Strawberry Pumpkin Seed Smoothie (and Giveaway Winner)

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Well, guys, here we are. The day after. For me, summer starts today, now that my Gen Chem II final has come and gone. (Grades arrive tomorrow.) Do I feel terrible about it? No. Do I feel the way I hoped I’d feel after this class ended—that is, confident and proud? No. Those are sentiments I rarely feel in my post-bacc life. With any luck, I’ll do decently enough to enter my two and a half week break with a clear conscience, and that will just have to be enough.

Next Thursday, I’ll head to NYC for a week, where I’ll naturally be blogging about my daily meals, adventures, and impressions of the city. You can expect a ton of dining out, because this blogger is aching for NYC restaurants! After that, it’s off to Portland, OR, which some might call the vegan capitol of the world, for the exciting Vida Vegan Bloggers’ Conference! The conference features an all star line up of some of the brightest and most talented vegan bloggers in the business, including many friends I’ve yet to meet in “real life.” It will be a blast to send you live dispatches from the road! For the next week, though, it’s all about rest: reading, relaxing, catching up on lost sleep, and cooking.

And it all begins with a smoothie.

For the last five weeks, I’ve been smoothie disabled. Each morning, I went straight from the gym to class, and so portable chia seed puddings were my reliable mainstay. On weekends, I was running hither and yon, and rarely able to enjoy breakfast at home. The upshot was that my smoothies—an early morning staple for me—were put on hold for over a month. Today, as I woke up and settled into the peculiar sensation of having time on my hands, I decided to celebrate with a creamy, nutrient dense morning beverage: my strawberry and pumpkin seed smoothie.

My friend Brendan is very candid about the fact that—in spite of what his success with Vega would suggest—his first shot at veganism was a bust. He was tired, weak, and missing key micro and macronutrients. Among these were iron and essential fatty acids, and one of the small changes he made to remedy his oversights was to add pumpkin seeds, which are good sources of both, to his morning smoothies. I often do the same: pumpkin seeds inexpensive, tasty, and add creaminess to smoothies in a totally whole food form. They’re a nice break from nuts and nut butters, and they’re quite a bit easier to make work in a student budget. Combined with summer strawberries and this:

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…which is one of my favorite new vegan proteins, it made for a delicious, vanilla flavored treat.

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Strawberry Pumpkin Seed Smoothie (raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)

Serves 1

1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 scoop vegan protein powder of choice
1 handful greens (I used baby spinach)
1 tsp cinnamon

Blend all ingredients on high till rich and creamy. You may need to add a bit more milk if you don’t have a high speed blender! Top with fresh strawberries, and serve.

My smoothies are most definitely meal-sized, and always go in a breakfast bowl:

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And now, it’s back to clients and reading for me. But first, a winner of my “super giveaway!!” I got a total of 502 comments on this awesome giveaway, and am happy to announce a winner, generated by

The winner is…#347, the lovely Veronica of Happy By Nature!! When asked what she thinks about superfoods, Veronica said, “I am uberly in love with superfoods – healthy and wholesome, there is nothing better! My current superfood obsessions include chia seeds, hemp powder, and the classic quinoa. They are staples in nearly every meal I eat!”

Veronica, I’m thrilled to help you deepen your superfoods love affair!! Please email me so that I can send your grand prize Smile


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Categories: Uncategorized, Smoothies

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  1. This was delicious! I didn’t add protein powder and used a fresh banana and Swiss chard. Lovely! Thank you!

  2. Kudos for surviving that Chem class, PERIOD! Also not to be forgotten that this entire post-bacc process is a Herculean effort on your part, so whatever happens, keep perspective. 🙂

    Glad to hear you’ll be paying NYC a visit–lemme know if have any time for a juice/coffee/whatever! xo

  3. I feel like since I don’t eat bananas (hurt my stomach), my smoothie options are pretty limited.
    banana-less smoothies?

  4. This blog convinces that cooking is an art. All the pictures narrate is so well. Spending the summer holidays with creativity, sharing the precious by blogging and finding great satisfaction, the writing attunes the heart.

  5. Ummm, you have PERFECT timing!!! I just finished my first p90x workout, and bought some brown rice protein this morning. I’m totally going to make this for my post-workout recovery drink. Thank you 🙂

  6. Never thought to add pumpkin seeds to my smoothies– a good idea indeed! I love adding chia, hemp, and sunflower though 🙂
    And I’ve totally tried that protien powder. It’s inexpensive, wholesome and natural which I love. It turns everything slightly green due to the spirulina, hehe 🙂

  7. I, too, have been lacking in the smoothie department lately, though this is more due to winter and the fact that bananas still cost $3 – $3.50 each here than a more legitimate reason such as yours! I’ve always loved pumpkin seeds and look forward to trying this, if bananas ever go down in price…

  8. I was using spinach in my smoothies, in part to up my iron content. However, the raw spinach started making my stomach go funny. I’m not as fond of kale in smoothies because my blender doesn’t leaves it chunky. Thanks for the tip on pumpkin seeds. Sounds like a great addition.

  9. For some reason I have never put pepitas in a smoothie. Must remedy this! I made a strawberry and macadamia nut smoothie this week, which I was ever so excited about until I tasted it. I realised I needed to use more macadamia nuts if I wanted to get the effect I was looking for, but I had deliberately skimped because they are SO expensive (in spite of being native to Australia – d’oh!). I will definitely try this because you’re right – much easier on the budget than some other EFA and iron sources! (And I think they have zinc, too? At least the dark green ones, I’ve been told.)

  10. That smoothie is calling my name. Def on the menu for tomorrow’s breakfast. I always have those things on hand. How did I not think to put those together?! Very clever to add pumpkin seeds to a smoothie! Yum!

  11. I’m going to new york on thursday too! I’m moving into my dorm in Greenwich village. There are so many restaurants I’m dying to go to. I love Pure Food and Wine, although it’s a bit pricy for me. I’m also dying to try Bonobos, Blossom, Souen and Candle 79

  12. So jealous that you are going to VVC. Hopefully it will be lots of fun. Don’t forget to spend time eating lots of food in Portland. Per Capita I think most vegan places, and Blossoming Lotus is amazing. Vegan food carts too.

  13. This sounds awesome. I love pumpkin seeds for their iron content especially (and the taste!) and have really been enjoying strawberries lately.

  14. Have a fabulous time in Portland! My friend Janessa is one of the directors of Vida Vegan! It sounds like it’s going to be an amazing event!

    I never thought to use pumpkin seeds. I’ll have to pick some up for my smoothie adventures!

  15. I don’t know why, but I didn’t realize you were going to Vida Vegan Con. In that case, I look forward to meeting you!

  16. “With any luck, I’ll do decently enough to enter my two and a half week break with a clear conscience, and that will just have to be enough.”

    All we can do at anything in life, or give to anything in life, is our best shot. And Lord knows you have given your best shot, effort, heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears to your studies, Gena, and for that, you get an A+. Whatever grade they put on the paper is almost secondary (I know it’s not and if someone told me that I would be like yeah, whatever) but I hope you know how awesome you are for going back to school and taking on such a challenging field!!

    Good thing you have a great looking smoothie to fuel you 🙂

  17. The conference in Portland looks awesome, I’d love to go next year!! I’ve been wanting to try spinach in a smoothie, this one might be a winner.

    I’m sure the class situation will be fine. Science is hard, but it gets easier with practice! And more enjoyable. I promise!

  18. Hi Gena,

    Finding your website has been really helpful for me. So, firstly I would just like to thank you for doing what you do. It is clear that you put a lot of time and effort into this blog, recipes, etc.

    I really love smoothies, but have found it hard to have any ever since I found out that I had candida. Fruits are off-limits. Do you have any candida-friendly smoothies (preferably ones that include protein).