At this time of year, I can’t get enough Pumpkin in my diet! I am always on the lookout for creative ways to incorporate this nutritious and delicious fall staple.
After doing some research on the benefits of pumpkin I was even more hooked than before! According to WebMD, eating pumpkin can slow digestion and help with weight loss, is rich in vision benefiting vitamin A, can help fight off colds and can boost immunity, and can contribute to younger looking skin when applied to your face… pumpkin face masks for the WIN!! Check out the article here!
Today I am going to share my latest pumpkin recipe, Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal! It will fill your home with amazing fall scents and is great for make-ahead breakfasts too!
I also decided to try Trader Joe’s new “Non dairy Oat beverage” with this recipe but you can use almond milk or any milk you prefer. I found that I barely needed to add any sweetener after using the oat milk, so I do recommend trying it. Be creative with your toppings, I was craving warmth on this cold day, so I went for a light drizzle of maple syrup, some freshly roasted pecans and some dried cherries! ENJOY!
Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal (makes 4 servings)
4 cups of oat milk (I used Trader Joes)
1 cup of steel cut oats
½ cup of pumpkin puree
1 tsp of pumpkin spice
½ tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla
Optional toppings - Roasted pecans, maple syrup, pepitas, dried cherries.
1. Add the oat milk to a saucepan and bring to a boil
2. Add the pumpkin puree and lightly whisk to incorporate
3. Add the steel cut oats, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and vanilla and whisk to incorporate all of the spices
4. Reduce to a simmer and set the timer for 20-25 minutes or until oats are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Whisk every few minutes to avoid having the oats stick to the pan.
5. Top with toasted pecans, a dash of cinnamon, a light drizzle of maple syrup and dried cherries!
-To make ahead -
Once oats have cooled, evenly divide them into individual glass containers. Keep toppings in a separate container because you may have to add a splash of milk or water before re-heating in the microwave.
I know it’s strange to post an ice cold smoothie when it’s only 42 degrees outside, but there is something about a good smoothie, and this my friends, is a good smoothie! It’s creamy, naturally sweetened, is packed with protein, greens, and antioxidant abundant blueberries!! The great thing about this smoothie is you can make it ahead! By freezing all of the solid ingredients ahead of time, you can enjoy a satisfying smoothie any day of the week with half the prep time!
I hope you enjoy!
Ingredients (makes enough for one smoothie)
½ cup of frozen wild blueberries (I used Trader Joes and I highly recommend them)
1 frozen banana
Handful of fresh or frozen kale or spinach
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
1 tablespoon of raw hemp seed
½ cup of unsweetened vanilla yogurt
1 cup of almond milk (unsweetened)
½ teaspoon of vanilla (optional)
--- Directions to make ahead ---
Add the wild blueberries, banana, kale, peanut butter, and raw hemp seeds to a freezer safe bag and place in the freezer until you are ready to make the smoothie. If you want to make enough for the entire week, repeat this step five times and place the ingredients inside five freezer safe bags.
When ready to enjoy, add the yogurt, almond milk and vanilla along with the contents of your smoothie pack to a high speed blender and blend until smooth! ENJOY!
My favorite sandwich growing up was always tuna salad. I recall the days when my mom would pack it for me in my lunch with crackers so I could make mini tuna cracker sandwiches! When I became a vegetarian nearly eight years ago, I was definitely missing the flavors of this classic sandwich, so I decided to recreate it with chickpeas. It’s great on whole grain buns, or on bread toasted in the oven with melted cheese, or simply as I had it as a child, with crackers. Make a double batch for a week’s worth of make-ahead lunches!
Vegan Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
1 can of chickpeas drained, and rinsed
1 Dill pickle diced fine
2 small celery stalks diced fine
1 green onion diced fine
1 ½ - 2 Tablespoons of vegan mayo
1 teaspoon of yellow mustard
Dash of salt, pepper and paprika (to taste)
I had the privilege of visiting with my sister yesterday at her lovely home. She made us some homemade granola with a drizzle of yogurt and frozen blueberries. It was exactly what I needed to start the day and it got me thinking about creating a fall inspired granola recipe. I also happened to read an article about natural sugars last night and learned that all of the heart-healthy antioxidant and antibacterial properties of honey are destroyed by too much heat when it is used in baking goods. I decided to adjust my go-to honey granola and used maple syrup instead. This is a perfect make-ahead recipe that lasts 3 weeks! So make a batch or two and sprinkle it over yogurt, or eat it as an afternoon snack! I hope you enjoy this as much as we did this fine and crisp fall morning.
Pumpkin Spice Granola
3 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
1 ½ cups of chopped pecans
¼ cup of pepitas
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
⅓ cup of Maple Syrup
⅓ cup of pumpkin puree
½-1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Pie spice
The fall weather is upon us here in Chicago, and the first thing I always crave is a warm bowl of chili! This vegetarian chili is filled with healthy veggies and two varieties of beans and it's sure to warm you on a cool fall day.
The BEST Vegetarian Chili
2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
1 onion chopped fine
1 red pepper chopped fine
7 cloves of garlic minced
3 tablespoons of Chili Powder
1 tablespoon of Cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups of water
½ cup of light beer
2 - 16oz cans of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 can of Kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 can of chickpeas or black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup of frozen corn
1 ½ teaspoons of salt
½ cup of cilantro
Juice from one lime
Recipe adapted from http://www.thecurvycarrot.com/