Pumpkin pie smoothie

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The pumpkin pie enthusiasm has begun. I consider it safe to begin posting about pumpkin after Starbucks releases its pumpkin spice latte! And it seems to come earlier each year. This year there was Halloween candy in the grocery isle even before Labor Day was here.

Here is a pumpkin idea that won’t break the calorie bank and deliciously good for you.

The original recipe is by Michele-Foley on fitsugar.com.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2-3/4 cup pumpkin, (either canned or fresh) frozen
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

(Note, usually the night before I throw a peeled banana and the pumpkin in separate plastic bags and freeze it)

How to:

  1. Throw pumpkin, banana and remaining ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Add a fun straw and drink up!

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Carrot-lovers muffins

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You don’t have to be a rabbit to like this one-it’s like carrot cake, but a little healthier. I use white whole wheat flour which gives the muffin a little body, but not dryness like regular whole wheat flour. I add raisins and walnuts like a traditional carrot cake but forgo the icing. By using puréed carrots, the muffins are super moist and a hard-to-resist deep orange ! I’m so ready for Fall!

Yields: 12 muffins

What you’ll need:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup puréed carrots (about 3/4 lbs. of carrots)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • shake of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

How to:

Start by steaming the carrots. Peel, take off the ends, and chop carrots. Throw into a steaming basket with about a couple inches of water in the pan, cover. Steam over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until tender. While steaming, preheat oven to 375 degrees F, then grease and flour one 12-muffin pan. Using an immersion blender, pureé the carrot until consistent. Don’t worry if tiny pieces are visible; it will make the muffin more interesting. Next, in the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and both sugars. Cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one by one, then vanilla. Once incorporated add carrot puree and cinnamon. Take mixer out of stand. The next part is done by hand, as to not over mix the batter. Add salt, flour, baking soda and powder and mix gently. Lastly, add walnuts, raisins and chocolate chips. Pour batter in by about 1/4 cup portions in to the greased and floured muffin tins. Place in the hot oven in middle rack for about 12-15 minutes.

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Pumpkin pie pancakes

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Fall is on it’s way and pumpkin-flavored everything is coming out in stores. But there is something about a crisp Sunday morning with a steaming cup of black coffee and a hot-off-the-griddle pumpkin pie pancake! (of course with maple syrup too) These pumpkin pie pancakes are the perfect hybrid between pumpkin pie and pancake, but they are fluffy just like a pancake. The trick to these perfect flavored pancakes is the pumpkin pie spice.

Yields: 14 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons of melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Begin by mixing the wet ingredients in a mixing bowl. With a whisk, add pumpkin, milk, eggs, vanilla extract and melted butter. In another bowl, add all the rest of the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, add wet ingredients into the dry. Don’t over mix batter. On a hot griddle, ladle the pancake mix onto a hot, buttered griddle in about 1/3 c portions. When pancakes bubble, they are ready to flip. Repeat until batter is used up! Serve hot with butter and maple syrup.

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Picture above: the lighter cooked ones are more doughy, and the more cooked ones have a better pumpkin pie flavor.