Pumpkin Mug Cake

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It may be December, but I still have enough pumpkin puree to get me through the new year. Pumpkin doesn’t have to come in the sweet and spiced form. It is actually a very versatile squash, full of nutritional benefits.

Pumpkin packs:

Fiber: With three grams per cup and less than 50 calories per serving to ward off hunger

Vitamin A: Your eyesight will benefit

Beta Carotene: To fight cancer causing free radicals

Potassium: To replenish electrolytes after a tough workout

Vitamin C: To boost your immunity

Carotenoids: Fighting off free radicals to give you wrinkle free skin (or as close as you can get…)

So as you all know I am a mug cake fanatic. I find a way with what I have in the kitchen when a craving strikes, which is often. This mug cake is full of fiber and very light. You could even have it for breakfast!

So here is what you will need:

¼ cup pumpkin puree
2 tbsp all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp ground flaxseed
1 splash of almond or coconut milk
2 tsp agave nectar or honey
1-2 tbsp of mini chocolate chip (I use enjoy life dairy free)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Combine everything adding the milk of your choice last. Add as much “milk” as necessary to create a cake batter consistency. You wont need much. Place your mug in the microwave for 1 minute, if the cake is still not done in the middle continue in 30 second increments until it lacks gooey batter spots.

I recommend using a mug with a larger circumference or even a small glass bowl/baking dish. I standard mug will take longer to cook through leaving the outsides slightly overcooked. If you want to split the serving between two standard mugs to make two mini mug cakes, that will work, as long as you are willing to share.

This healthy little cake does not taste much like pumpkin, so enjoy all year round!

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Gooey Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Blond Pic Stitch

Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, full of fiber, guilt free and absolutely delicious.  This recipe screams fall without an over powering pumpkin spice flavor.  I wish I could say I came up with the genius secret ingredient, but the credit goes to the Purely Twins.  The ingredient that makes these bars gooey and flour less is pureed plantain.  I had all the necessary ingredients in my pantry, with the exception of a plantain, so chances are you have most of these ingredients already at home! I modified the original recipe just bit.  See below:

Pumpkin Blonde DoneBlonde Pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe plantain
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup turbido sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (1oz), liquid
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Puree the plantain in a blender or food processor
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl but hold the chocolate chips
  • Add the plantain, pumpkin and coconut oil to the dry ingredient bowl and mix well with a spatula
  • Fold in chocolate chips if you so desire
  • Spread the mixture into an 8×8 baking dish greased with coconut oil and bake for 20-25 minutes

These bars are gooey and decadent, but are best when stored in the refrigerator.  They are moist and prone to molding if you leave them out for days at a time.  I have a bar recipe similar to this one and I always keep cool or even freeze if I know I cannot gobble them up in less than a week.  I usually do not have that problem…

This recipe packed with fiber and makes for a great snack, breakfast or dessert.  Feel free to experiment and add your own mix ins.  I think pecans or sliced almonds would add a great crunch! If you try anything out, let me know how it goes 🙂

Gut Health Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Fall is officially here in Virginia.  The nights are in the low 40’s and Trader Joes is stocked with all things pumpkin.  I don’t usually like the taste of  most pumpkin flavored products.  They all taste artificial and not much like pumpkin if you ask me.  I remember trying the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks a few years ago.  It was so disappointing, I ended up taking two sips and dumping it in the trash before I left the store.  Now Starbucks is being slammed with criticism for using caramel coloring and other artificial ingredients.

So maybe pumpkin packaged goods are icky, but you can still celebrate fall by making delicious and healthy homemade recipes with fall squash.  Pumpkin is a super food.   So why not add it to everything?

Pumpkin Packs:

  • Lots of dietary fiber
  • Low calorie count
  • Antioxidants to improve skin and sight
  • Vitamins A& B
  • Folates
  • Minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus

Recently I have been on a quest to improve my gut health. Going dairy, grain, soy and legume free has made breakfast a challenge.  I have had to get creative to find things that keep me full when I don’t have time for eggs and veggies in the morning.  So let me present you with my Gut Healthy Pumpkin Spice Smoothie recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp organic honey
  • splash of unsweetened coconut milk (or as much as needed)
  • few dashes of cinnamon
  • 1 dash of nutmeg
  • 1 dash of ground cloves

Simply add all your ingredients together, blend and enjoy at home or on the road! Happy fall y’all 🙂

Pumpkin & Almond Butter Muffins

Whether you want your muffins for breakfast, a snack or dessert, this recipe is for you. These muffins are moist, decadent and pretty damn healthy. If you are a health food junky you likely have all the required ingredients ready … Continue reading

Sleeping Late & Dessert for Breakfast

Monday sucks.  It’s painful for almost everyone.  Today I attempted to keep my bad mood under control by making two decisions last night. 

  1. I turned my 5:30 alarm off and I slept until 7:30
  2. I prepped a magically decadent breakfast

Monday Fuel

I typically wake up around 5:30-6:00 on Monday mornings to workout, but as I climbed into bed last night I realized how sore I felt from that morning’s weight lifting session.  It has been a crazy couple weeks with new clients and a new workout regimen so I am stepping out of my routine for some rest.  Wow, 9 hours of sleep has me feeling like a new woman.  Sleep is the new cardio. 

When I went to prep my breakfast last night I realized there was only about half a serving of yogurt left, so I improvised and made the most decadent breakfast of my life.  It was like eating peanut butter pie for breakfast, but better, because it was filling fuel not empty calories. 

I zoomed to the office this morning so excited to dig into my breakfast jar.  Catching up on emails is so much more fun when you are shoveling delicious food down your throat. 

Here is what went into my morning jar: 

I mix all the ingredients together and let the jar sit in the refrigerator over night.  This allows the flavors to really soak into the yogurt.  The chia seeds expand into gelatinous fibrous omega-3 fatty acid sprinkles. 

This recipe is full of healthy fats and 19 grams of protein to keep you full and satisfied until lunch! There is no added sugar (or artificial sugar), so you wont crash like you will with a bowl of cereal.  I even counted calories for all you number crunchers and with my portions it was 380 calories.  That is one gram of protein for every 20 calories.  Vegetarians rejoice!

Give it a whirl or make your own version, it will make your regimented morning a tad more exciting.  Report back!

Choco Whey: The World’s Premium Whey Chocolate

 

milk__18159.1390364143.328.245A candy bar that delivers 9-11 grams of whey protein with no added sugar, it sounded too good to be true.  So of course, I had to try it. Luckily Defense Nutrition was able to facilitate my taste test by sending a sample.  I should have specified my chocolate preference.  I am a dark chocoholic.  Not to worry, there are several different variations of Choco Whey.    I tried the Cacao Nib Milk Chocolate and Whey bar. See the nutrition facts below:

ChocoWhey-CacaoNibs-Milk-Bar-1.5ozBefore we even talk about the nutrition facts, lets take a look at the ingredients.  NO SUGAR ADDED, NO SUGAR ALCOHOL, NO FRUCTOSE, NOTHING ARTIFICIAL . Did I mention it is GMO FREE? You cannot really beat that in a candy bar.  I also think calling this bar candy is a stretch.  It is nutritious and a great serving of Whey protein (9 g per bar), but if you are looking for the taste and melt in your mouth texture of a Hershey’s bar you will not get it with Choco Whey.  It tastes, well, healthy.  I think this particular bar tastes just like their Chocolate Whey Protein Shake in solid form. It was pretty good with a smear of almond butter and a medjool date on top.  According to Defense Nutrition, it outperforms your everyday protein bar and is made without syrups (sugar, fructose, sugar alcohol, agave, rice, malt, etc.), which is always a plus!

chocowhey-table

If you have read my blog before, you know I do not look at calories or fat when assessing a natural product’s nutritional label.  I go straight to the sugar, fiber and protein.  This product passes in all three categories! For a chocolate bar, this bar is super low in the sugar department.  Compared to a Nut Delight Kind Bar, this particular flavor packs three more grams of protein and and three more grams of fiber all while containing three grams less sugar.

The bar is full of antioxidants , great for muscle recovery and I am honestly dying to try some of the other flavors! When you purchase Choco Whey you can choose from Milk or Dark chocolate.  They also have a ChocoVegan bar. Milk and dark chocolate have the following varieties:

  • Plain
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Almond
  • Coffee
  • Macadamia
  • Super Crunch
  • The vegan chocolate is not available in Macadamia or Super Crunch

The nutrition facts change slightly for each variety of milk and dark chocolate bars.  Overall, the dark chocolate has less sugar and a little more fiber.  It looks like the Super Crunch variety packs the most protein coming in at 11 grams per bar.  The ChocoVegan bars have less than half the protein overall, ranging from 3-4 grams per bar.  I would recommend sticking to the ChocoWhey bars unless you are a vegan.  Go here to compare nutrition facts across flavor variates.

I would recommenced this product to active chocoholics looking for a way to get their fix and up their protein.  I love that all the artificial sweeteners and mystery syrups are left out and only quality products are put in.  The taste is much more natural and not super sweet like traditional candy bars. The Milk Chocolate Cacao Nibs bar had a bit of a nutty flavor. It was not sinfully delicious, but it tasted like all natural milk chocolate.  The cost definitely reflects the quality. A box of 12 chocolate bars costs you $47.90 with shipping included for those in the U.S ($3.99 per bar).  If you decide to purchase the bar individually, it is going to cost you $4.95 per bar.  Protein bars are typically $1-3.  I usually get kind Bars 4/$5 or Lara Bars 3/$5.  Perhaps with a little popularity and increased demand, the price will go down.  I DO want to try the dark chocolate.  If you have tasted it before let me know your thoughts!

Click here to purchase this product!