A fall inspired creamy pumpkin banana smoothie made with just five simple ingredients. This healthy homemade drink will become your new fall favorite.
I first posted this pumpkin smoothie in 2011 when I was brand spankin’ new to blogging. Everyone was throwing pumpkin recipes up like their lives depended on it and it was barely even September. I distinctly remember making this on an 80 degree day, the same day I made this apple almond cake for our anniversary.
Fast forward a decade plus and I no longer care what everyone else does and I’ve learned a lot more about food photography. So this fall treat was in for a makeover and re-posting it now, at the end of October, feels a little more authentic.
If you love the silky, smooth center of a pumpkin pie, I think this simple pumpkin banana smoothie will be right up your alley. It leans on yogurt and almond milk for a creamy texture and real pumpkin puree and frozen banana for flavor. Made with just five simple ingredients, you can be sipping on this in no more than five minutes from start to finish.
It’s great for an afternoon pick-me-up. Loaded with a healthy amount of both protein and fiber, it may be decadent tasting but it’s also good for you. It’s also a great use for that open can of pumpkin you probably have in the fridge this time of year. Whether it’s from making pumpkin banana chocolate chip bread or chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, the half cup of pumpkin in this smoothie is the perfect way to finish off the can.
Pumpkin banana smoothie ingredients
Sometimes it can be hard to keep smoothies simple. They’re like a blank canvas and I oftentimes find myself throwing any and everything into the blender to amp up the nutrition — you can find all the possible smoothie add-ins in our how to make a smoothie article. If you want a smoothie that rounds out all the bases for nutrients, make this butternut squash smoothie, but if you want something simple and seasonal, this pumpkin smoothie is just the thing.
- Frozen banana
- Pumpkin puree
- Plain yogurt
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Pumpkin pie spice
- Maple syrup — optional
Banana — If you struggle to finish a bunch of bananas before they become overripe, throw them in the freezer for smoothies! I do this with at least one banana each bunch and always have frozen ones on hand for smoothie making.
Pumpkin puree — Using canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling which has sweeteners and spices added to it) is the easiest option for this smoothie but if you happen to roast and mash your own pumpkin, feel free to use that instead. Pumpkin is filled with fiber and high in vitamin A (source) which makes it a healthy seasonal obsession to have.
My Pro Tip
Freeze extra pumpkin in ice cube trays then pop out once frozen and store in a freezer-safe bag. These individual frozen pumpkin cubes are great for smoothies!
Yogurt — This addition adds some extra protein to the smoothie which makes it a lot more satiating than all-fruit smoothies tend to be. You can use plain regular yogurt or Greek yogurt if preferred. Greek yogurt is thicker than plain so you may need to increase the amount of milk by a touch.
Milk — Choose your favorite option here. I use almond milk but any: dairy, oat, soy, nut or other will work so long as it’s unsweetened.
Pumpkin pie spice — This is the easiest way to add all the fall flavors to your pumpkin smoothie. If you don’t have this blend on hand, spice the smoothie with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all-spice and cloves in decreasing amounts.
Maple syrup — This optional sweetener is unnecessary in my opinion as the banana provides plenty of natural sweetness. My suggestion is to make the smoothie without it, taste it and then decide if you want to add the maple syrup. Honey can also be used in its place.
How to make this pumpkin smoothie recipe
Some smoothie recipes, like this beet smoothie, require a high-powered blender to really break down all the ingredients into a smooth and creamy drink. With just bananas and pumpkin though, this smoothie isn’t one of them and can really be made with even the most basic of blenders.
Combine all the ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy and smooth. This will take about 30-60 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the blender if necessary about halfway through.
Pour into a tall glass, dust with extra pumpkin pie spice and enjoy.
Tips for the best tasting pumpkin smoothie
- Use frozen bananas and not ice. The frozen banana adds a creaminess to the smoothie that ice does not. It also blends more seamlessly into the smoothie for a better texture.
- Use ripe frozen bananas for the most natural sweetness. If you use under ripe frozen bananas, you’ll definitely want to add a sweetener such as maple syrup.
- Start the blender on low speed and work your way up to high. This helps to blend all the ingredients more thoroughly. Always end with the blender on low speed to extend the use of your appliance.
Optional add-ins to make this smoothie more filling & healthier!
- Flax, chia and hemp seeds are always great options for smoothies. They each provide healthy amounts of protein, fat and fiber to make smoothies a lot more satisfying.
- Nut butters can be used to increase the creaminess and enhance the flavor. Peanut butter, almond butter or pumpkin seed butter are all great options.
- Add a scoop of your favorite protein powder or collagen to easily double the protein in this smoothie. For plant-based protein, I love Nuzest and for animal-based, I think Paleo Valley’s bone broth protein is the highest quality out there — both those links save you 15% on your purchase.
- Add a handful of baby greens. While the color might look more like this prune smoothie, the taste will still be full of pumpkin and banana flavor.
Make this smoothie ahead of time
There are a couple of methods to prep this pumpkin banana smoothie ahead of time so you can enjoy it whenever you want.
Method 1: Ice cube tray method
Make the smoothie as directed then pour into ice cube trays. Large silicone trays such as souper cubes are best for this. Freeze until solid and store in the freezer either in the tray or in a bag.
When ready to drink, remove the smoothie ice cubes then place in a mason jar (or a glass with a lid) and let it thaw in the refrigerator for about one hour. Shake with the lid on and enjoy. Alternatively, add the ice cubes to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Method 2: Mason jar method
Once you’ve made the smoothie, pour it into a mason jar with a lid. Keep it refrigerated for up to 4 hours or transfer to the freezer for up to a few months.
When you’re ready to drink it,simply shake it if it’s been in the refrigerator or, let it thaw at room temperature if it’s been frozen.
Why you’ll love this healthy pumpkin banana smoothie recipe
My mom found this pumpkin banana mousse tart from Barefoot Contessa years ago that she made for Thanksgiving a few times. It was the creamiest and smoothest texture with the perfect balance of both flavors. As someone who doesn’t’ love pumpkin pie, I loved that tart. This pumpkin banana smoothie tastes just like that dessert in drink form and I’m sure you will love it just as much — it’s basically pumpkin pie in a glass!
More fall-inspired drinks to try:
Pumpkin season aligns with pear season and if you love pears, you’ll love this creamy pear smoothie too.
Prefer a little booze instead of a healthy smoothie? This simply spiked apple cider is so easy you’ll want to sip it every day, plus it comes with a bonus recipe for making apple crisps!
Pumpkin Banana Smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, optional
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into a glass, dust with extra pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.