learning to eat, cook, and live healthier one day at a time.

Category Archives: Pumpkin

It’s a great day!

Why?

Because Fall is finally here!

Fall is by far my favorite season. The changing leaves, cooler weather, holidays, and pumpkin-flavored treats are just a few of my favorite things that come along with the season.

I had today off, so I decided to celebrate the first full day of Fall by whipping up a festive recipe — Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins.

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I’ve made healthyish pumpkin muffins before, but they’ve never turned out quite right. I think I always try to get a little too creative with things like whey protein powder, agave, flax and all those other ingredients that just scream “healthy.” Well, today I kept things simple. And I’m excited to bring a rather tasty recipe for pumpkin muffins to the table.

I followed this recipe loosely that I found while looking for muffin inspiration.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease muffin tin.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs, honey and oil. Mix until well combined.
  • Add flour mixture to wet ingredients slowly. Mix until just combined.
  • Remove bowl from mixer stand, fold in canned pumpkin.
  • Scoop even amounts of batter into prepared muffin tins.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 18-19 minutes.

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These muffins turned out great! They’re super dense and not overly sweet. I’d like to spread some peanut butter over one of them for a snack or dessert. I’d like to try adding some nuts or raisins to the recipe next time.

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Also, if you do not have an electric mixer you can easily mix these muffins by hand.

Get ready for more pumpkin themed recipes to start popping up on the blog. It’s that time of year!

 

 


When is it too cold to run outside?

Is it when it looks like this?

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Or when snow boots are the only acceptable shoes to wear outside?

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I’m sure everyone has different guidelines they follow for when it’s just too cold for an outdoor run. I actually prefer colder weather anywhere from 30-45 degrees. However, when it drops well below freezing and the wind starts picking up, I get a little hesitant.

I usually use my days off to fit some long runs into my week. Yesterday was actually one of the warmest days we’ve had in a while in Sioux Falls. When I woke up around 7:30, it really didn’t look too daunting out there.

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But when the weather reads 20 degrees and feels like 11, I just can’t. I really want to find a way to run outside during the winter. At this point I just don’t have the right equipment. My shoes are terrible, and I know I’d fall on my face the second I hit ice. I’ve also been meaning to invest in a good winter running jacket. Looks like outdoor runs will be put on hold until then!

Loving “ProYo”

Or as I like to call them, yogurt bowls.

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This is actually a proyo concoction I brought to work for lunch one day. If you search “proyo” on Instgram, you’ll find some of the most delicious looking renditions of this protein-packed sweet treat. Lately, I’ve been making meal-sized versions for breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner.

Although yesterday’s weather didn’t exactly put me in the mood for a cold meal, I couldn’t get proyo out of my head, and decided to put together a Pumpkin ProYo bowl for lunch

Pumpkin ProYo

Ingredints:

  • 8 oz plain, nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • splash of any type of milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp splenda or stevia
  • fruit, nuts, cereal or anything for toppings

Directions:

  • Combine all ingredients except toppings in a medium bowl.
  • Cover with saran wrap or a lid and freeze for 1 hour, stirring half way through so it does not completely freeze.
  • Top with anything you’d like!

I chose to top my proyo with some Special K blondie bites, chocolate fiber one cereal, and frozen blueberries.

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SOOOO delicious. A snack-size version is great for an easy dessert, too. I’m trying to pack as much pumpkin as I can in these last few days before pumpkin season is officially over and it’s all peppermint until Christmas.

I actually had a pumpkin-themed breakfast this morning that I hope to share on here later! Now, it’s off to the gym for a leg workout. Yikes!


It was another snowy morning in Sioux Falls.

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I have Mondays off and normally I like to take advantage of the extra time by going for a long run. I glanced out my window to check out the weather conditions this morning. The snow didn’t completely¬†cancel my running plans, but the freezing temps did. It was in the high teens this morning with wind chills in the single digits.

Once my running plans were thrown out, I settled on incorporating some extra cardio into my leg workout that I had planned for later in the day. I usually hate doing cardio too close before, or immediately after a leg workout since my legs usually turn into jelly on leg day. I figured tacking on 15 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill as a warm up, and 15 minutes on the elliptical as a cool down would be a safe bet. Worked like a charm!

Last night I had the baking bug. I’m really trying to stay away from too many sweets this week since my birthday is this weekend, and I know I’ll be celebrating with a cake or two. Instead of whipping up some traditional cookies, I opted for a healthier little experiment.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated splenda or other sweetener
  • 1/2 can canned pumpkin
  • 2 egg whites or egg beaters
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 TBS sugar free chocolate chips or regular chocolate chips
  • 3-4 TBS water

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  • Combine eggs, pumpkin, orange juice, greek yogurt, and splenda. Beat until well combined
  • Add flour, protein powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice. Mix until well combined
  • Add water to create smoother consistency
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Pour equal amounts into greased muffin pan. If using liners, lightly grease liners as well.
  • Bake 20 minutes
  • Let cool 10 minutes before removing from muffin pan

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These little guys are so good! I was expecting them to have a spongier texture, like most things made with protein powder usually have. However, they came out dense like typical muffins. I might try making them with craisins or nuts instead of chocolate chips next time.


Good evening!

Sunday was SUCH a blast. Mike and I began the day at a local Sioux Falls diner that I’ve been wanting to try for brunch before heading off to Newton Hills State Park. The park is located about 40 minutes south of Sioux Falls in the middle cornfields. Pretty much like everything else in South Dakota! That’s why I was so surprised to find more than 6 miles of trails through hilly forests.

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Upon arriving, I got my Garmin ready to go and then we were off on our adventure!

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Can you spot the horse hiding in the trees?

Can you spot the horse hiding in the trees?

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We covered just over 3 miles in about an hour. Some of the terrain was pretty steep, which provided a great incline workout. I still can’t get over the fact that this gem is hidden in a sea of cornfields. It definitely got me excited to explore more nearby hiking trails and state parks around Sioux Falls!

After our hike, it was onto the pumpkin patch. Unfortunately, the temperature dropped from a comfortable 55 to an icy cold 40 in a matter of about 30 minutes. By the time we got to the pumpkin patch, we couldn’t stand to be outside for more than about 10 minutes, and rushed through the pumpkin picking process.

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The pumpkin patch was pretty picked over, but we found some good ones. Mine is the big one, and Mike’s is the sickly looking green guy.¬†On the way home, we stopped by HyVee to pick up a take and bake pizza. We ended up landing on an original crust supreme pizza that left us feeling over-stuffed.

Look at all that doughy goodness!

Look at all that doughy goodness!

We made the decision to stick with thin crust next time. So…much…dough. We rounded out the night with some football watching and pumpkin carving. Definitely a winning combination.

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Mine is the creative NBC peacock (I work for an NBC affiliate). Mike’s green pumpkin actually turned out pretty darn good. Before Mike headed back to Minnesota on Monday, we made time to visit the Sioux Falls mall (quite the hot spot) and hit up HyVee for my weekly groceries.

Selfie attempt #1 of about 20.

Selfie attempt #1 of about 20

I checked out some running shoes while at the mall. I have been in the market for new running shoes for about a year now, but just can’t seem to seal the deal on a new pair. I found a pair of Asics Nimbus 15s that were super comfy.

Just not too crazy about these wild colors.

Just not too crazy about these wild colors.

At HyVee I spotted some interesting looking cake mixes.

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Aren’t these the coolest?! Although blueberry flavored cake doesn’t really appeal to me on many levels, I would get a kick out of whipping up a blue cake. The zebra one kind of just looks like marble if you ask me. Still, pretty neat!

Mike left later that afternoon, which is always tough, but we’ll actually see each other in less than two weeks when I head to Minneapolis. This weekend was definitely better than I could have hoped for.

 

 



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