Pumpkin and pear smoothie bowl

My smoothies always start with a vegetable – but they never taste like that’s the case. That’s why I’m creating a recipe series called #Sneaky Veggie Smoothies. This way I make sure my breakfast (or snack) always contains a vegetable, and that I don’t OD on fruit sugars in one fell swoop. I also use cooked vegetables in mine (they’re easier on a weak digestive system), particularly during the colder winter months. My insides immediately freeze when I see someone toting around a green smoothie – which is often filled with summery raw ingredients – in colder periods. As my doc says, ‘there is such a thing as trying to be too healthy.’

Pumpkin and pear smoothie bowl

Serves 1
  • 1/2 cup x cooked pumpkin (see recipe below)
  • 1 x roasted pear or apple. You can also use raw fruit if you prefer, or substitute 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple puree
  • 1/2 cup x coconut yoghurt
  • 1 TBSP x almond butter, sunflower butter or tahini
  • 1 tsp x maca powder
  • 1 tsp x pumpkin pie spice (see recipe below, or use 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, plus a pinch of ginger and nutmeg if you have them)
  • 1 tsp x ground turmeric
  • A splash or two of water
  • Toppings (optional): puffed buckwheat flakes, toasted coconut, cacao nibs

Cooked Pumpkin

  • 1 x pumpkin, halved (I used butternut squash in this recipe)
Preheat oven to 180C. Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down in an oven dish and add 2-cm of water. Cook for 1 hour, or until cooked through. Pierce with a fork to check when they’re done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Note that if you leave the pumpkin in the pan to cool, they’ll suck up the water as they go. It’s not an issue, but if you want a ‘drier’ result, you can drain the water or remove the pumpkin from the dish to cool. I keep the cooked halves as they are in the fridge, scooping out what I need for smoothies.

Pumpkin Pie Spice

  • 3/4 tsp x ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp x ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp x ground cloves
Combine spices in a sealable jar. Close the lid and shake to mix. Use what you need and store the rest. You can also increase the amounts to make a bigger batch in one go.


Add smoothie ingredients to a blender (or use a stick blender). Blend until smooth but thick, adding a small amount of water to achieve desired consistency. Sprinkle over any toppings and serve.