Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

A few notes from here in Nashville, here in this first week of October:

1 / An autumn that’s all big mums and our neighbors’ porches filled with pumpkins, right alongside bare feet and sundresses.

2 / A few blog updates, some obvious (design changes) and some not (new hosting). If anything seems wonky when you stop by this space, it probably relates to one of the things we’ve changed, and we probably don’t know—so please tell us.

3 / A a new library book I’ve been waiting for, an interview with its author (posted here) and my favorite quote from that interview: “My description of this room will differ from your description of this room will differ from everybody else’s description of this room because we are limited and graced by our own pair of eyes, the things that we notice in the foreground versus the background—That’s the beauty of creative work.”

4 / A good chunk of time thinking about this story, especially because of one line about always wanting everyone to understand what you do, and why you can’t and they can’t, so just stop: “For several years I felt this overwhelming need to explain ourselves and the decisions we made as a family to other people. I hated that I lived in that trap, and yet I couldn’t seem to get out of it. But God slowly freed me of that in Oklahoma.”

5 / Constant nostalgia about this and sometimes this and disbelief that they happened almost two full years ago.

6 / Extra work hours, new projects, more social activities and several upcoming trips—and how all of these things, with the tighter schedules they bring, are good things we are being given right now.

7 / Remembering August, when I cried in the middle of Wal-Mart, by myself, walking the aisles to buy copy paper so we could print out paperwork to try to get back earnest money from a house we thought we’d buy, but lost.

8 / Remembering last night, when I cried in a Goodwill parking lot, next to Tim, out of sheer and overwhelming joy at how shockingly we have been comforted and encouraged since then.

9 / Words like these, from Naomi Shihab Nye : “I want to be famous to shuffling men who smile while crossing streets, sticky children in grocery lines, famous as the one who smiled back. I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous, or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular, but because it never forgot what it could do.”

10 / A mug filled with creamy, frothy pumpkin pie you can drink—recipe below.

Pumpkin (Squash) Pie You Can Drink
Squash Pie Smoothies

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie (Made with Acorn Squash)
Makes 2.5 cups (20 ounces)

We’re calling this a pumpkin pie smoothie because, sipping it from a mug on an October Saturday, you’d swear you’re drinking pumpkin pie in a cup. But actually we made it this time with acorn squash; of course you could swap in pureed pumpkin (or butternut squash or perhaps even sweet potato if you want to be daring). Also, below the recipe are instructions and a photo explaining how to roast and make squash puree, for your reference.

1 cup (8 ounces) pureed, roasted acorn squash (from two squash)*
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) raw goat’s milk (or your favorite milk)
1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup (2 ounces)
1 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a strong blender or food processor and mix until combined. Adjust to taste as you like.

How to Make Squash Puree

2 small acorn squash
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
Dashes of pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Rub the flesh side of the squash with coconut oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set squash, flesh side down, in a 9X13 glass baking dish or other rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes and let cool. Scoop insides out into a bowl; if chunky, puree in blender or food processor. For a recipe like the smoothie one above, that’s unnecessary, both because the squash was fairly smooth and because the squash will get blended in the smoothie itself.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Bethany

    Tears were in my eyes when I thought about the aisle at Wal-Mart and the parking lot at Goodwill. God is so good in the difficult things to bring about sweetness.
    I’m going to sit down and do this in a few days – make a list of 10 things that is. I think it’s healthy to intentionally reflect. Such a great post.
    And, what a genius idea for the drink – where do you come up with these things?
    Happy Anniversary month!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Oh, Bethany, you leave the nicest comments. Thank you. Tears were in my eyes, too. And as far as this drink — We’d come home late one night, kind of hungry but not in the mood for something heavy, and there was pumpkin puree in the fridge, and so I combined it with milk and spices, and it was so good, I wanted to do it again today with squash. : ) Both taste so similar! hope you try it!

  2. sarah kate branine

    I loved your ten things! Um, yum!, to the drink! Also, I love those mums. I believe I’ll have to channel you in some mum pictures this week : )

    p.s. This post and the last one are not showing up on your site for me : ( I can only view them from a link on Pinterest and through Bloglovin’.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Bless you for telling us! My friend Ashley said the same thing a few days ago, and what’s tricky is when we’re logged in as admins, everything shows up new, so it’s super hard to tell if the problem is still there! We turned off some caching this morning, and I’m hoping that fixes it. I might email you to check. : ) Thank you!!

  3. Alex Dumpfree

    Nice smoothie. This would be perfect for this autumn.

    1. Shanna Mallon


  4. Art & Lemons

    I’m waiting for my library copy of The Lowland too and recently posted the same video via Poets & Writers, truly love Jhumpa Lahiri’s prose, and that quote–so good! This smoothie looks like a terrific tribute to Fall, can’t wait to give it a whirl plus yes to 10 Things and gratitude.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thanks, Nikki! And oh, I know, I love her writing and her thoughts on the process were so interesting!

  5. Erin

    Jhumpa Lahiri is my favorite! I have her new book sitting on my dresser waiting to be read, and now that I finally finished another book I was reading last night I plan on starting it today!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      me too, Erin! Ever since I read The Namesake in one long night in grad school (I couldn’t put it down!), I’ve been her biggest fan.

  6. Julie

    I love the quote in #3 – thanks for sharing!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Right? Me too!

  7. Lan | morestomach

    shanna, i’m not going to lie, when i read this part: “I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous, or a buttonhole..” i read that last word as butthole and i may have laughed. really hard.

    i almost borrowed that lahiri book on friday, but instead settled on a neil gaiman book that became available. it’ll be my next read.

    here’s to October weddings and autumn smoothies.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Lan, I’m tempted to say that the ultimate meaning works either way… : ) Humble things are important things, haha. And on the Lahiri book — It’s good but it takes a little ploughing through in the beginning, at least if you’re not super into 1960s Indian politics. Just a warning!

  8. Joanna

    1. You know I love a list.
    2. I love your header and the way the site looks and works right now. So beautiful!
    3. I love when you talk about reading.
    4. Happy anniversary month! God is so good.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Bless you for always being so nice and for sharing my list love. God IS good!

  9. Jess

    The blog looks so nice, Shanna – clean, pretty, and intuitive! And I’m so glad to hear that so much good has come since the disapointing loss of that house you guys had your eye on.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      You are kind, Jess. I hope it is intuitive! I also hope you’ll let me know about anything that isn’t. And we are thankful over here, just as I know you guys are in the season you’re in of good gifts like wallets being found. : ) Full hands.

  10. Katie (A Fork in Hand)

    I woke up this morning thinking about making a pumpkin spice smoothie, but sadly had no pumpkin in the house. It never even occurred to me to use the butternut squash I have sitting on my countertop until I saw your recipe here. Thanks for the great idea! I’m off to roast some squash….

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Perfect timing! Let me know what you think! It’s amazing how much all those gourds resemble each other in flavor.

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  14. Erin

    Made a version of this smoothie with some plain yogurt, vanilla protein powder, milk, spices like above, vanilla, and the squash. Also added about 2 TBSP maple syrup. Great for fall. ;Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Yay! Thanks for coming back to say so!

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