Kelley Vargo by Kelley Vargo
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It’s pumpkin season! From pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin cookie butter to pumpkin cream cheese and pumpkin granola, just about every aisle in the grocery store is teeming with pumpkin something!

Beyond these pumpkin treats (although delicious, they are not necessarily the most nutritious), there are some healthy treats that can be made with raw pumpkin, which has huge nutritional value. In fact, pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A and fiber. At just 30 calories a cup, you won’t have to worry about a surplus of calories when cooking or baking with this vegetable.

Canned pumpkin can be added to just about anything from pasta sauces to baking mixes. It creates a nice consistency and, as mentioned previously, is a great source of fiber, which helps create satiety. Here are three delicious protein pumpkin power recipes for the fall.  If you’re not a fan of protein powder (which is added to each of the recipes to boost the protein profile), simply leave it out.

Pumpkin Protein Pancake

Pumpkin Protein Pancake

With a good combination of both protein and carbohydrates, these pancakes are a great post-workout meal. They’re also quick and easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup egg whites
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • Dash of vanilla extract, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla almond milk

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or a blender. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and heat up. Pour batter into pan. Look for the bubbles on top of the batter and flip the pancake over to cook on the other side. Serve with a dash of pumpkin pie spice on top.

Makes one giant pancake.

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

Pumpkin Protein Smoothie

This shake is simple to make, but packed with flavor.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup pumpkin
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 8 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Dash of pumpkin pie spice
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • Ice to desired consistency

Put all ingredients in a blender (put wet ingredients in first to prevent the dry ingredients from sticking at the bottom of the blender). Blend to desired consistency. To make your shake thicker, add more ice and/or a bit more pumpkin.

Makes one big shake.

Protein Pumpkin Pie

Protein Pumpkin Pie

This recipe was adapted from Kraft’s Turtle Pumpkin Pie to reduce the calories and add some protein. It’s so delicious your family won’t realize they are eating a healthier version of a decadent dessert.  

Ingredients

  • 8-ounce tub of Fat-free Cool Whip
  • 2 packages Sugar Free Vanilla Jell-O Pudding Mix
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 can pureed pumpkin
  • 8 ounces cold unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 graham cracker crust

Instructions:

Mix pudding mix, milk, pumpkin, protein powder, vanilla extract and spices in a bowl.  Fold in three-quarters of the Cool Whip tub. Mix until blended well. Pour mixture into a graham cracker crust. Use remaining cool whip to top the pie. Place in freezer for 45 minutes or more. Serves eight to 10.

 

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