If you get the craving for some pumpkin, don't go for muffins, lattes, cookies and pies. Instead, satisfy your cravings by eating healthy pumpkin dishes that give you the energy to push through a grueling workout.
Here are some awesome recipes that taste like fall but are packed with protein and other nutrients.
Pumpkin Protein Smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to get vegetables and fruit in before a big workout. They also taste great. This smoothie is full of protein and nutrients and serves one:
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- ½ banana, frozen
- 2 tbsp vanilla greek yogurt
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 2-3 ice cubes
For extra protein, add 1 tbsp ground flaxseed and 1 spoonful almond or peanut butter.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Bites
If you’re craving pumpkin desserts, protein bites are bite-sized treats that taste like cookies but are packed with protein. This recipe (modified from this recipe) makes about two dozen protein bites:
- 3 cups dry oatmeal (use steel cut oats for heartier bites)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup peanut or almond butter
- ⅔ cup maple syrup or raw honey
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 5 tbsp ground flax
- 1 cup finely chopped nuts
- ½ cup mini dark chocolate chips (use dark over milk chocolate because dark contains less sugar)
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the batter and form into balls. Put on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper, then stick in the freezer for at least an hour.
You can store these in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week. If it takes you a while to eat these, put half the recipe in the freezer and move to the fridge once you finish the other batch.
Gluten-Free Oat Pumpkin Pancakes
These tasty pancakes include oats, pumpkin and spices that warm you up when the temperatures drop. To make sure your dish is gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Be sure to cook these pancakes slowly so the inside of the batter has enough time to become fluffy. The ingredients make about half a dozen pancakes:
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 cup oat flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, lemon juice, milk and coconut oil in a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs in. Whisk the oat flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients to add the wet ingredients. Stir until moistened.
Let the batter rest for 10 minutes. Heat a nonstick pan on medium heat and add oil to the surface. Pour one-quarter of the batter on the pan. Cook the pancake for three minutes. Once the underside reaches a gold color, flip it and cook for another couple minutes.
Instead of topping these pancakes with maple syrup, spread a light layer of peanut or almond butter over the top. They’ll still taste sweet but will keep you fuller longer.
Ralph Roberts Personal Training
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Looking for more ways to eat healthy? Pick up these ten items on your next trip to the grocery store.