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

Tag Archives: Autumn

It’s a great day!


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.

pumpkin muffins

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:


  • 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


  • 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.


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.


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!




Aaaah, Sundays in Fall. There’s just something about the cool weather that makes a relaxing Sunday so much more enjoyable.

Plus, Sundays in Fall are the perfect time for a pumpkiny breakfast. My Sunday kicked off on a chilly note. After quickly downing a cup of coffee and rice cake topped with peanut butter, I scooted out the door into the 30 degree weather for a 4 mile run.

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Not too shabby, but I realized my average pace on runs from 3-5 miles has increased dramatically since last year. Last Fall, I was averaging less than 8 minutes per mile on most of my runs. I really want to work on getting back to that pace over the next few months.

After my run it was time to refuel with a proper breakfast: Pumpkin Protein Pancakes




  • 2 egg beaters or egg whites
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 TBS oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • enough water to reach desired “pancake-like” consistency.


  • Whisk all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl
  • Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray, set to medium-high heat
  • Use 1/4 cup scoop to drop batter onto hot skillet
  • Cook 2-3 minutes each side, or until bubbles begin to form
  • Remove and top with anything you’d like!



I topped my cakes with frozen blueberries that were heated in the microwave, PB2, and Walden Farms pancake syrup! I know I’ve posted a similar recipe for pumpkin protein pancakes before. I’m pretty sure it was slightly different from this one.

The more you make protein pancakes, the more you’re able to experiment. It’s gotten to the point where sometimes I don’t even measure out the ingredients since I’m just going for a certain batter texture that I know will work.

Autumn Fest

Shortly after breakfast I headed out for Autumn Fest, an arts & crafts fair that tours the midwest, and is currently in Sioux Falls. This is not your typical arts & crafts fair. I spent nearly 2 hours at the festival and still didn’t make it to all the vendors. I left feeling stuffed from samples, and with some good food finds.

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I told the lefse vendor I was shocked to find lefse in South Dakota. That’s when she told me they actually drove down from Minnesota. Figures. Naturally, I had to buy some, though I’m planning on freezing it until Christmas rolls around.

I’m also saving those tempting meats and cheeses for next weekend to share with Mike. There were a couple non-food related items that I picked up, but most of them will be gifts and I don’t want to spoil the surprised. Mike and I have plans for a virtual date tonight. We’re going to attempt to prepare the same meal while Skyping. Things should get interesting!


I seriously can’t contain my excitement for Fall. Over a month ago, I stumbled upon a recipe on Pinterest for Halloween Monster Cookies¬†that I knew I just had to try! I’m hosting my dance team’s first team dinner of the year tonight, and decided these would be the perfect treat. I tweaked them slightly to make them more festively Fall rather than just Halloween.


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 4 1/2 cups quick 1-min oats
  • 3/4 cup M&Ms (I found a bag of orange, brown, and yellow M&Ms for Fall)
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate morsels
  • 1/2 cup chopped candy corn
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking soda


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine eggs and sugars in a large mixing bowl
  • Add vanilla, butter, and peanut butter. Mix until smooth
  • Add oats slowly, then baking soda and salt. Mix until well combined
  • Fold in M&Ms, mini chocolate morsels, and candy corn
  • Using a 1/8 cup (or an ice cream scoop), scoop dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat. (Note: cookies get HUGE. I put 6 on each baking sheet in order to avoid overlapping while baking.)
  • Bake for approximately 11 minutes
  • Immediately upon removing from oven, push additional candy corn pieces into the soft cookies.
  • Let cool and transfer to a wire rack.

Check out that festive platter! I’ve been looking forward to having a use for it for so long. I can’t wait to show these bad boys off tonight. These cookies are super chewy and gooey due to the candy corn. Delish!

Also, I want to preview a new little something I’ve been working on. Behold the mashed cauliflower:

Mashed cauliflower sounds so simple, right? Wrong. I’m trying to imitate the consistency of mashed potatoes without using any heavy creams or too much butter. I made these last night, and they were pretty good but I know I can do better. Recipe to come soon!

Have a good Football Sunday! SKOL VIKES!

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