Fall is here, and that means it's time to carve and eat pumpkins. But most pumpkin dishes are loaded with sugar and fat, which could make you gain weight by the holidays.
If you get the craving for some pumpkin, don't go for muffins, lattes, cookies and pies. Instead, satisfy your cravings by eating healthy pumpkin dishes that give you the energy to push through a grueling workout.
Here are some awesome recipes that taste like fall but are packed with protein and other nutrients.
Pumpkin Protein Smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to get vegetables and fruit in before a big workout. They also taste great. This smoothie is full of protein and nutrients and serves one:
For extra protein, add 1 tbsp ground flaxseed and 1 spoonful almond or peanut butter.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Protein Bites
If you’re craving pumpkin desserts, protein bites are bite-sized treats that taste like cookies but are packed with protein. This recipe (modified from this recipe) makes about two dozen protein bites:
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the batter and form into balls. Put on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper, then stick in the freezer for at least an hour.
You can store these in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week. If it takes you a while to eat these, put half the recipe in the freezer and move to the fridge once you finish the other batch.
Gluten-Free Oat Pumpkin Pancakes
These tasty pancakes include oats, pumpkin and spices that warm you up when the temperatures drop. To make sure your dish is gluten-free, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
Be sure to cook these pancakes slowly so the inside of the batter has enough time to become fluffy. The ingredients make about half a dozen pancakes:
Combine the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, lemon juice, milk and coconut oil in a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs in. Whisk the oat flour, spices, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients to add the wet ingredients. Stir until moistened.
Let the batter rest for 10 minutes. Heat a nonstick pan on medium heat and add oil to the surface. Pour one-quarter of the batter on the pan. Cook the pancake for three minutes. Once the underside reaches a gold color, flip it and cook for another couple minutes.
Instead of topping these pancakes with maple syrup, spread a light layer of peanut or almond butter over the top. They’ll still taste sweet but will keep you fuller longer.
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Looking for more ways to eat healthy? Pick up these ten items on your next trip to the grocery store.