No Bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Energy Bites

Roll em', pop em' and forget about em'! Don't forget about these though, because they are seriously a must have not just in the fall, but all year long! The beauty in these no bake pumpkin balls is that you can get creative and sub ingredients for ones you like. I really like the texture of these because of the oats! Try these, and experiment with your own ingredients! I'd love to hear how you "pump"-ed them up even more! Perfect as an on-the-go breakfast, little snack or post workout dunked in yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup regular, or gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used Wild Friend's Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter!)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup quality honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Directions 

  1. In a medium bowl, add oats, peanut butter, pumpkin, hemp seeds, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. The mixture should stick together when rolled. It will feel sticky on your hands when rolling. 
  2. Using a cookie scoop or spoon, scoop a spoonful into the palm of your hand and roll into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture. Refrigerate, or freeze before you eat them all! 

xoxo

pumpkin girl 

Pumpkin Chocolate Avocado Mousse

If I didn't tell you, wouldn't even know there was avocado OR pumpkin in this recipe.

At a restaurant in Seattle this past fall, I had my first taste of chocolate avocado mousse. I did the whole "i'm just going to have a bit" thing (because the salad I had their was amazing, and I was truly satisfied by this point) , and then found myself unable to put my spoon down! Wow! I had seen recipes for it before, but was never too interested, until it hit me: "why not add pumpkin too?!" No surprise, that this is a questionsI often ask myself.......

Pumpkin Avocado Mousse topped with Pumpkin Fig Granola 

 

Months later, with a little more time on my hands, and the lingering memory of how good it was, and excitement of how cool it could be with pumpkin got me going in the kitchen. With the help of my trusty Vitamix, all I really did was blend, and snap! You can top it with whatever your want, I find Purely Elizabeth's pumpkin fig granola, the perfect topper to almost everything, so that's where I started. I'm already excited for the next time I make this, so I can get pumpkin wild and maybe put it on top of pumpkin pie, or cheesecake....100% serious! Oh and, I gave my mom a taste after I got the question "is this edible?" and "more pumpkin, Maggie". But when I asked her what she tasted--she couldn't figure out that avocado was in it! This is a fun game I would definitely play with people when you make it for them :) 

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 5 soft, pitted dates
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree 
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie extract (optional, don't worry about it if you don't have it on hand)

Directions 

  1. Add all of the ingredients into a blender or Vitamix. Blend on high until smooth consistency begins to form. 
  2. Top with your favorite pumpkin add ons! Recommended by me are: Purely Elizabeth pumpkin fig granola, Justin's white chocolate peanut butter cups, berries, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pizzelles 

 

xox

pumpkin girl 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter

It's no secret I'm a big fan of pumpkin spice peanut butter. Correction, I'm a big of peanut butter in general! When I don't have peanut butter with something for breakfast, I feel like my whole day is out of whack. Any one else?! I do like switching it up with almond butter once in awhile, and having a Vitamix makes it super easy to not pay over ten bucks for a jar! (I buy my almonds in the bulk section of the grocery store when they're on sale!) So especially this time of year, adding pumpkin pie spice extract and extra pumpkin pie spice to my almond butter was a NO brainer, and I'm telling you I can't stop putting it on everything! It's perfect on top of pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin waffles, with a banana, or just by the spoonful after a long day. Recipe below! You bettah, make this buttah :) 

Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter

Ingredients

2 cups almonds, chopped into pieces

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

4-5 drops of pumpkin pie spice extract

1-2 heaping Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice

Directions

Place almonds, coconut oil, and pumpkin pie extract in Vitamix. Blend on high. Reduce speed as almond butter begins forming. On low, add pumpkin pie spice. Refrigerate and enjoy! 

New Year in New York Update!

 

It’s been a while since I sat down to write and reflect on the happenings of my life, but today felt like just the right time to do so. I came back to the city after a long hiatus at home in Chicago for the holidays. Coming back this time was easier than it has been in the past, but I was still afraid for those cold and weary January days that would have me missing home. With that in mind, I know keeping a positive attitude and planning small things to look forward to throughout the weeks helps me to keep the winter blahs at bay. I can say that New York has been good to me to start the year and already given me an experience I’ll never forget!

Last Friday I was lucky enough to be a part of the Nasdaq opening bell ringing in Times Square! As part of Eat Right month and FIT Week here in New York, The president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics invited other RDs to help officially open the markets! I didn’t even know I wanted to do that until I was doing it! We even had our pictures taken and displayed on their marquee in Times Square! Yep, there I am IRL, next to the lovely Jaime Schwartz! 

bell.jpg

 

That weekend I went to my first guided meditation class at MNDF. Although I’ve done a lot of yoga recently, I was curious as to how just straight up meditation without movement would be. I went with my roommate knowing if I didn’t go with her, I probably wouldn’t make the time to go myself. It was really tough to wrap my mind around relaxing (no surprise for me there), but once I kinda went with where my mind was going, I could fully enjoy the process. Meditating in some capacity even if it’s at home for 5 minutes with 10 deep breaths, it’s something I definitely want to try to do every day. Because we all could use a little more calmness and clarity, am I right?!

In food news….

The other night I went to the Health Professionals of Instagram dinner at Candle 79 on the UES. It’s trendy vegan food, which was perfect for a bunch of RDs who love taking pictures of what they are eating. Lots of their dishes are tastefully garnished with pumpkin seeds, a plus for me! They also have a pumpkinhead  martini made from Crop organic vodka, and a “live” pumpkin pie dessert! I got this avocado salad with baby greens, quinoa, cranberry beans, jicama, squash, cucumber, radishes, toasted pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, chipotle-avocado dressing…yum! 

It was great to connect with other NYC RDs who take Instagram as seriously as I do hah!  Their IG games are ones worth following! (@confessionofadietitian & @eat.drink.shrink) just to name a few. Stay tuned on IG for big things to come with this next month!

Pumpkin foods I’ve been eating this week

Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Spice Waffles + Purely Elizabeth's Pumpkin & Fig Granola + Trader Joe’s Raw Almond Butter 
kind.jpg
Maple Pumpkin Seed KIND Bars 
steve.jpg
Steve’s Paleo Goods Pumpkin & Tropical Grainless Granola (because it tastes like vacation!!) 
ris.jpg
Williams-Sonoma Oven-Baked Pumpkin Risotto ---> I added spinach, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and cooked it using bone broth and white wine :) 

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Review

 

TASTE

#1 JIF Whips Pumpkin Pie Spice Peanut Butter

JIF whips

This was my first love of last pumpkin season. The whipped texture is really like no other! So smooth, creamy and melts perfectly into the nooks and crannies of a toasted pumpkin spice english muffin. Either I eat way too much peanut butter or way too much pumpkin, either way I can't stop eating this and I won't! It's fluffy, cloud-like texture is what sets it apart from the others, and the reason why it takes the top spot for taste. If you haven't yet tried it, I don't know what you are waiting for!  

#2 Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter

Wild Friends sure knows how to make a wild pumpkin spice peanut butter! They really got the color and flavor of this peanut butter to scream pumpkin spice! It's pretty orange-y, which I love! I could taste the different notes of pumpkin spice in it and it lends itself perfectly to be eaten right from the jar from the spoon.I think the vanilla that they add amplifies the pumpkin spice taste in a way that sets it apart from the others. As a new comer to the season, Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter is definitely worth searching TJMAXX, HomeGoods or Marshalls for!

#3 Peanut Butter & Co Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter

I am lucky enough to be living in NYC, where the Peanut Butter & Co store is! Getting my hands was only a subway ride away (almost the easiest pumpkin product I have tracked down!) This pumpkin spice variety has the thickest texture out of the 3 of them. You can see and taste the hints of nutmeg, allspice and ginger in it. I would say that mix gives in more of a "fall spice" flavor, and less of a distinct pumpkin spice taste. 

 

NUTRITION 

#1 Peanut Butter & Co Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter

The rankings have been reversed! Peanut Butter & Co's Pumpkin Spice has the lowest amount of sugar and highest amount of protein per serving. It ties Wild Friends in the calorie category, both coming in at 180 per Tbsp. (Let's be honest, I'm eating more than 1 serving at a time!) It also gets nutritional credit for having a short ingredient list, made up of highly recognizable spices you would have in your cabinet.

#2 Wild Friends Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter

The texture of this peanut butter would definitely fall into the natural peanut butter category. You can see the oil separation. I put it in the fridge and it became very think and cohesive....so it's definitely better left out just like the label says! This one is made from peanut oil vs. the palm oil used in Peanut Butter and Co's and evaporate cane sugar vs. dried can syrup.  It has one more gram of sugar per serving than Peanut Butter & Co's.

#3 JIF Whips Pumpkin Pie Spice Peanut Butter

The awesomeness of this peanut butter's whipped texture comes at a price.... Hydrogenated vegetables oils. You see, in order to achieve the whipped texture, these types of oils must be added to the peanut butter. The upside of whipped-ness is that it is lower in calories and sugar than the other two peanut butters, but not as natural in terms of ingredients. It is also highest in sodium out of the 3 but lowest in fat. 

I'm in pumpkin peanut butter heaven with these 3 different nut butters, and hope to start using them in different ways and in different recipes! If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear!