Apples, Pumpkins, and Spices, Oh My!

That’s right:  It’s fall, one of my favorite times of the year.  I love that apples, cider, pumpkins, and doughnuts are everywhere, even in Phoenix, where “fall” is still 100 degrees.  Ugh!

I’m now thirty-four weeks and two days pregnant and in addition to being done with the intense heat, I’m also not always feeling fresh fruits and vegetables to the extent that I normally do.  I recently read an article about different pregnancy symptoms and the author noted that many moms-to-be develop an aversion to fresh produce.

I wouldn’t say I’m averted—most of my diet consists of fresh produce, after all—I’m just less keen on snacking on carrot sticks when I could have one of my most prevalent pregnancy cravings fulfilled in a sweet, creamy, comforting peanut butter sandwich.  The next second, I might want the world’s biggest salad, but despite my usual eating habits, in general, I’m just not as in to the foods that I normally crave.

The aforementioned article suggested a solution that is already a staple in my house:  smoothies!  If you regularly follow this blog, you know that I’m experimenting with new smoothie combinations all the time.  Especially during this pregnancy, smoothies are one of the primary ways that I’m getting all of my nutritional needs met, even when disguised as “dessert.”

Today’s dessert smoothie is, as always, packed with nutrients, contains no added salt, oil, or sugar, and capitalizes on the flavors of fall.  Introducing the apple pie smoothie, no cooking required.  🙂

As you know, finally splurging for a Vitamix has changed my life because I don’t need to cook any of the produce that go into my smoothies.  With previous blenders, I would have needed to steam a fruit like apples just to ensure a smooth puree; with the Vitamix, the apples go in totally raw with their skins intact and a silky smoothie ensues.

My pumpkin pie smoothie features ground cinnamon and Honeycrisp apples.  In Arizona, at least, I don’t see Honeycrisps all throughout the year and when I do, they are expensive.  Fall has made them plentiful and affordable, even in the desert.  Thank goodness because the Honeycrisp is low in calories (if you’re counting), high in fiber, and exquisitely juicy.  They also have a lengthy refrigerator shelf life—minimum seven months—so stock up while they’re cheap.


The addition of medjool dates—which I use in nearly all of my dessert smoothies—adds a touch more sweetness and the caramel-like notes that are indicative of a freshly baked apple pie.  Enjoy!


Serves 2

  • 2 frozen bananas (or fresh bananas and ice)
  • ½-1 cup specialty ingredients  –>  I’m using 1 medium, quartered Honeycrisp apple and ½ tsp cinnamon.
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp hulled hemp seeds
  • ¼-½ tsp extract of choice (optional, and amount depends on flavor intensity)  –>  I’m using ½ tsp vanilla.
  • Pitted medjool dates as needed for sweetness  –>  I’m using 3.
  • 100% freshly squeezed juice or plant milk until desired consistency (start with 4 oz)  –>  I’m using almond.

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Taste and adjust specialty ingredients as necessary.



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