Wondering what to do with that extra pumpkin hanging around in your fridge? Make a smoothie!
When you are all tired out from the cooking that goes along with Thanksgiving, a smoothie is the perfect snack or breakfast for using up leftovers without much fuss.
Pumpkin is a rich source of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene (precursor to vitamin A). These are antioxidants, meaning they help to neutralize free radicals hanging out in your body. It is also a good source of three other antioxidants: lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-cryptoxanthin.
Interestingly, in Iran, pumpkin has been used traditionally as a remedy for type 2 diabetes. To test out this theory, a study  was conducted that looked at 4 groups:
- Add pumpkin to diet (daily @ lunch)
- Add pumpkin + yogurt to diet (daily @ lunch)
- Add yogurt to diet (daily @ lunch)
- Control- given dietary advice
The group that added just the pumpkin saw benefits to the following lab values:
- Fasting blood sugar
- Hemoglobin A1C (a marker of blood sugar levels over the past 3 months)
- HsCRP (a marker of inflammation)
- Blood pressure (systolic and diastolic)
Pumpkin & FODMAPs
Suffering from digestive issues? Then you may want to consider the FODMAP content of foods.
The world of squashes and FODMAPs is confusing. Japanese pumpkin (kabocha) has been tested by Monash University to be low FODMAP at any serving, while spaghetti squash needs to be kept to a serving size of 1 cup to remain low FODMAP. And butternut squash must be kept to 1/4 cup. Many other squashes (acorn, red kuri, delicata) have yet to be tested.
So where does that leave pumpkin? Canned pumpkin is low FODMAP at 1/4 cup or less. That’s a limit that is easy to go over if making something like pumpkin mousse.
I have kept the portion size of pumpkin in this recipe at 1/4 cup to make sure your FODMAP-sensitive tummy stays happy. Enjoy!
- 1 frozen banana (fresh is fine if you don't have any already frozen)
- ¼ cup pumpkin (canned or fresh cooked)
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch cloves
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon protein powder (my favorite is pumpkin seed protein)
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 cup ice (optional)
- Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
 Bayat A, Azizi-soleiman F, Heidari-beni M, et al. Effect of Cucurbita ficifolia and Probiotic Yogurt Consumption on Blood Glucose, Lipid Profile, and Inflammatory Marker in Type 2 Diabetes. Int J Prev Med. 2016;7(1):30.
Marla Rhodes says
Hey, I know this is many years later, but I wanted to let you know that you made a mistake here in equating Japanese pumpkin with red kuri squash. Monash HAS tested Japanese Pumpkin – but they mean KABOCHA (Not red kuri). I guess many common veg names are used interchangeably and I think “japanese pumpkin” is one of them. I bring it up because someone referenced this page recently in a fodmaps online group, saying they tried red kuri squash based on this recipe and it did not sit well. That seemed strange to me as this site looks pretty great and well-researched otherwise (and I’m glad they led me to it) so I dug a little deeper to figure out what went wrong. Which is that you equated japanese pumpkin with red kuri, which is not on the Monash app. So if you switched Kabocha in your recipe above you would be all good! Check out the app….they def call Jap Pumpkin / kabocha. I wonder since this recipe was posted in 2016 if the app clarified which squash variety it meant since then.
Referencing this part of your entry:
The world of squashes and FODMAPs is confusing. Japanese pumpkin (red kuri squash) has been tested by Monash University to be low FODMAP at any serving, while spaghetti squash needs to be kept to a serving size of 1 cup to remain low FODMAP. And butternut squash must be kept to 1/4 cup. Many other squashes (acorn, kabocha, delicata) have yet to be tested.
Hi Marla, Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. I’ll get it updated!
As you guessed, yes, this is an older recipe and the app has been updated since then (it’s a bit of a headache to keep up!). At the time it just said “Japanese pumpkin” and a Google search led me to believing that was red kuri squash. With that being said, kabocha and red kuri are very similar and I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a similar FODMAP content. But who knows!
In terms of the person who reacted to this recipe, I would be curious whether they usually do well with banana. Banana used to be listed in the FODMAP app as low FODMAP at 1 ripe banana, but it has since been updated (by A LOT!). So this recipe would no longer be considered low FODMAP, but was at the time it was published. Someone could also react to banana if they have fungal issues. With all that being said though, I keep this recipe up because it still may be helpful for some. I hope that helps clarify my thinking!