There is a huge maple tree on my street that’s about 50% red leaves… fall is officially here! I love fall flavors and pumpkin is one of them – though I used to think it was only edible in pies. (Boy was I wrong!) I also didn’t know that pumpkin has tons of nutritional value! I did some research this week, so here are 7 things to remember the next time you walk past these orange beasts pileed high outside the grocery store…
1) Your Eyes – Crazy amounts of vitamin A, which help your vision.
2) Your Waistline – Lots of fiber; it will help ward off the Hangry for much longer! You know what I’m talking about (hungry/angry fits).
3) Your Skin – The orange color comes from cantenoids, known to reduce wrinkles!
4) Your Muscles – Pumpkin has a ton of potassium – known to prevent cramps.
5) Your Mood – Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan (like turkey), which helps your body produce serotonin, the original anti-depressent.
6) Price – It’s pretty cheap! I can usually find a 12 oz can for a dollar.
7) Versatility – It can be a sweet or savory, a dessert or a soup. I’m even working on an ice cream recipe…
Let me propose an alternative for all you ‘pumpkin spice latte’ lovers out there. I know this isn’t quite the same, but it will give you way more energy. Not that I’m anti-coffee. Not at all. I enjoy a cup basically every morning, but I’m a purest (extra strong, no sugar, no creamer). Heck, I’ve drank this recipe with my morning coffee, I’ve even ground up a few expresso beans and put them in the shake. But I’m getting side tracked – my point is, a quick jump to the Starbucks website will tell you that their famed seasonal favorite has almost no vitamin A (read no actual pumpkin) and a crazy amount (read 50 grams per grande) of sugar… which will give you a headache when it wears off. Just saying. Save yourself the headache; step into the light 🙂
The Pumpkin Spice Shake
1/2 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
1 scoop unflavored whey protein
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 tsp 100% pure maple syrup (can substitute honey, but it’s not quite the same)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients. Blend. Enjoy!
The whey adds 20 grams of protein (or more) to this drink, but if you don’t have any you can still enjoy – just add another 2 tbsp of pumpkin.