Pumpkin Power Bowl

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my smoothies. But sometimes I feel like I drink them without realizing I've pretty much just had a whole meal in a few gulps. All these beautiful bowl posts lately got me trying out making smoothies with a little less liquid, and some crunchy toppings, to take my smoothies from just a drink to feeling more like a meal that I actually consciously enjoy bite by bite, rather than gulping down in the car. And hey - there are stil definitely times when sitting with a bowl and spoon just isn't possible, and a fast smoothie is still your best option to get some nutrients in. But if you have some time, try out a smoothie bowl.

I have no shame in admitting I jump all over pumpkin every fall. So, here's my first smoothie bowl post, pumpkin spice and all. I did include options though if you can't stand pumpkin, or have already over done it this season.

Pumpkin Power Bowl

Base Ingredients:

  • Pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Vanilla protein powder
  • Splash of milk (almond, dairy, or your choice)
  • Cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice

Toppers:

  • Sliced banana
  • Shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almond butter

Notes:

No protein powder?

Replace the protein powder with plain Greek yogurt, and add a bit of honey or 1-2 dates to sweeten to taste, prior to blending.

Hate pumpkin?

Skip the pumpkin spice and just stick to cinnamon, and swap the pumpkin out with banana. Instead of topping with more banana, use a tart berry like raspberries to balance out the banana base sweetness.

Mix up your fats

Play around with different nut-butters, seeds, and nuts as your toppers. If I'm craving extra crunch time I'll sprinkle a few tablespoons of granola on top as well.

Enjoy!!

 

Protein Pancakes - Pumpkin Spice (or not)

I promised myself I wouldn't go crazy with the pumpkin posts this year, but this protein pancake recipe is such a staple in my week that I had to try making a pumpkin version - and yep, adding pumpkin and pumpkin spice was a good call.

I've included a few additional variations of the recipe that I use so that you have something to fall back on in a couple weeks when you are #sooverpumpkin.

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Makes 2 pancakes, 1 serving

1/3 cup egg whites
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1 Tbsp cottage cheese
1 Tbsp milk - almond/coconut/dairy
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1 Tbsp almond butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 - 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or make your own: 3/4 tsp cinnamon + pinch each of: cloves, nutmeg, all spice)

1 tsp coconut oil

Place all ingredients except for coconut oil in a blender and blend until fully mixed and smooth (Magic Bullet works great here!). Melt the 1 tsp of coconut oil in a frying pan over low heat, and pour the batter in to form two pancakes. Flip once golden brown, and cook until the center has set. Top with a little extra cinnamon, scoop of yogurt, or a handful of pumpkin seeds or some sliced apples!

Non-Pumpkin Variations

Peanut Butter (or any nut butter):
- Skip the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice
- Replace almond butter with peanut butter, cashew butter, or any other nut butter of your choice
- Optional: add 1 tsp cinnamon and/or 1/2 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut

Lemon Coconut:
- Skip the pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and almond butter
- Add 1 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut, and 1-2 tsp lemon zest (zest about 1/2 lemon)

Chocolate Raspberry:
- Skip the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice
- Replace vanilla protein powder with chocolate protein powder, and/or add 2 tsp cacao powder
- After blending all other ingredients, add 2-3 Tbsp raspberries *if using frozen be sure to thaw them first and remove excess liquid before adding to batter

Blueberry Granola & Pumpkin Spice Apple Smoothie

I'll admit I fully get on the pumpkin-spice everything train this time of year, and when The Main Dish introduced their pumpkin line-up I knew their smoothie would be something I'd be wanting on the regular, so I had to try making one myself - success!

Since not quite everyone is into pumpkin though, I've also included a granola recipe that I tried out this past weekend at The Light Cellar, and I'm pretty sure it's my new favourite for granola. It requires only 5 minutes of cook time, versus the hour I was roasting previous granola recipes in the oven for, which also means it stays a whole lot chewier. This one's packed with loads of good fats, so a little goes a long way!

Pumpkin Spice Apple Smoothie

Serves 1

1/2 apple, core removed
1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 cup milk - dairy/unsweetened coconut/unsweetened almond
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 - 1 Tbsp almond butter
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or 3/4 tsp cinnamon + pinch nutmeg + pinch allspice + pinch cloves

Place all ingredients in a blender, blend on high until smooth, and enjoy!

Tip: I also made this recipe into more of a pudding, by using only 1/4 cup milk. Top with a little scoop of plain Greek yogurt, a spoonful of the granola below, and you've got a super filling breakfast/snack!

Blueberry Granola

Makes 4 1/2 cups

1 cup oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup sunflower or pumpkin seeds
3 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Tbsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 Tbsp vanilla extract)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried berries - one or a mix of: blueberries, goji, raisins, cherries
3 Tbsp coconut oil
2-3 Tbsp honey

Mix all ingredients aside from the last three ingredients in a bowl. Heat a cast iron pan [I used a regular frying pan, it works, too!] to medium-high heat on the stove top and lightly dry toast the granola stirring constantly for 4-6 minutes. Return the toasted granola to the bowl and mix in the coconut oil, honey, and dried berries.

For the dried fruit, I did a half and half mixture of freeze dried blueberries and dried sour cherries (both available at The Light Cellar) to get a punch of both sweet and sour.

Tip: Don't melt the coconut oil before mixing in - the dry mixture will be warm enough from the light toasting to melt it as you mix it in. Letting it melt as you mix gives a better even coating.