When I was a little, K called me ‘pumpkin’ as a nick name. Can I blame this on my obsession with the fall vegetable? I believe it was three years ago this fall when I ate to much pumpkin and other squashes, that my hands turned orange. Yes, I am not joking, it can happen. Actually, I’m surprised it has not happened this year (yet..) considering how much pumpkin I have consumed.
If you read any other food/nutrition blogs, I am sure you have heard of so many people making pumpkin oatmeal. Oatmeal is already a nutritional powerhouse on its own containing fiber, protein, and complex carbs that fill you up and get you through your day. But when you add a 1/2 a cup of pumpkin you are getting about 4 grams of fiber and 380% of vitamin A, for only about 40 calories! My pumpkin oatmeal usually starts off with 1/3-1/2 cup of rolled oats, about a cup of milk (I prefer unsweetened vanilla almond milk), pumpkin pie spice to taste (or a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice), and a half a cup of pumpkin puree. I am also known to add 1 or 2 tablespoons of almonds, walnuts, pecans, chia seeds, or flaxseeds. Now there are two ways you can do this. The traditional way would be bringing the milk to a boil, adding the oats, turn the burner down to low and let them simmer until most of the liquid as been absorbed, and then adding the pumpkin, spice, and any other additional ingredients. Another way to make oatmeal that is very popular on the blogosphere is called overnight oats. In order to make over night oats, the night before you combined the oats, milk, pumpkin, and spices in a bowel or container and place them in the fridge. Soaking the oats makes them softer with out having to cook them. So the next morning you can take your oats out of the fridge, add any additional ingredients you want and eat them! What I like to do the next morning is heat them up. Not because they need to be cooked, but because I like my oats warm =] I know a lot of people would like to add a little bit of sweetness to their morning oats. You can do this naturally by adding a diced banana or grated apple. Or if you are looking for a little more sweetness in the morning, try adding no more then a tablespoon of maple syrup or molasses.
My next morning pumpkin adventure comes from sparkrecipe, where I found a recipe for whole wheat spiced pumpkin pancakes. If you plan on making this recipe, let me inform you that I used regular whole wheat flour (instead of whole wheat pastry), unsweetened vanilla almond milk (instead of cows milk), my homemade apple sauce (instead of apple butter), and omitted the brown sugar. I did add a teaspoon of cinnamon, a 1/2 teaspoon of all spice and a teaspoon of nutmeg and ground ginger (instead of the 1/2 teaspoon that was suggested). I also tossed in about a 1/2 of a teaspoon of salt, because it helps bring out all of the amazing flavors! These pancakes were veryyy good! (I apologize for the lack of pictures on this one!) In fact, I made so many that I ended up freezing half of them. Freezing these pancakes gives you no excuse for skipping out on a nutritious breakfast! If you add maple syrup to you pancakes (like K), then there is definitely no need for the added brown sugar. Not only were these pancakes good, but when I paired them with a mixture of plain greek and regular yogurt (protein) and a tablespoon of ground up chia seed (good fats and fiber), I went for a run that was over five miles!!! Now if that doesn’t prove to you what an amazing nutritionally packed breakfast can do for you, then I don’t know what will.
So what will my next pumpkin adventure be? As some of you may know, Boston is my FAVORITE city, especially in the fall. So it only makes sense that I have an amazingggg pumpkin and broccoli soup there about two years ago that I hasn’t left my mind. My mission, to recreate it in my very own kitchen. K thinks this sounds gross, but I am determined. How does it sounds to anyone else? Have any of you tried this amazinggg soup? Don’t worry, I will fill you in on my lastest pumpkin discoveries…
By the way! HAPPY (early) THANKSGIVING! I am so thankful for the few of you that actually read this! If you are looking for some last minute healthy ideas to add to you feast this Thursday, check out this article I found: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/cooking-lights-no-meat-thanksgiving-meal/?ref=health or do a simple search for “Healthy Thanksgiving Dishes”, trust me, there is a ton out there. I am still deciding what to make!
Stay Natural ♥ C