Pumpkin

Pick a Pumpkin

In case you haven’t been to the store recently, it’s pumpkin season! From visiting the pumpkin patch with the kids, to squash and pumpkin displays a plenty at the grocery store, there’s no shortage of the season’s squash. And there’s no reason not to enjoy it. The season’s signature veggie packs a healthy punch:

  • A cup of mashed and cooked pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
  • A cup of pumpkin has more potassium than a banana.
  • Pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene which are thought to reduce your cancer risk.
  • Pumpkins have the amino acid tryptophan to help your production of serotonin and boost your mood.
  • Pumpkins are high in fiber (keeping you fuller longer) and low in calories.

Pumpkins aren’t just for taking cute pictures of the kids, enjoy it in everything from coffee, soups, sides, and desserts!

Have a great week,
Meryl

Featured Recipe

Pumpkin Chocolate bark

Roasted Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Bark

Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • 3 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Cacao Powder
  • 3 tsp Coconut Sugar (or your sweetener of choice)

Directions:

Roast your pumpkin seeds in the oven at 400 for 15-20 minutes, until they turn golden brown.
Melt coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds until it becomes liquid. Stir in cacao powder and sweetener. Pour liquid onto wax paper. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and freeze.  Once solid, break into pieces and enjoy!

Keep It Simple

KISS is an acronym for “Keep it simple, stupid” as a design principle noted by the US Navy. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. (Taken from Wikipedia)

This saying applies to so many facets of our lives. For me it especially resonates when it comes to nutrition. Did you know on average the typical household only has about 10 different meals that keep getting reshuffled onto the dinner table? Only 10. Wonder why? Because we are all creatures of habit and when we go to the store we buy the same thing, cook the same thing, and eat the same thing over and over again.

I have found that my diet consists of eating the same thing most days.  This truly helps eliminate decision making and stay on track as well as leave more time to focus on more important things.  How many times have you come across an amazing recipe on TV or a cook book and gone and bought all the 50 ingredients to make the meal just once? And then all those random ingredients sit in the pantry or refrigerator. Why is that? Because we are all creatures of habit. 80% of the time we’re going to make not only what is easy but something we know how to make without having to think. Since we know this is true, why not embrace it and focus on keeping it simple?

Just make sure those basic go-to meals that keep reoccurring in your diet are full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and void of the processed stuff.  Would you like to see my typical “Keep it Simple” daily meal plan?  I’d be happy to share it with you, just ask!

Have a great week,
Meryl

 

pumpkin mug cake

Featured Recipe

Individual Serving Pumpkin Mug Cake

INGREDIENTS
¼ cup oats, ground (or oat flour)
1 teaspoon Stevia
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ scoop vanilla protein powder (I prefer SHAKEOLOGY, ask me why- I’d love to tell you!)
¼ cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1/8 cup almond milk
½ graham cracker sheet, crushed

DIRECTIONS
1. Grind the oats
2. Add the pumpkin, egg and milk and stir well.
3. Spray the bottom of a mug or small bowl with cooking spray.
4. Sprinkle the graham cracker pieces on the bottom.  Pour the batter on top.
5. Microwave for 1:40 – 2:20, or until set but not overcooked.  Invert on a plate and serve.

(Recipe and image taken from Blogilates.com)

Pumpkin Everything!

As an American living in Canada, I feel like the Fall Season is even longer because we celebrate Thanksgiving in October and in November! Happy Thanksgiving today to all my Canadian readers!

From visiting the pumpkin patch with the daycare, to squash and pumpkin displays a plenty at the grocery store, there’s no shortage of the season’s squash. And there’s no reason not to enjoy it! This season’s signature veggie packs a healthy punch:

  • A cup of mashed and cooked pumpkin contains more than 200% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A.
  • A cup of pumpkin has more potassium than a banana.
  • Pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene which are thought to reduce your cancer risk.
  • Pumpkins have the amino acid tryptophan to help your production of serotonin and boost your mood.
  • Pumpkins are high in fiber (keeping you fuller longer) and low in calories.
Pumpkins aren’t just for taking cute pictures of the kids, enjoy it in everything from coffee, soups, sides, and desserts!
My favorite Pumpkin/Butternut Squash Soup Recipe:
Ingredients
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1/2 onion
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1 large butternut squash (roasted)
1 cup of pumpkin purée
1 box of vegetable or chicken stock
4-6 cups water
Heat olive oil in a large pot
Add onion, carrots, celery, apple, nutmeg, bay leaf, and salt and pepper. Stir constantly while the vegetables begin to sweat. If you need to, add a little water or stock so the vegetables don’t stick to bottom of pot.
Once soft (about 10 minutes) add broth, water, and the roasted squash and 1 cup of pumpkin purée. Bring everything to a boil for another 10-15 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and puree with an immersion blender.
Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of cream. Enjoy!

Have a great week!
Meryl