Pumpkin Spinach Smoothie

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Published February 18, 2024

This creamy smoothie is like a taste of autumn but is available any time of the year!

This vibrant smoothie combines pumpkin puree's earthy richness with spinach's vibrant green goodness, creating a delicious fusion of flavors and nutrition. Whether you're a fan of fall-inspired treats or simply looking to sneak more veggies into your day, this smoothie has you covered. 

Packed with vitamins, minerals, and a touch of sweetness from maple syrup, it's a delightful way to nourish your body while indulging your taste buds. So, let's dive into this easy-to-make and utterly satisfying pumpkin and spinach concoction that's perfect for breakfast, a snack, or even a post-workout refresher.

Oat Milk Unveiled: A Diabetes-Friendly Nutritional Powerhouse!

Oat milk, a popular plant-based milk alternative, has gained significant recognition in recent years for its nutritional benefits and versatility in various diets, including those of individuals living with diabetes. It's a dairy-free option made from whole oat grains that undergo a relatively simple and sustainable production process. 

To create oat milk, whole oats are soaked in water, blended, and then strained to extract the creamy liquid. This liquid is often fortified with vitamins and minerals to enhance its nutritional value, making it a suitable choice for people seeking a plant-based milk alternative.

When it comes to nutritional value, oat milk offers several key advantages. It is typically rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12, which are often added during fortification to match the nutrient content of cow's milk. These additions can be especially beneficial for individuals who follow a plant-based diet and may have dietary limitations.

Oat milk also provides dietary fiber, which is essential for digestive health. Fiber can slow the absorption of carbohydrates, helping to stabilize blood glucose levels. This is particularly important for individuals with diabetes, as it can contribute to better blood sugar control. 

Additionally, oat milk contains beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that has been associated with reduced cholesterol levels and improved heart health.

One of oat milk's notable characteristics is its relatively low glycemic index (GI), meaning it has a limited impact on blood sugar levels. The glycemic load (GL) of oat milk is also relatively low, indicating that it is less likely to cause rapid spikes in blood glucose when consumed in appropriate portions.

In summary, oat milk is a nutritious and diabetes-friendly beverage choice. It offers vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and a low glycemic index, all of which can contribute to better blood sugar management. 

Its creamy texture and mild flavor make it a versatile ingredient for various recipes, including the Pumpkin Spinach Smoothie, offering a delightful and nourishing option for individuals living with diabetes.

Spinach: Nature's Nutrient-Rich Green Delight!

Spinach, often touted as a nutritional powerhouse, is a leafy green that offers a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and health benefits. It is a versatile and nutrient-dense vegetable that can be particularly beneficial for people living with diabetes. Here's a closer look at its nutritional value and why it's considered a valuable addition to a diabetes-conscious diet:

Vitamins and Minerals:

  • Vitamin A: Spinach is rich in vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which supports eye health and a strong immune system.

  • Vitamin K: It provides an abundant amount of vitamin K, essential for blood clotting and bone health.

  • Vitamin C: Spinach is a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system and aids in wound healing.

  • Folate: This leafy green is high in folate, which is important for DNA synthesis and repair.

  • Iron: While not as high as some other vegetables, spinach contains iron, which is vital for the production of hemoglobin in red blood cells.

  • Potassium: It is a rich source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and muscle contractions.

Glucose Index and Glucose Load:

  • Spinach has an extremely low glycemic index (GI), meaning it does not significantly raise blood glucose levels. In fact, its GI is so low that it's often considered negligible.

  • Since spinach is virtually carbohydrate-free and its fiber content is quite low, it has an extremely low glycemic load (GL) as well. This means it has virtually no impact on blood glucose levels when consumed.

Benefits for People Living with Diabetes:

  • Blood Sugar Regulation: Spinach is an excellent choice for individuals with diabetes due to its minimal carbohydrate content and negligible effect on blood sugar. It can be enjoyed freely without causing spikes in glucose levels.

  • Dietary Fiber: While spinach is not particularly high in fiber, it does contribute to overall fiber intake. Fiber helps slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the digestive tract, promoting stable blood sugar levels.

  • Nutrient Density: Spinach is incredibly nutrient-dense, offering a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. This makes it an ideal choice for individuals with diabetes who aim to meet their nutrient needs while managing their carbohydrate intake.

In summary, spinach is a nutritional powerhouse with a remarkable array of vitamins and minerals. Its extremely low glycemic index and glycemic load make it an excellent choice for individuals living with diabetes, as it does not lead to significant fluctuations in blood sugar levels. This leafy green's versatility allows it to be incorporated into various dishes, from salads to smoothies, providing a delicious and nutrient-packed way to support overall health and diabetes management.

Unlocking the Nutrient Riches of Pumpkin: A Fall Flavor for Wellness!

Pumpkin, with its vibrant orange hue, is not only a symbol of the fall season but also a nutritional powerhouse with numerous health benefits. It's a versatile vegetable that offers a wealth of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Here's a closer look at the nutritional value of pumpkin and why it can be beneficial for people living with diabetes:

Vitamins and Minerals:

  • Vitamin A: Pumpkin is particularly famous for its high vitamin A content in the form of beta-carotene. Vitamin A supports vision, immune function, and skin health.

  • Vitamin C: It contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system, promotes wound healing, and assists in collagen production.

  • Vitamin K: Pumpkin provides vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health.

  • Folate: This vegetable is a good source of folate, a B-vitamin necessary for DNA synthesis and repair.

  • Potassium: Pumpkin is rich in potassium, a mineral that plays a key role in maintaining healthy blood pressure and proper muscle and nerve function.

  • Iron: While not as high as in some other vegetables, pumpkin does contain iron, important for red blood cell production.

Glucose Index and Glucose Load:

  • Pumpkin has a low glycemic index (GI), which means it has a moderate impact on blood glucose levels when consumed in reasonable portions.

  • Its glycemic load (GL) is also relatively low, indicating that pumpkin is unlikely to cause rapid spikes in blood sugar when eaten in appropriate quantities.

Benefits for People Living with Diabetes:

  • Dietary Fiber: Pumpkin is a good source of dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber. Fiber is essential for slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels.

  • Low Carbohydrate Content: Pumpkin is relatively low in carbohydrates, making it a suitable choice for individuals with diabetes who are mindful of their carbohydrate intake.

  • Rich in Antioxidants: The beta-carotene in pumpkin acts as a powerful antioxidant, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which are factors that can impact diabetes management.

Pumpkin can be a valuable addition to a diabetes-conscious diet when incorporated into balanced meals. Whether used in savory dishes like soups and roasted vegetables or in sweet treats like pumpkin pies and smoothies, it provides a delicious way to support overall health and blood sugar management.

As with any dietary changes, portion control and meal planning are essential for individuals with diabetes, and it's advisable to consult with healthcare professionals or registered dietitians to create a personalized nutrition strategy tailored to individual needs and preferences.

Pumpkin Spinach Smoothie

Beverly Verwey
Servings 1 person
Calories 439 kcal


  • 1 cup oat milk
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup quick oatmeal
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup ice cubes


  • Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  • Drink immediately.


Calories: 439kcalCarbohydrates: 74.4gProtein: 9.5gFat: 7.1gSodium: 165.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD is a New York Times bestselling co-author of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

He is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green, and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. He co-created the Mastering Diabetes Method to reverse insulin resistance in all forms of diabetes, and has helped more than 10,000 people improve their metabolic health using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, intermittent fasting, and exercise.

Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-author of many peer-reviewed scientific publications.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ACLM), Plant Stock, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on The Doctors, NPR, KQED, Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Fast Company, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts the Rich Roll Podcast, Plant Proof, MindBodyGreen, and Nutrition Rounds.

Scientific Publications:

Sarver, Jordan, Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro, Bhakti Chavan, and David Drozek. “Retrospective Evaluation of an Online Diabetes Health Coaching Program: A Pilot Study.” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, October 15, 2019, 1559827619879106. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827619879106

Shrivastav, Maneesh, William Gibson, Rajendra Shrivastav, Katie Elzea, Cyrus Khambatta, Rohan Sonawane, Joseph A. Sierra, and Robert Vigersky. “Type 2 Diabetes Management in Primary Care: The Role of Retrospective, Professional Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” Diabetes Spectrum: A Publication of the American Diabetes Association 31, no. 3 (August 2018): 279–87. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds17-0024

Thompson, Airlia C. S., Matthew D. Bruss, John C. Price, Cyrus F. Khambatta, William E. Holmes, Marc Colangelo, Marcy Dalidd, et al. “Reduced in Vivo Hepatic Proteome Replacement Rates but Not Cell Proliferation Rates Predict Maximum Lifespan Extension in Mice.” Aging Cell 15, no. 1 (February 2016): 118–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12414

Roohk, Donald J., Smita Mascharak, Cyrus Khambatta, Ho Leung, Marc Hellerstein, and Charles Harris. “Dexamethasone-Mediated Changes in Adipose Triacylglycerol Metabolism Are Exaggerated, Not Diminished, in the Absence of a Functional GR Dimerization Domain.” Endocrinology 154, no. 4 (April 2013): 1528–39. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2011-1047

Price, John C., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Kelvin W. Li, Matthew D. Bruss, Mahalakshmi Shankaran, Marcy Dalidd, Nicholas A. Floreani, et al. “The Effect of Long Term Calorie Restriction on in Vivo Hepatic Proteostatis: A Novel Combination of Dynamic and Quantitative Proteomics.” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics: MCP 11, no. 12 (December 2012): 1801–14.

Bruss, Matthew D., Airlia C. S. Thompson, Ishita Aggarwal, Cyrus F. Khambatta, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “The Effects of Physiological Adaptations to Calorie Restriction on Global Cell Proliferation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 300, no. 4 (April 2011): E735-745. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00661.2010

Bruss, Matthew D., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Maxwell A. Ruby, Ishita Aggarwal, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “Calorie Restriction Increases Fatty Acid Synthesis and Whole Body Fat Oxidation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 298, no. 1 (January 2010): E108-116.