Tis the season…
To no ones surprise, October is national pumpkin month! EVERYTHING becomes pumpkin and it never gets old. Something about pumpkin: pumpkin spices, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin crackers, pumpkin beer, pumpkin desserts…gets us in the mood to shift seasons and enjoy yummy pumpkin goodies of course. My job…to create healthy, “stay eating clean” versions of all the yummy treats or at least some of them;) We must splurge once in a while!!
Canned pumpkin is magical year round. Most canned pumpkin puree is just “pumpkin”. It should not have any added ingredients when you look at the nutritional label. Trader Joe brand is organic and has a wonderful fresh taste.
Over the years, its popularity has grown so much that markets often find themselves running out of the stuff. Keep cans of organic pumpkin puree in the pantry at all times. Pumpkin is super low in calories (40 per 1/2 cup), no fat and is loaded with fiber. Use it as a substitute in high fat baking. Such as butter or oil replacement. It makes great muffins or bars that are high in protein as well.
Pumpkin has some pretty incredible health benefits too!
It helps fight off free radicals, prevents premature aging, reduces the risk of hypertension, and can even help trigger feelings of well-being and happiness. Pumpkin is also a fantastic way to refuel your carb macros after a workout plus all the potassium (500 mg 1/2 cup) to restore your electrolytes.
Ways to cook & consume pumpkin
Here are a few of my favorite recipes and Diva-Licious treats I have found at traders Joes for YOU to enjoy during this beautiful Autumn season:
Bella’s Pumpkin Protein Spice Bars
3 cups oats (not instant)
3.5 scoops vanilla protein powder (whey) Isagenix brand for all natural is my Favorite
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp gr ginger
Mix all dry ingredients together
Then mix in another bowl:
1/2 pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/8 cup of honey
3 packs of Stevia
Whisk together and ADD to dry mix.
Stir until smooth
Spray 8×8 baker or your silicone muffin holder, pour batter and cook on 350”15 min. Cook until outer edges are cooked and middle is soft. Whey cooks fast. Rather be slightly under than over cooked.
*You can sprinkle slivered almonds on top before backing or spread a light layer of any nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew) on top after baking as a “frosting”. I personally like the melted nut butter on top!
Makes 12-14 squares:
5 G Sugar
20 g Carb
3 G Fat
13 G Pro
Diva’s Pumpkin Spice protein coffee
A lot of times you will have left over pumpkin puree, so now what? Its easy to add a spoonful to oatmeal in the morning or even whip it together with non fat greek yogurt and add some stevia, cinnamon and a tsp of almond…sounds gross but its actually a great afternoon or evening sweet treat! BUT….you can add a spoonful to your morning or mid day coffee.
1 cup of coffee
splash of half & half or creamer of choice
1 large tablespoon of pumpkin
tablespoon of vanilla protein powder
whisk together with an electric or by hand whisker
Adjust stevia and cinnamon to your taste! YUM!
Mini pumpkin pies…perfect for just a taste!
1/12th of recipe (1 mini pie): 41 calories, 0.5g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 67mg sodium, 6g carbs, 1g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 2g protein
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
12 small square wonton wrappers (often stocked with the tofu in the refrigerated section of the supermarket)
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
3/4 cup light/low-fat ricotta cheese
3 packets no-calorie sweetener (like Truvia)1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Optional toppings: dollop of cool whip, cinnamon or even shaved dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
Place a wonton wrapper into each cup of the muffin pan. Press it into the bottom and up along the sides.
Lightly spray wrappers with nonstick spray. Bake until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
Meanwhile, thoroughly mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
Spoon pumpkin mixture into wonton cups, about 2 tbsp. each.
MAKES 12 SERVINGS
PS…you can create any mini pie you want for entertaining with these wonton wraps
If you don’t shop at Trader Joes….well, you must start! haha Here are just 2 of my fave pumpkin treats I have discovered. One Diva approved & the other….buy with caution because you MUST eat with caution and will power. Don’t open it after having a glass of wine or 2 haha! I will let you guess which of the 2 below is the naughty treat!
Hope these ideas and recipes help motivate you to make some healthy pumpkin treats!
If you make any new pumpkin recipes…send them my way please!! I will post them on my site and give the winner a complimentary training or nutrition session:) email or text:
email@example.com or 239-913-7013