Green Apple, Pumpkin, and Quinoa Smoothie

by Gena on November 19, 2012


Yes, you heard that right: green apple, pumpkin, and quinoa. In a smoothie. What can I say? Put me in a room with some pumpkin purée that needs to be used up, and I can’t be held accountable for the odd combinations and creations that will follow. Fortunately, no matter how odd this smoothie sounds, it tastes delicious, is full of all sorts of nutrients, and fills you up fast. So what’s not to love?

To be honest, the creativity on display here isn’t all that creative. I’m not sure I would have thought to put quinoa in a smoothie had I not had a half cup of quinoa (exactly enough to blend into something, but not enough to fill me up on its own) lying around, along with pumpkin puree and a bunch of granny smith apples I’d gotten in order to make more of my crunchy red cabbage and green apple sesame slaw. I was a little apprehensive about throwing the quinoa in, but then I figured that, if people can put oats into smoothies, why not quinoa?


Why not indeed. The smoothie was super creamy and delicious, and it filled me up nicely. This is a great option for winter and autumn mornings when you want something sweet and sippable, but you don’t want anything cold, and you also want something a little more filling than fruit, greens, and the customary smoothie ad-ins.


Green Apple, Pumpkin, and Quinoa Smoothie (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Makes 1-2 servings

1 1/2 cups pumpkin, sweet potato, or butternut squash puree
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 1 1/2 cups pumpkin, sweet potato, or butternut squash puree
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 granny smith apple, cored and roughly chopped
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 3/4 – 2 cups almond milk (adjust based on whether you want the smoothie to be more like pudding, or a smoothie)
Handful spinach (optional–the color won’t be nice, but the nutrition will be enhanced!)
1-2 pitted dates (also optional, but 1 is probably good to achieve the right level of sweetness)

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend on high till smooth and creamy!


You can add a pitted date if you like, for extra sweetness, but I found that the apple and pumpkin made it nicely sweet in their own! I served mine with some granola from Fresh n’ Lean (review to come!).

Hope you try, and enjoy! Tomorrow, I’ll be back with my 2012 Thanksgiving recipe roundup. See you all soon.


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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly November 19, 2012 at 8:29 pm

This looks so good, Gena! I have all the ingredients, but alas, no high speed blender. I’m tempted to try it in the crappy one I do own!


Molly November 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I made this today, and I found the sweetness from the apple to be the perfect amount. Also, I’m making your stuffing and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, so I’ll be sure to relay how it goes over with the omni folk!


Abby November 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm

I’m not big on Granny Smith’s, but I just wanted to say your photos are fantastic and I’m sure the pumpkin could persude me to sip…


Ela November 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm

What a lovely serendipitous combination! No, not weird at all. I even remember a blogger polling her readers as to whether they preferred apple or pumpkin–perhaps because they’re traditionally paired with very similar spices.

I’ve made smoothies with pumpkin or sweet potato on occasion, and with gf oats and even adzuki beans on occasion–I just haven’t done both at the same time, but with the apple’s delicious flavor but lack of ‘holding power’ in a smoothie, that’s the perfect time to group them that way.

Hey you, I miss you as well ;) Yes I haven’t been doing the greatest, and yes I haven’t been reading continuously, but I have been thinking of you with much love and holding you in my heart.


Lia November 19, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Huh. That’s pretty awesome and a great winter appropriate smoothie recipe, something I’m always looking to recommend to my students. I love the sound of it!


Robyn November 19, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Huh! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks it’s not weird at all..not that I have done this apple/pumpkin combo…I sure am going to now :) I do not do many grains,,,but have added quinoa before…I would definately add the spinach as well,,,full meal deal :)


Tanya November 19, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I’m really tempted to try it as I have a pumpkin I haven’t cooked yet…..anyone else tried it yet?? I would love to hear how your tastebuds enjoyed it!


Shundara@ SavyNaturalista November 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Granny apple are so tart, I would have never thought of trying them in a smoothie I am going to half to try this recipe.. I love the straw in the photo it is beautiful..


Elizabeth November 19, 2012 at 11:02 pm

I’d have to put it in a bowl, eat it with a spoon, and call it “green apple, pumpkin, and quinoa porridge,” but yes, yum.


Stephanie November 20, 2012 at 12:12 am

I’m a smoothie guru and never add sweeteners to my smoothies, but this one I had to add dates and that still wasn’t enough so I added some raw coconut sap which did helped. Also added more almond milk and water! I found it too thick. Hope this is helpful! Love your recipes Gina! :)


Gena November 20, 2012 at 7:04 am

Thanks Stephanie!

For whatever reason, I didn’t miss sweetness at all, but it occurred to me to put a date or two on the ingredient list (folks can leave it out if they want). So I’ll edit to have that up as optional! Thanks for feedback…



Stephanie November 20, 2012 at 12:19 am

…………oops sorry, spelling error! Gena!!!


Marianne November 20, 2012 at 2:19 am

If only I had cooked quinoa to go with my dinner tonight instead of black thai rice, I would have everything in my fridge to make this. I shall remember it for next time :)


Janae @ Bring-Joy November 20, 2012 at 4:25 am

Gena, I’m a fan of pumpkin in smoothies–I think that’s one ingredient where it’s hard to go wrong. I really like how this is not a “cold” smoothie. Perfect, since I’m already cold-blooded by nature & can’t take the extra cold in the winter months.

I’m sorry life has been a bit crazy for you (loved your most recent Green Recovery stories–always inspiring & enlightening). Life has been a bit more chaotic than normal in my world as well. I hope you have a marvelous Thanksgiving (look forward to your round up) & can’t wait to finally meet ya next week! ox


Amy S. November 20, 2012 at 6:44 am

The combo of the pumpkin and the bright, crisp taste of Granny Smith intrigues me!

Reply November 20, 2012 at 11:50 am

this smoothie looks really nice! I need to try it! honestly I guess I never tried quinoa… I also put on my blog few original cocktails: . They’re original because I mixed fruits with chia seeds and with … parsley! but the taste is delicious! so as you also are doing – it’s good to try something new! :)


Christa @ Edible Balance November 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from you Gena, is that weird is delicious! :) What a great way to use leftovers, I love when tasty things happen from them! Definitely giving this a try.


Rachael November 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm

One post closer to convincing me to splurge on that blender…This looks so good!


Lynne W. November 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Oh this sounds so yummy! I’ve got a can of pumpkin I was saving for pumpkin cheesecake, but this sounds like it’s much healthier for me :)

I also nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. Thanks for inspiring me to eat better!


Tanya @ Playful and Hungry November 25, 2012 at 6:36 am

What a great breakfast! I’d put it in a bowl and eat it with a spoon! =)


Marissa February 28, 2013 at 10:23 pm

This maybe a weird question, but do you eat this warm? I was assuming whipping it up out leftovers from the fridge, imagining it cold but then I believe your post mentioned something about having a warm breakfast in the winter. I’m a fan of all this warm and hot in the winter months but I’ve never heard of hot smoothie.

Thanks for creating all these recipes and sharing by the way! I’m in the process of transitioning from vegetarianism to veganism and you’re recipes/advice are extremely helpful!


DJ HIXSON September 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm



Gena September 2, 2013 at 6:43 am

I think it’s 1 1/2, DJ — are you seeing 11 1/2?


Klara Groene January 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Wow thanks for the smoothie! Keep up the good work. Mine was definitely more of a guacamole color, but yummy nonetheless. I adore smoothies!


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