Happy Autumn! As much as I adore summer and sweltering weather and the beach... autumn does have its perks. Perfect running weather, amazingly delicious honey crisp apples, that first sip of hot coffee on a chilly morning...and pumpkin. Sure, NYC has not quite gotten the memo yet that its fall. It was almost 90* today, but that hasn't stopped me from consuming all things pumpkin.
I know. The pumpkin obsession elicits very strong reactions for most people. "That's SO basic." Um? Basic, simple pleasures are the key to living a happy existence. Warm weather, sunny days, pumpkin. These things make me happy. CHILL PEOPLE.
I guess ya can call me a Basic-B* RD.
Plus canned pumpkin is an inexpensive awesome source of nutrition. This versatile food tastes amazing in stews or soups, can be mixed with yogurt or oatmeal to add volume for minimal calories and is super yum blended with coffee. The canning process actually BOOSTS your body's ability to absorb the vitamin A! Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that fights aging, protects your eyesight and keeps skin & nails healthy & strong. Pretty dope. I, personally, am a fan of having a beautiful complexion.
But what I really love about pumpkin is the flavor. Its an awesome replacement for tomato sauce in those who avoid nightshades and tastes awesome on pasta or pizza when seasoned correctly. Personally, I love to sweeten it up with banana or stevia drops and mix it with yogurt, oatmeal or on toast.
Having increased my mileage during the end of summer '17, I noticed my appetite inching up to compensate for all that extra cardio. Running is annoying like that, right? You know you want to fuel your body with enough calories and nutrients to optimize athletic performance, but ya also don't want to overdo it on the calories. Its a delicate balance, and pumpkin is such a wonderful, nutrient-rich carb source to help hungry athletes keep that balance.
I'm a huge proponent of using fiber, protein and water to stay fuller longer. Pumpkin is loaded with fiber and water content, meaning that 1 cup of pumpkin has a measly 80 calories and 7 grams of filling fiber. Compare this carb source to quinoa which has 222 calories per cup and only 5 grams of fiber...and pales in comparison in terms of vitamin & mineral content.
Pumpkin is the perfect carb for any basic-B*, any athlete and anyone watching their waistline. Sorry, not sorry.
Now, go make this parfait. It takes all of three minutes.
Real Food Pumpkin Parfait
Calories: 200, Protein: 12 gm
1/2 cup canned pumpkin *
1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
8 walnut halves, crushed
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 drops caramel or vanilla Stevia drops (optional)
1. In a small bowl, mix yogurt and stevia drops, if desired.
2. Add yogurt to mason jar.
3. Using the same small bowl, combine pumpkin pie spice & pumpkin.
4. Add walnuts to mason jar.
5. Carefully layer pumpkin on top.
That's it. Now eat.
*use organic, do not use pumpkin pie filling
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