It's all around us... pumpkin. Sugar-laden pumpkin flavored coffee drinks, muffins, candy, pumpkin butter, and even pop-tarts can be found at every turn. Now, don't get me wrong. I do LOVE the flavor of pumpkin... as well as the nutrient punch it packs. Pumpkin is high in fiber, potassium and magnesium to name a few. The deep orange color tells you it is a rich source of carotenoids, a powerful antioxidant to help you ward off chronic disease.
The problem with the plethora of pumpkin during this time of year is the amount of added sugar and fat that accompanies many of these fall favorites. So, how do you get the wonderfully warm and spicy taste of pumpkin, while still minimizing added sugar and fat? Your make your own, of course!
The clients who have come to see me for sports nutrition or weight management counseling have undoubtedly heard me preach the power of protein. Including a source of protein at meals helps increase satiety, while also preserving or building lean body during weight loss or extensive training.
My clients also hear me constantly remind them of the importance of planning meals and possibly even prepping meals ahead of time. For a quick breakfast meal, I suggest making a big batch of a whole grain dish like oatmeal and having it ready to go for a nutritious start to each day of the week.
This isn't just any oatmeal, but includes eggs, the superior source of protein. One batch made on Sunday, and Sonny and I have breakfast ready to go for multiple days during the work week. Steel cut oats do take a bit longer than your rolled oat variety. This is because they are in a less-processed form. The great thing is that you will be making one big batch, so will be saving time in the long-run.
Disease fighting whole grains... check.
Antioxidant-rich & tasty pumpkin... check.
Lean body mass supporting protein... check.
Breakfast ready to go when you're running late on Monday... check!
Here's what you need to do...
6 servings (about 1 1/4 cup each)
1 1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 1/2 cup pure canned pumpkin
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped pecans
2 Tb chia seeds
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Cook the steel cut oats in water according to package directions. While oats are cooking, prepare the rest of your ingredients.
Whisk together pumpkin, almond milk, eggs, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. (Alternately, you can use 1-2 tsp pumpkin pie spice if you have this available).
When oats are ready, whisk in your pumpkin mixture. Cook on low, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens up and eggs have had time to cook thoroughly, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in your pecans, raisins, and chia seeds. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Enjoy your healthy, filling, and delicious homemade pumpkin treat!
Nutrition information per serving- 354 calories, 13gm fat, 2gm saturated fat, 124mg cholesterol, 67mg sodium, 52gm carbohydrate, 7gm fiber, 10gm sugar, 11gm protein.