- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ C toasted chopped pecans
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash ground cloves
- 1/16 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ C plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- ½ C creamed whipped 4% milkfat min. cottage cheese
- ½ C canned pumpkin
- 2 sheets graham crackers
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread out ¼ cup chopped pecans over an aluminum-foil lined baking sheet and put into the oven to toast. Set the timer for nine minutes. (Note: I've learned that there's no substitute for the subtle flavors of freshly toasted nuts. I no longer recommend toasting nuts ahead of time unless absolutely necessary. If you're planning on having this the next day, just toast up half of the pecans [two tablespoons] to be blended into the shake, and wait until right before you're about to consume the shakes to toast the other two tablespoons of pecans. Just trust me on this. Crunchy, toasty garnish > Soggy nuts. If you insist on toasting up everything at once, at least keep the garnish nuts separate until right before serving.)
- Measure out the pumpkin, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, maple syrup, and brown sugar into a blender. Add one sheet of graham crackers.
- Remove pecans from the oven, and lift the aluminum foil from the baking sheet so the nuts will cool faster. Add two tablespoons of pecans to the blender. Blend until smooth. Divide mixture between two glasses or small bowls and garnish each serving with one tablespoon chopped toasted pecans and four graham crackers (half a sheet).
- This is immediately devourable. If you prefer something thicker and colder, you can let the blended shake firm up in the refrigerator for at least half an hour before serving it with the garnishes. I bet the mixture would be delicious (not to mention adorable) poured into miniature pie crusts, however, this isn't supposed to be a recipe for pumpkin pie. But hey, I won't tell anyone if you won't.
Ever create something so unexpectedly good that you start to be like, Actually…am I brilliant? That’s what happened to me after I blended up this recipe. I had to bow my head and praise myself.
Then I remembered the thousands of individuals who had combined similar flavors before me. Whatever. This isn’t about pumpkin pie. This is about you and a calabaza shake—one that’s delicious enough to be served as dessert and, with 15 grams of protein and over 100 percent vitamin A in each serving, healthy enough for breakfast.