put it into a container and back into the freezer, that way the chunks are easy to separate later. You could do the same thing with canned butternut squash or squash cubes from the freezer aisle at the grocery store, etc. While butternut squash is my preferred squash for this recipe, pumpkin would also work well (although pumpkin has a very distinctive flavor, and ends up tasting more like pie filling), as would acorn squash or another type of winter squash if that is what you have on hand (although other varieties are not quite as sweet).
Calorie breakdown (very approximate):
Vanilla extract is negligible
Butternut Squash, 1.5 cups: 90
Flax Milk, 2 cups: 140
Peanut Butter, 2 Tbsp (a natural brand, no added sugars): 180
Flax Meal, 2 Tbsp: 60
Maple syrup, 2 Tbsp: 110
Total calories in basic recipe: 580