Pumpkin Protein Muffins

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I love the Summer with the longer days of sunshine and beach trips so it’s hard for me to say goodbye. The one thing that helps to make it better is pumpkin.☺️

I especially love baking with this fruit, yes, pumpkin is technically a fruit, crazy huh?  These pumpkin protein muffins do not disappoint!  They are nutritionally packed with vitamin A, fiber, protein and natural sweetness!  What this means is that you stay fuller longer so you have the perfect healthy snack-:)  WIN!

I decided to top my muffins with a cream cheese protein icing. I’ve included that recipe for you too:)

Oh, by the way, you could totally use this same recipe to make pumpkin protein bread.

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Ingredients

1 1/4 cups oat flour (read below for making your own)

1/2 cup oats

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

1/4 cup Stevia or 30 drops of organic stevia

1 tsp cinnamon

2 medium ripe bananas

1 1/4 cup pumpkin (no sugar added)

1 whole egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash up the bananas and mix with wet ingredients.
  3. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  4. Place batter in prepared muffin pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. If making banana bread bake for 20-25 min.

*Grind up oatmeal in a blender until it’s a fine consistency to make your own oat flour.

*I freeze these and keep some in the frig for a snack when I have craving for something sweet*

Cream cheese protein icing:

2 oz low fat cream cheese

1/2 cup of Greek yogurt

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

10 drops of stevia (1 Tbsp for powder stevia)

2 Tbsp almond milk (or whatever milk you have)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

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Healthy Treats For A Halloween Bash

Dressing up for Halloween never gets old even for us grown ups!  It can be hard for me to come up with costume ideas, but while we were watching the Underworld series I thankfully found my inspiration:)  I have always teasingly referred to my guy as my ‘Wolf Man,’ so Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf sounded like the perfect couples costumes! LOL

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I believe play is just as pivotal for adults as it is for kids.  Play brings joy. And it’s vital for problem solving, creativity and relationships.  If you are being told you are a fuddy duddy, you need to loosen up or that you’re too serious then it sounds like you are past due for some good old-fashioned PLAY!  I have to admit, I had so much fun getting us ready for a Halloween Bash at my friend’s house.  I’m by no means crafty or a make-up artist, but I didn’t let that stop me from throwing some make-up on my Wolf Man and making my cape with glue:)

I’ve been realizing the idea that we don’t have to be perfect to create something.  If we have a desire and want to create something then we need to do that. I love this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert,

The point is not for you to do something that’s never been done before. The point is for you to do something you’ve never done before.

I hope you find joy in creating just for the sheer play and fun that it bring you.

Here are some of my original and not so original “Little Red Riding Hood” treats I took to a Halloween Bash.  I wasn’t sure how these healthy treats would go over, but I took them anyway and everyone seemed to enjoy them:)

Pumpkin Spice Energy Ball

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*recipe by Dani Spies http://cleananddelicious.com/2014/09/30/pumpkin-spice-energy-balls/

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 1 tbsp. real maple syrup *I used a TBS stevia
  • 1 tbsp. chia seed
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1.5 ounces dark chocolate *depending on mood, I omit this and add cacao nibs

Directions:

In a large bowl combine almond butter, pumpkin puree, almond flour, maple syrup, chia seeds, pumpkin pie spice, and kosher salt.  Mix until everything is well incorporated.

Scoop up about 1 tbsp. of ‘dough’ and roll in the palm of your hands to create a small, golf-sized ball.  You should get about 8 balls.

Place the balls on a plate lined with parchment paper in the freezer while you melt your chocolate.

Set up a double boiler (see example in this video).  Add two ounces of dark chocolate and stir periodically until the chocolate has melted down.

Remove the pumpkin balls from the freezer and dip each one in the chocolate to coat half of the pumpkin ball.  Place back on the parchment paper and continue until you have dipped all the pumpkin balls.

Place them back in the freezer and enjoy any time you need a quick and delicious nutrient packed snack.

Makes 8 balls.

Quinoa Chocolate Chips

Y’all these are surprisingly delicious and satisfying.  Please try them and share your feedback-:)

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Ingredients: 

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut

1/3 cup chocolate chips *mix in at the end

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 eggs

1/4 cup coconut sugar (or use brown sugar)

2/3 cup Stevia

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. Mix together: eggs, vanilla, yogurt, sugar until combined.
  3. Stir in the flour, salt and baking soda & baking powder until just combined. Add the oats, quinoa, and coconut.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to scoop the dough into 2-3 tablespoon-sized portions. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms are browned but the insides are still nice and soft. If you want a thinner cookie (instead of puffy), flatten slightly before baking.

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*I make a double batch and freeze what is left so that I will always have a healthy treat on hand when I have a craving.  ENJOY!

Pumpkin Pancakes and Pumpkin Protein Bread

    You probably know the signs when you are out of balance in your life.  There is a feeling of being off and not in the flow.  I’ve noticed that I am the most out of sync when I haven’t taken time to nurture my faith practices.  Synchronicities, or what I like to call, God winks, start to happen when we reconnect with our faith.
With the appearance of the Harvest Moon this week and the beginning of Fall, my spiritual curiosity has increased and my cravings for all things pumpkin has returned-:) Here are a couple of my favorite recipes that will satisfy that pumpkin craving while keeping it healthy.  
PROTEIN PUMPKIN PANCAKES
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(inspired by Little b’s healthy habits clean recipes)
Ingredients
1 cup oat flour
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp Stevia
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie seasoning
2 egg whites
1/4 cup raw pumpkin (heaping) {Not mix, just pumpkin}
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp greek yogurt
*I made double the batch to have leftovers for then next morning.
PROTEIN PUMPKIN BREAD
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Ingredients
1 cup oat flour
1/3 cup oats
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup Stevia
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana
3/4 cup pumpkin (no sugar added)
1 whole egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Place all ingredients in mixer and mix well.
3. Place batter in prepared loaf pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

*I freeze these and keep some in the frig for a snack when I have craving for something sweet*