if you struggle to incorporate veggies into your diet because dessert sounds more appealing, you are in for a treat. this smoothie is loaded with vegetables (three types of squash!), healthy fats, protein, and adaptogens, but it tastes more like it’s fresh from the ice cream aisle than the garden.
summer squash, like the yellow squash and zucchini in this recipe, have a mild flavor and a 95% water content, making them ideal additions to smoothies during warmer months when we need extra hydration. i like to buy them in bulk, slice them into 1″ rounds and lightly steam them, then freeze them so they are easy to pop into smoothies.
butternut squash is a hardy winter squash, so it keeps for much longer than a delicate summer squash. it is high in beta-carotene, complex carbohydrates, and it’s also a source of magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A and C. i like to peel and chop mine, roast it until tender, and freeze the pieces for smoothies when butternut squash is out of season.
carrots are anti-carcinogenic, naturally sweet (and beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar) due to their high carbohydrate levels, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals that aid almost every system in the body.
turmeric, cinnamon, and ginger add spice and warmth, more beta-carotene, and antioxidants galore. they have anti-inflammatory benefits and aid in digestion and circulation. don’t be turned off by the pinch of black pepper in this recipe; it aids the body in absorbing curcumin, the beneficial chemical compound in turmeric, and its taste is undetectable.
fats, protein, and fiber come in the form of hemp seeds, flax seeds, coconut milk, and toasted pecans, adding a creaminess and subtle nutty flavor to the smoothie. if you are allergic to tree nuts, use a nut-free, non-dairy milk and omit the pecans.
now that you’ve had your science lesson for the day, you can enjoy having what is basically a dessert for breakfast or lunch. pat yourself on the back for being extra nutritious and have at it!
Carrot cake smoothie
makes two 16 oz smoothies
- 2 oz full-fat coconut milk
- 10 oz filtered water
- 1 scoop (10 grams) vanilla protein powder
- 1 Tbs flax seeds
- 1 Tbs hulled hemp seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ground ginger or 1/2″ knob of fresh ginger, peeled
- 2 whole carrots, chopped
- 1 + 1/2 cups steamed summer squash rounds, chilled or frozen
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash, frozen
- 1 banana, frozen
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans (optional)
- optional toppings include shredded coconut, bee pollen, hemp seeds, nut butter, toasted pecans
- add all ingredients to a blender, starting with the liquids and ending with the frozen items. blend until smooth.
- serve evenly between two glasses and add toppings, if desired. it’s best enjoyed immediately, but it will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.