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Tag Archives: Pumpkin benefits

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Substitute

5 Aug

It’s never too early to start using pumpkin in recipes.

Is it just me, or does just thought thought of the holidays and the smell of those fall flavors put a smile on your face? It just makes me so happy!

I use to absolutely love making a pumpkin cream cheese. But see, I had a problem. The low fat version still had a lot of calories for the amount I would go through of it (2 tablespoon serving size?! I think not). But then the fat free version was just filled with all sorts of artificial ingredients and fillers for the lack of fat. So yesterday I came up with a solution for this problem. And the solution was delicious. Low in fat, high in protein, and still that delicious creamy taste of cream cheese!

Did I mention I have been loving cottage cheese lately? :)

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Whats your favorite holiday flavor?? I guess mine isn’t too hard to guess!

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Pumpkin “Cream Cheese”

-1/4 cup+2T Pumpkin Puree
-1/2 cup Cottage Cheese
-1 packet Stevia or 2T Honey
-1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
-1/4 tsp Cinnamon + Nutmeg
Directions: Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Keep in jar. Use as a spread on toast, a sweet dip, or even a simple add-in into oatmeal or shakes.

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin aid which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C to keep you fit and healthy

Raw Honey Benefits
1) Alkaline-forming food that contains natural vitamins, enzymes, and powerful antioxidants
2)Anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fingal properties
3)Promotes body and digestive health
4)Strengthens immune system
5)Eliminates allergies
6)Excellent remedy for skin wounds and infections
7)Stabilizes blood pressure
8)Relieves pain
9)Calm nerves

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter

29 Jul

Ever since I was a child, I have loved peanut butter. It’s one of those things I don’t think I could ever get sick of. I use to sit on the couch after school with a banana and an entire jar of peanut butter. Spoonful of peanut butter on to the banana, take a bite, spoonful of peanut butter on to the banana, take a bite, repeat continuously. Banana is gone? No problem, I would just start eating spoonfuls of peanut butter.

Thankfully I’ve learned the meaning of moderation now, at least most of the time :)

As I was enjoying some peanut butter yesterday, a brilliant idea came to me. Why not made a more creamy and light tasting butter by adding pumpkin?! It only made sense as I love my pumpkin.

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The result was incredible. It give the typical heavy and rich peanut butter, a more refreshing, mousse like texture. And guess what? It cuts the calories and fat down in a natural way! The addition of pumpkin lends that lovely taste of fall inside that spoonful of delicious nut butter<3

This is absolutely delicious on toast, as a dip for apples, a mix-in to oatmeal and yogurt, of just by the spoonful!

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter
-1 cup homemade peanut butter (or any natural peanut butter)
-1 cup pumpkin puree (or decrease to 1/2 cup if wanting a richer taste)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-Optional: 1T honey or stevia
-Optional: 1/4 tsp seal salt (if butter is not already salted)
Directions: Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Store in fridge.

Note: Turn it into a sinlessly sweet butter with the addition of sweetener and extract, or enjoy as your typical savory peanut butter by just adding pumpkin.

Note: Want a really low calorie option? Instead of 1 cup peanut butter, use peanut flour and almond milk to make 1 cup worth!

Note: Want a really low calorie dip? Use peanut flour mixed with water or almond milk in place of the peanut butter! (But don’t be afraid of all the healthy fats, they are good for you!)

Peanut Benefits
1)Rich in energy, containing many nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins
2)Good levels of mono-unsaturated fatty acids
3)Good source of dietary protein
4)Great source of resveratrol, an antioxidant found to protect against cancers, heart disease, and fungal infections
5)Excellent source of vitamin E, which maintains and protects cell membranes and skin
6)Packed with B vitamins

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin aid which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C to keep you fit and healthy

Pumpkin Pie Walnut Butter & Pumpkin Protein Crepe

7 Jul

I have TWO recipes to share with you today. I have been going a little bit crazy with the pumpkin lately. But when you have delicious, fresh puree to use, why not?!

I love nut butters, all kinds. Well, all MY kinds that are made fresh and healthy, without added sugars and bad oils that is! I literally am pulling out my food processor at least one time if not two times a week to make some. It just seems to..disappear. Weird.

And I don’t think I have to tell you how much I love pumpkin. So the two combined together to create a smooth, creamy, fall favorite flavor–flawless. I was tempted to just eat it all with a spoon! (Okay so maybe I did have a spoonful or two and made sure none was wasted on the food processor). Anyways, it is a must try if you are a fan of pumpkin! A warning that I sometimes don’t think of since mine never lasts that long, nuts go bad when combined with liquids after about a week, so make as much as you think you will have in that time frame (and keep refrigerator!) :)

Next up, I came home from a long 4 hour morning of organic chemistry class (yes, I am stuck taking organic chemistry during the summer), and wanted a protein packed sweet treat. I was going to resort to egg whites and have something on the side at first after not being able to decide, but then knew I really wanted to use my pumpkin once again. So, call me crazy, but I combined the two. What resulted from the combo+ some other ingredients, was something I can’t quite call a pancake, or a crepe, or a sweet omelette. I wasn’t really sure what to call it, but crepe was the closest in texture :) I filled it with some vanilla “cream”, and had a delicious, sinlessly sweet pumpkin creation sitting on my plate. High in protein, healthy and delicious. Don’t judge it until you try it!

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Pumpkin Pie Walnut Butter
-1 cup walnuts, toasted
-1/4 cup fresh pumpkin puree
-1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
-1 tsp ground flaxseed
-1 tsp cinnamon and vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Optional: Sweetener of choice (fresh pumpkin was sweet enough for me, but if using canned, you will want to add 1 or 2T honey or 1 packet of stevia)
Directions: Food process toasted nuts until butter forms–this will take about 5-10 minutes of blending. (Check out how to make homemade nut butter here). When smooth nut butter has formed, add all other ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined. Enjoy! Great on toast, oatmeal, or any other way you typically use nut butter!

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Pumpkin Protein Crepe with Vanilla Cream filling
For Crepe:
-2/3 cup egg whites
-1/3 cup pumpkin
-2T cottage cheese
-1T ground flaxseed
-1 tsp baking powder and vanilla extract
-dash of sea salt
*Sweeten to taste (fresh pumpkin and my filling were sweet enough for me alone)

Vanilla Cream
-1/4 fat-free or low-fat ricotta cheese
-1/4 greek yogurt
-1/2 very ripe big banana
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 1T honey if banana isn’t sweet enough

Directions: Blend all crepe ingredients until smooth in blender. Cook in pan on medium heat until done (makes one big crepe or 2/3 small). Blend all vanilla cream ingredients together. Fill crepe/crepes with filling, and roll up! (Mint leaf for decoration) Enjoy!

Pumpkin Benefits:
1) High in Vitamin aid which aids in eyesight
2) High in fiber to keep you satisfied
3) Rich in Beta Carotene with plays a role in cancer prevention and benefit your skin
4) More potassium than a banana (great post workout food!)
5) Rich in Vitamin C to keep you fit and healthy

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html

Pumpkin Breakfast Pudding

4 Jul

Why yes, yes it certainly is another pumpkin recipe. How after this post you may ask? I found myself a huge real “calabaza” in my food store, baked it, and the product was a whole lot of delicious pumpkin puree. Is it just me or is fresh pureed pumpkin so much more delicious than the canned stuff? I don’t even need sweetener for most of my pumpkin recipes when using fresh! And there is no way I could do that with canned pumpkin.

Back to how this was created. I woke up really wanting to use my fresh pumpkin in my breakfast, but wasn’t wanting anything hot like oatmeal or my pumpkin french toast. I knew I wanted some of my all natural, 4-ingredient cottage cheese as well, and that is when the wheels started turning.

I took out my nutribullet, measured out equal parts of pumpkin, cottage cheese, raw bran, and a couple other things, and I truly was surprised with the result. I did not think it was going to be that good. Boy was I wrong. I didn’t even need to add any sweetener!

When I had reached the bottom of my jar, it was a sad day. Just kidding, but I was wishing I had more of it to eat! This was a delicious and healthy way to start my morning. Pumpkin has so many nutritional benefits, and this was high in protein and fiber as well to keep that tummy satisfied!

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Pumpkin Breakfast Pudding
-1/2 cup fresh pumpkin(can used canned)
-1/2 cup almond milk
-1/4 cup cottage cheese
-1/4 cup raw bran (can use oats if you don’t have)
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-dash of sea salt
Directions: Blend in high speed blender until smooth. Add sweetener if desired. Fresh pumpkin is so sweet to me on its own that I didn’t need any! (I topped mine with baked cinnamon pumpkin seeds, fresh pumpkin puree, and cinnamon)