Pumpkin is typically considered a fall food, to fill you up and keep you warm. But in a cold, refreshing drink, you get the perfect combination for spring. Spring days quickly change from cold to hot, so you need something that does both. This fresh ice cream with keep you cool, but the pumpkin will keep you warm, full and satisfied. The problem with making ice cream is that you generally need an ice cream maker, an appliance that I have never owned or operated. From my understanding, all that an ice cream maker does is constantly churn the mixture so that it doesn’t form ice crystals during the freezing process. It also takes a considerable amount of time to make a batch. My process is quite simple and only takes about 5 minutes to prepare a fresh batch of super rich ice cream that is made only from fruit, yogurt, peanut butter and in this case, a vegetable. It’s so healthy that I’ll eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner and so delicious that I make it about 5 times a week. Ever have dessert before dinner? Well now, dessert is dinner! Let the pumpkin craze begin!
* Use vanilla greek yogurt if you have a real sweet tooth.
1. Prep the fruit. Peel the banana, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze until rock-solid, about 4 hours but preferably overnight. Wash peach/nectarine and remove pit, cut into at least 4 chunks and freeze in a sealed plastic bag for 4 hours or preferably overnight.
2. Break the banana into 4-6 chunks and drop into the blender. Add the yogurt, pumpkin, peanut butter, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and the protein powder, if using. Process until a smooth consistency is achieved. You may need to stop the blender several times to mix or scoop down the sides with a spoon. Add milk 1T at a time only if the mixture is too thick to process.
3. Add the peach/nectarine chunks and process until smooth. The consistency should be that of soft serve ice cream. Serve with a spoon and any desired toppings such as granola and/or raw almonds. Or, as suggested below by Margeritte, crumble graham crackers on top for an authentic pumpkin pie!
I use protein powder to boost the protein but it’s not necessary by any means. Keeping a stash of frozen fruit on hand will enable you to make a batch whenever the craving hits. Bananas turning brown? Peaches getting too ripe? Freeze em!