Burgerville’s Pumpkin Smoothie: Recipe Revamped

Burgerville's Pumpkin Smoothie, even healthier!

One of the most wonderful things about moving to Portland is the local chain called Burgerville, beloved to all. Yes, I’m seriously speaking positively of what is essentially a fast food joint: They have all the treats and trappings of fast food, yet manage to turn many of the negatives about fast food completely inside out. When you throw out your trash, every restaurant has it divided into three bins: Recyclables, Landfill, and Compost. You read that right: COMPOST. They reuse all of their cooking oil as biodiesel. They offer, among many healthy yet seriously delicious choices, three different kinds of veggie burgers. They source their food locally, and they also include a rotating seasonal menu. So every fall, Portland residents look forward to sweet potato fries, salmon sandwiches, and pumpkin shakes and smoothies (all locally sourced, of course).

Those shakes and smoothies, are every bit as delectable as you can imagine. The ice cream shake is like an extra-custardy pumpkin pie in a glass, while the yogurt-based smoothie is a little tangy and a bit lighter overall.  But what about vegans, or those who are intolerant or sensitive to dairy? I thought I’d try making a dairy-free version at home.

And lo, it worked! I tried it first with silken tofu, which was just okay, then with hemp milk, which (although I love hemp milk in some things) didn’t work so well with the aftertaste factor; it was also a bit thin. Finally I tried coconut milk, and that was the ticket. Coconut milk is becoming my favorite cow’s milk subsititute for many reasons, including the health benefits of its good fat (I do recommend going with normal, not “light” coconut milk here, but do what you need to do).

So if you’ve got some extra pumpkin from your jack o’lanterns, or you’re craving pumpkin pie yet want something healthier, give this recipe a whirl. It would make a great leftover recipe after Thanksgiving, or even be a great addition to a turkey day breakfast!

Did I mention the EASY? It’s easy.


1 cup pumpkin
1 14 ounce can coconut milk
1 banana
1/3 to 1/2 cup brown sugar or maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
6-8 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and – take a guess  . . . that’s right, blend until smooth. That’s IT!

Note that you could, instead of the individual spices, use a pumpkin pie spice blend, approximately 1 tablespoon’s worth (you’ll have to taste test as you go). You could also freeze the banana in advance (I recommend doing do in pieces, rather than whole), and reduce the number of ice cubes a bit – see how icy you personally prefer.

— posted by Anne


  1. says

    I’ve heard such amazing thing about Portland’s food scene and this shake really sounds like the icing on the cake! I’m so glad you figured out how to recreate it…but I WANT.


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