Thursday, July 19, 2012

What to do When Craving Fall and Pumpkin in the Middle of Summer

I don't know what it is, but I am SO in the mood for fall! Maybe it's our current heat wave that has me yearning for the crisp fall air, heavy with the scent of falling leaves, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie...which brings me to another issue (depending on how you view it). I am craving pumpkin, and anything pumpkin like  that fabulous, creamy, spicy stuff is orange gold. BUT, here lies the issue. Where do you find pumpkin in the middle of the summer?! Later today I expect my quest will take me to Walmart where I will search for a can of pure organic pumpkin like a psychotic hummingbird flits around in search of a hot pink flower full of nectar (whoah...please excuse the previous crazy rant). But until then, I will have to just stare in anticipation at that little jar of Maple Pumpkin Butter I splurged on at the Vermont General Store yesterday. Yes. I did in fact take a day trip to Vermont yesterday with my mom to visit the new King Arthur Flour facility in Norwich (I could make myself quite at home there) and to stop at the Vermont General Store in Rockingham (OMG. Just go there). Any place that has free samples of delectable Vermont cheeses, maple cheesecake, blue cheese mustard, and apple butter with SENSATIONAL cinnamon cookies, maple cookies, and pretzel sticks, is a dang national treasure in my book.
   Anyway, with my pumpkin craving in full swing at the general store, I spotted a cute little jar of Maple Pumpkin Butter. Swoon! I pried open my tight little wallet and bought some. I just couldn't resist. Now, that same little jar is sitting on my counter, with its contents just waiting to be whipped up into a pumpkin pie smoothie with some pumpkin, vanilla almond milk, and cinnamon. Ugh. Something's wrong with me.
   Until then, I will share with you the sort-of-fall-like smoothie I made yesterday (which I forgot to snap a picture of. Woops.) It helped satisfy a smidgen of my fall pumpkin cravings, so if you are in the same boat as I am, give this smoothie a try. It might help. A little.

Chocolate Banana Chai Smoothie

1 frozen banana
1/3 C. hot water, steeped for 10 minutes with a vanilla chai teabag, and cooled.
1/4 C. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4 C. fat free vanilla yogurt
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbl. cocoa powder
1 good hand-full of spinach leaves

Whip is all up in your blender and BAM! Tasty, sort-of-fall-ish satisfaction.

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