I moved to Austin, TX a year ago last August, and I’ve noticed something interesting. My tastes and cravings for certain foods have changed. For example, I spent most of my life in New England and autumn was always my favorite time of year. I loved the colorful foliage, the crisp weather, the apples, and everything orange: sweet potatoes, winter squashes, and pumpkin. Couldn’t get enough of them when fall rolled around. When I was a baby, I loved squash so much that my mom fed it to me often. Then I started to turn orange and the doctor told her to stop feeding it to me. Still love it to this day.
Yet, living in Austin’s warmer climate has done something to my tastes for baked sweet potatoes, and squash soup, and pumpkin pancakes. The temperature hasn’t quite dipped low enough for me to drag out the potato peeler. Although, as I write this, I’m told we’ll be having some icy mornings this week.
A few weeks ago, I went back to Connecticut to visit my family and I was reminded of all the autumns I passed through. This pumpkin patch was near my parents’ house and I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t remember it being there. Maybe I just didn’t appreciate it enough when I was there.
With this recipe, I decided to share an ingredient that I often add to my smoothies that many people might consider out of the ordinary, but knowing why I’m adding it will make it seem not so strange. The ingredient is Living Clay Detox Clay Powder. It’s a bentonite clay that I use for washing my face and as a facial mask. But many people may not realize that it can also be used as an internal detoxification aid that draw toxins and eliminates them though the digestive tract. It also helps to clean the digestive tract. I like to think of it as a mask for the gut and use it during one of my detoxes. : )
Living Clay has no real taste, so I’ll add about a teaspoon to any flavor of smoothie I make. And since I had pumpkins on my mind recently and ‘tis the season, I thought I would add it to a fall-inspired smoothie – something I would call a Pumpkin Almond Smoothie, but it was suggested I call ‘Moose Juice,’ since it has maple syrup which originates up North, which is also home to the moose population. : )
The combination of ingredients provide ample protein as well as healthy fats and fiber and a bit of sweetness from the banana and maple syrup. It looks more like a mocha, tastes like heaven, and feels like home. This was breakfast yesterday and it kept me full for hours.
- 1 c unsweetened almond milk or water
- 1 scoop protein powder (I used a vanilla whey powder)
- ¼ – ½ pumpkin puree
- 1 T almond butter
- ½ frozen banana, chopped
- 1 t maple syrup
- 1 T chia seeds
- sprinkle of cinnamon and/or nutmeg
- 1 t Living Clay (optional)
Blend ingredients together in a blender. Pour into a glass and enjoy!