Pumpkin for Snacking

Ah, the first day of November is finally here. I know fall began about 5 weeks ago, but for me, fall doesn’t really seem to set in until after Halloween is over with. Don’t get me wrong – Halloween is a fun holiday and probably the reason for the pumpkin craze. But if you ask me, Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of my favorite holidays. It’s probably because they both involve family and food – two of my favorite things!

If you’ve been following me, you know that I love finding ways to incorporate pumpkin into the many meals we eat throughout the day. Today’s focus is snacks. For me, I always have a shake as my mid-morning snack. These are a great source of protein and serve as a pick-me-up for that slump that seems to come on before lunchtime. I’m an early riser (5am wake-up calls), so by 10:30am I’m in need of a serious boost. I used to eat a really large breakfast, thinking that this would help tide me over to lunch. Well, it did but I would wind up feeling pretty tired. This was because I was eating too much food in one sitting. By breaking out my meals, I actually stay more awake, more focused, and feel less bloated.

Now, there’s also that afternoon snack that we all know and love! Some of us call it dessert time, but for me, it’s another chance to get some protein in. I try to get my starches in by 1pm so I have plenty of time to digest them. This means that my afternoon snacks are usually fruit or veggie based along with some form of protein. But sometimes, you just need something a little salty and crunchy! Pumpkin seeds are an excellent alternative to the all too accessible potato chips. Another better-for-you choice is hummus. You can pair veggies with it instead of pita chips!

Below are just a few of my favorite pumpkin-themed snacks. Check these out, try them out, and let me know which one is your favorite!  ❤️

 

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

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1 banana, chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 T unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
Ice

Blend & enjoy ❤️

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Shake

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1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology
1 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (optional)
Ice

Blend & enjoy ❤️

 

Pumpkin Seeds

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  1. Heat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Rinse your pumpkin seeds by placing them in a bowl filled with water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, allowing the “gunk” of the pumpkin to drop towards the bottom.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the seeds and lay them on a paper towel. Pat dry.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with foil and grease with cooking spray or olive oil. Place the seeds on the foil and drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Choose your flavor and mix the seasonings. Note: measurements shown below are for each 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds. So if you have 1 cup of seeds, you’ll want to double the ingredients.
  6. Sprinkle the seasonings on top of your seeds and stir to coat.
  7. Place pan in the oven for 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, remove and stir. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Continue cooking in 10-minute increments so as not to burn the seeds.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Ranch

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Cinnamon Sugar

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Pinch of salt

Sweet & Spicy

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

 

Pumpkin Hummus with Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Chips

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Hummus

1 cup chickpeas
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp coconut oil, melted

Chips

8 whole wheat tortilla
1 T coconut oil, melted
Stevia
Cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a cookie sheet with melted coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and spread them out on a paper towel. Gently squeeze each chickpea until the thin, papery skin comes off. This is called de-skinning. Repeat with remaining chickpeas.
  3. Place the chickpeas, pumpkin, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and 2 tsps of coconut oil into a small food processor. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape downy the sides every so often.
  4. Cut each tortilla into 6-8 triangles (depending on the size of your tortillas) and lay them on the oiled cookie sheet. Brush with 1/2 of the melted coconut oil and then sprinkle with cinnamon and Stevia.
  5. Bake the tortilla chips for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden.
  6. Drizzle the hummus with additional melted coconut oil, if desired, and serve with your cinnamon sugar tortilla chips!

 

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