Monday, January 9, 2012

Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

As the new year rolls around, a lot of people try to make resolutions to eat healthier.  As I mentioned in my last post, I realized mid-December that my vegetable intake was not what it should be.  Ever since then I’ve been trying to make an effort to eat a more balanced diet.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “on a diet”, I’m just trying to eat more than just peanut butter sandwiches every day!

I was really excited when Michael from Whole Foods Market in Franklin, TN contacted me about their Pantry Staples Giveaway.  They too want to inspire you to eat healthier, and they want to show you that it can be affordable.  They have compiled a huge list of groceries priced at about $50, that are great pantry staples.  These are things I agree are important to have on hand at all times, because when combined with a couple fresh ingredients, you can get a healthy meal.  To see a list of the ingredients, and to enter to win one of the “Pantry Staples for a Year”, head on over to the Whole Foods Blog.

These are all the pantry staples you can get at Whole Foods for around $50.  Looks like a lot of great beginnings for healthy meals!

That’s not all, I was also offered the chance to to do a giveaway for my readers as well!  One lucky winner will win a $50 gift card to Whole Foods!  All you have to do to enter my giveaway is tell me “What pantry staple do you always keep on hand?”  While it doesn’t qualify for any extra entries, they would LOVE to hear from you on Whole Foods Market – Franklin Facebook Page.  Head on over there and leave them the same comment about what pantry staple you always keep on hand.

Not sure if you can tell what everything is from my photo, but one of the pantry staples is almond milk.  I used to be really good about keeping almond milk on hand to make smoothies.  I liked that it was lower in calories than regular milk, and for some reason I just prefer it’s taste in smoothies.  Somewhere along the way I got out of the smoothie habit.  But for Christmas I received an immersion blender, and I’ve been inspired to put it to good use.  I have a can of chocolate protein powder on hand, and some really ripe bananas I froze, and a bit of leftover canned pumpkin.  It might seem like a weird combo, but it actually worked great!  I’m glad I’ve been inspired to get back on the smoothie train, as this was nutritious and filling!

I plan on blogging more of the meals I make with my pantry staples, and I’ve already got a great start.  (Recipes coming soon!)  But please, feel free to provide me with ideas or suggestions of what to make with some of these ingredients.  🙂

FINE PRINT FOR MY GIVEAWAYMust be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate.  Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.  Giveaway ends Sunday, January 15th at 10pm CST.  One entry per person.  You must answer the question in a comment, and provide an email address to win.  The winner will be notified via email, and has 48 hours to respond, or another winner will be chosen.


Chocolate Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

Yield: 1 smoothie

Total Time: 5 min

The pumpkin I really just threw in because I had it leftover in the fridge. It's flavor addition was pretty subtle, but I like the healthy vitamins it added!


8 oz almond milk
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup pumpkin
ice cubes as needed


Combine ingredients in a blender, or use an immersion blender. Blend until smooth, adding ice as needed.

And, now for a little side note about the Franklin Whole Foods Market.  As you may have heard me mention before, I live in the heart of Nashville.  There’s a perimeter of the city I very rarely leave, so I hadn’t ever made it over to the Franklin store, as I visit the Green Hills location because of proximity.  As a Nashville food blogger I even got invited to a sneak preview before they opened, but I was out of town that day.  Man, oh man, you Williamson Countians sure are lucky!  Nathan & I were really impressed with the size & spaciousness of the store.  Also, we loved the fact that they have a wine bar, and a growler refill station.  At one point as I was shopping for extra ingredients I turned my head and Nathan had disappeared.  Sure enough he wasn’t hard to find, I just headed towards the beer where he was sampling Lazy Magnolia’s limited Ginger Jaque, and he filled up a growler to enjoy.  Also, I love that they have my favorite gelato in house, Bravo Gelato (remember when I got to go behind the scenes?).  I couldn’t leave without some dessert, and HOLY COW that Sorghum + Gingersnap Gelato was so incredible!  And, like the Green Hills store I’m used to, they too have cooking classes.  Follow them on Twitter, or like them on Facebook for for info!

*DISCLOSURE: Whole Foods Market – Franklin, TN provided me with my pantry staples in exchange for promoting their giveaway.  They also provided me with a $50 gift card to giveaway to one of my readers.*

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