Pumpkin Protein Muffins

I should probably be studying… or writing an article that’s due Wednesday. I swear I’l get to all that, but I had to interrupt all that to bake muffins! Colby and I bought this pumpkin pecan waffles candle at Bath and Body Works yesterday,  and the decadent smell compelled me to make a pumpkin treat. It was definitely worth taking a break to make these pumpkin protein muffins– they’ll be a great study snack anyway. Each muffin has a balanced macronutrient ratio to power a study session or keep you focused at work or school between meals: 85 calories, 12 grams of carbohydrate,  2 grams of fat, and 5 grams of protein. 

  
Ingredients:

(Makes 24 muffins)

1 cup oat flour (Rolled oats crushed in a blender)

1 cup all purpose flour

2 scoops vanilla whey protein isolate (I used Quest brand)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup egg whites

1/2 cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt

1 cup skim milk (or almond milk)

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

nonstick cooking spray

2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together all dry ingredients (starting with oat flour down to ground ginger) in a mixing bowl or large measuring cup. 

2. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together all wet ingredients (pumpkin puree to vanilla extract). Fold in the dry ingredients and stir until well incorporated.

3. Grease two muffin pans (24 muffins) with cooking spray and use a 1/4 cup measurng scoop to fill each cup about 2/3 of the way full. Sprinkle each with a few chopped walnuts and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the fluffiest muffin comes out clean. 

4. Cool on a cooling rack and serve warm! These freeze well in zip top bags. They also keep well in a refrigerated airtight container for about 2 weeks. 

  
The pumpkin puree and greek yogurt make these muffins perfectly moist despite the omission of fat in the batter. That means you can slather these with some whipped butter knowing they aren’t aleady full of oil or fat! I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do. Have a great week, everyone! 

  

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Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Indulge in pumpkin pie goodness without the guilt! This recipe is easy, creamy, and refreshingly chilly. The pumpkin is rich in potassium and beta carotene, while the greek yogurt delivers a good dose of protein!

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Ingredients:
1/3 cup frozen pumpkin purée (freeze in ice cube tray or ziplock bag)
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 packets stevia
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg, clove, and ginger (optional)
For topping: Crushed graham cracker and whipped cream (optional)

1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth, split between two glasses, and top with whipped cream and crushed graham cracker!

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Coconut flour pumpkin mug cake

This recipe is almost sugar detox friendly, but I cheated a little bit with the addition of stevia. Sometimes dessert cravings strike and you just need a little instant gratification without too much guilt. This dessert is perfect for times like that.

Ingredients:
1/4 c pumpkin purée
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tsp honey or 1 packet stevia
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbs milk
2 tbs coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
Dash of salt

1. Mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. Combine in a lightly greased mug.

2. Microwave for 90 seconds. Enjoy!

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The pumpkin works well in this recipe! It keeps the coconut flour moist. I had my mug cake with a little whipped cream.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie

Last night I was really craving something sweet and creamy after a weekend of hiking, carrying people, and horseback riding in the mountains.

On the sugar detox, though, I’m only allowed one green apple or one green banana all day. I already had an apple in my morning smoothie, so I went to bed and made this creation just now:

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Here are the ingredients for my sugar detox, sweetener free pumpkin cheesecake smoothie:

1/2 c cottage cheese
1 green tipped banana, peeled and frozen
1/4 c canned pumpkin
5 ice cubes
1/2 c coconut water
1/4 c milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice

Blend until smooth to make two big glasses of creamy “dessert” shake. All that cottage cheese gives this smoothie a big dose of protein, making it a suitable replacement for protein shakes using sweetened protein powders.

If you’re not sugar detoxing, I encourage you to add 1 tsp of your favorite sweetener. This shake was just below my threshold for sweetness, so I bet the tiniest amount of sugar, agave, honey, or stevia would really bring out the flavors. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Protein Bars

Happy Saturday! It’s a beautiful day here in Vegas. Colby is working on his first editorial law review assignment. For once, he doesn’t need to be on the computer, so I’m taking this rare opportunity to use our laptop. It’s a great day to be blogging outside!

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I wanted to share my latest food obsession with you today. Pumpkin protein bars are not what I expected. When I heard about the recipe from my fitness instructor, I was expecting something dense and rubbery like a power bar. Instead, these bars are light and fluffy like pumpkin spice cake! They are very low in calories and fairly high in protein.

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I have made them several different ways. The recipe calls for whey protein, but soy protein and hemp protein have worked well too. Instead of buying oat flour, I just grind up quick cooking oats in the blender until they turn into a powder. I haven’t tried substituting the baby food apples for regular applesauce, but I’m sure that would work just as well. Here’s the breakdown:

Pumpkin Protein Bars (adapted from Jamie Eason’s recipe)

Ingredients:
½ C Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1- 4 oz. jar baby food applesauce
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground clove
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large egg whites
1- 15 oz. can of raw pumpkin
2 C oat flour
2 scoops vanilla whey protein
½ cup almond milk
½ C chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350.
Spray a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.
Combine first 11 ingredients and mix well.
Add the final 3 ingredients (4, if adding walnuts), and mix until incorporated.
Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 40 minutes.
Makes 24 squares.

Nutrition (without walnuts): 1 square = 47 calories, .7 g fat, 8 g carbs, 3.7 g protein
Nutrition (with walnuts): 1 square = 63 calories, 2.3 g fat, 8 g carbs, 4 g protein

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These are almost too good to be true! I’ve been having two squares with my mid-morning coffee at work for the past week. They have just the right amount of sweetness and pack lots of satisfying pumpkin flavor. Enjoy!

PS- I just started blogging about a month ago, but I’m excited to start on a big project to celebrate National Nutrition Month with Healthy Aperture, Swanky Dietitian, and Carlene’s Figments. I’ll keep you posted!