Category Archives: pumpkin

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins Redux

If pumpkin just totally disgusts you, then you may want to avoid this blog for…say, three months?

Turns out they had Libby’s canned pumpkin at the Walmart grocery store, so I stocked up, big time.

After a couple bowls of pumpkin oat bran, I decided that it was time to get baking with the stuff. After all, I did buy 10 cans of it. Yes, 10.

It’s my precioussssss….

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while have probably seen a few different takes on Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.

The original recipe was not vegan, as it contained eggs, but I have been tweaking it over the past year to make these muffins friendly to my diet and still very delicious!

The last time I made them, they came out a little dry and stuck to the paper. I hate that!

I decided to give them another go this week for Girl’s Night Potluck on Wednesday. When I busted out the paper, I checked the date on it for fun.

I have apparently been using this recipe since 2008!

I made a few substitutions, quite a few actually, so I will share the recipe with you since it varies so much from the original (see picture and link above).

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Agave nectar
  • 2 Flax “eggs” (2 tbsp milled flax seed mixed with 1/4 cup water)
  • 3/4 cup Libby’s canned pumpkin (accept NO substitutes)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (because I love it that much)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • A few shakes of salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use the Kroger brand which has no dairy)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375* (reduced heat due to use of agave nectar. See tips on that here)
  • Line muffin pan with foil or paper liners.
  • Mix the flax “eggs” and let sit for a few minutes.
  • Mix the agave, flax “eggs” and oil in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Add in pumpkin (I omitted water due to use of agave nectar).
  • In a separate, larger bowl, mix together flour, baking powder & soda, spices and salt.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry and mix together well.
  • Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Fill cups evenly and cook for 18-20 minutes (reduced cooking time for agave nectar as well).

The biggest change I made this time was with these two things:

I think the last time (when they stuck to the paper) I also used the Ener-G egg replacer, which is a good product but for baked goods, flax “eggs” work so much better. That’s just my opinion!

This is actually quite an easy recipe to follow and it made my kitchen smell really good!

So…how were they?

Pretty much perfect. They were sweet, moist, and delicious. No paper sticking this time too! My friends were ooh-ing and aww-ing all night so I’m guessing that they liked them too. 🙂

I am definitely sticking with this version of the recipe for a while. May have to print out this blog post and replace that old paper from 2008!

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?

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Day 4 – Lazy Sunday

Not only I am sleepy today but my legs are sore from all the walking I did yesterday, so I’ve decided today needs to be at least somewhat lazy for me.

I’ve still got laundry going in the other room but I’m sitting here with my feet up and thinking of taking a nap once this post goes up 🙂

For breakfast this morning, I made pumpkin oats.

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I don’t know what it was but this bowl just didn’t blow me away. I think it might be the pumpkin, honestly. Perhaps I got an old can or it just tastes better when it’s in season?

Or maybe I need to cook them with some non-dairy milk instead of just water? Hmm…

This bowl contained 1/3 cup oats (cooked with water), 1/3 cup pumpkin, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp chocolate chips, 1 tsp pancake syrup and 1 tbsp peanut butter.

I also tried another Starbucks VIA product today that I got as a sample while I was there yesterday doing the taste test.

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This Italian Roast was okay but I definitely prefer the Columbian, so I am glad those are the ones I purchased yesterday with my coupon. These are something I probably won’t make a habit out of since a pack of 3 normally costs $2.99 but I’ll definitely use my coupons first!

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Spiked with some Almond Breeze unsweetened vanilla.

For lunch after church, my parents, Josh and I went to McAlister’s Deli, which I hadn’t been too in a long time.

I ended up getting the Pick Two combo of half a Greek salad (with no feta) and a cup of the vegetarian chili. It was delicious.

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I’ve been doing some thinking and research about soy. I’ve heard a lot of things on both sides, that soy is beneficial, helps prevent cancer, good for bones, etc. But I’ve also heard that soy is dangerous, can not really cause cancer but aid in it, and also screw with your hormonal cycles.

As a woman who has struggled with irregularity of my cycles for as long as I can remember, anything that messes with that jumps on my radar. We’re talking late periods, no periods (for months at a time), heavy, light, painful and not so much. Two are hardly ever the same which makes finding the cause pretty impossible. Since there is not a clear, definitive answer that I know of about soy and it’s relation to this, I don’t know that I will do anything other than be aware.

I don’t need to become so reliant on soy since I have decided to go vegetarian and now vegan. I think I do okay with my non-dairy milks (other than Almond Breeze which does contain soy) but it is in so many other products I use that I think I need to start paying more attention.

What do you guys think? Are you a fan of soy or do you avoid it? Why?

Thanks as always for your feedback and I hope you have a great Sunday!

June is over already?

I’ve been able to fill my time rather well today, but let’s just say, I’m glad I have plans the rest of the week and that Josh will be back on Saturday 🙂

This morning, I was a little on the cool side and pretty hungry (as opposed to yesterday morning) so I made an old favorite…pumpkin raisin PB oat bran.

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I made this with 1/3 cup oat bran, 2/3 cup skim milk and 1/3 cup water on the stove, then added 1 tbsp toasted wheat germ, pumpkin pie spice and some brown sugar. I also threw some chopped walnuts on top.

This breakfast was exactly what I wanted and kept me going most of the morning!

I had a Z bar around 11:00, but at 8:44 I had thought I wanted or needed it. So I asked myself that question “Is this hunger or something else?” and couldn’t say for sure, so I kept on working, drank some water and chewed some gum, all which took that feeling away. Have I mentioned how much I love being intuitive?!

Lunch was a can of Hormel veggie chili with 2 tbsp fat free sour cream.

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This filled me up so well. I had a pear an hour or so later and then this pre-workout snack around 4:00:

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This yogurt was okay but a little too runny for me. But it was cheap this week, so I went for it.

My workout was a 30-minute cardio workout. I started out on the treadmill – walked for 1 minute, ran for 8 minutes (5.0,6.0,5.5,6.5,6.0,7.0,6.5,7.5) and then walked for a minute cool down. I love running 7.5 mph even if its only for a minute! Then I did 10 minutes (fat burning program) on the stair master and then 10 on the bike. I like breaking it up because you get to use different machines (and muscles) and don’t get bored as quickly. This workout flew by and I was a sweaty mess!

For dinner, I wasn’t sure what I wanted so I took my time, walked the dog and took a shower before I started cooking, which also helped work up a real appetite and not just eating because it’s dinner time!

I knew I had some cauliflower in the fridge I wanted to use up, so I decided roasting would be fun because I’ve never done it with cauliflower before. I used this recipe with a few slight modifications and it came out looking like this:

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I had a serving with a Quorn chik’n patty on whole wheat bread with organic ketchup and a leaf of romaine. I’m so excited there are leftovers of the cauliflower, it was amazing!

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Then I took the doggie for a 45-minute walk (the weather is just too nice not to) and then went ahead and baked again! I have dessert for our girl’s night potluck (which is relocating to my house this week!) so I went back to another old favorite, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!

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I’ve also been cleaning up a storm to get ready for tomorrow. Finally, I sat down to watch Tori and Dean and enjoyed some dessert.

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I think this weekend I will get some fresh fruit to top the ice cream with so it can be sort of like Ce Fiore (although I get M&M’s sometimes there too, haha). Then after this container is gone, I’m not buying it again for a while. I want it to really be a treat and not a habit.

Luckily too, Josh loves French vanilla so he can have some when he gets home 😉

So, enough about me, how was your day?

Good night!

Starting fresh

Since I’m still trying to use up some stuff I already have, I decided on Pumpkin Pie Almond Butter oatmeal this morning:

I think by this weekend, when we’ve used up some more things and go to the store again, that I will be able to get my diet back in check for a couple of weeks until Christmas 🙂 Not that it’s that bad, it just needs a little tweaking.

My goal this holiday season is to MAINTAIN, I am well aware of how hard it is to do this and especially to lose weight over the holidays. Last year I managed to hang on at 147.5 for the entire time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, so I know I can do it again.

It’s all about moderation and balancing out overeating with adequate exercise — not deprivation and not sitting on the couch all winter either! I’m actually excited to see how it all plays out for me this year, I still have confidence 😉

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Holiday dish # 1 : Sarah’s Pumpkin Dip

No, not me Sarah…the pumpkin dip recipe comes from another Sarah who is a friend of mine. She brought this dip over for Monday Night Football a few years ago and we’ve all been in love ever since. It’s got very few ingredients, all of which are inexpensive, and it’s very easy to make, perfect for parties!

It’s especially good this time of year and I find it’s a good alternative to pumpkin pie. You would definitely love it if you are a fan of pumpkin ice cream!

Ingredients:


Somehow my picture of the spices and confectioner’s sugar got lost! So here’s a list:

  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened (I used fat free but you don’t have to–this is a little less than 1/2 a brick)
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin (I use Libby’s which I find to be better than store brands)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 8 oz tub of cool whip (allow to thaw–I also went fat free here)

Directions: Mix softened cream cheese with confectioner’s sugar…add in pumpkin.

Next, add in spices and stir well. Fold in thawed cool whip. It should look like this:

This recipe makes 3.5 cups and for the ingredients I used, this comes to about 65 calories per 1/4 cup or 130 for half a cup. Not too bad, eh?

This dip is best served with ginger snaps or your favorite graham crackers! I had it last night when I took this dish to our girl’s night potluck 🙂


Happy Thanksgiving, enjoy!

Wanted products update

I went searching at my local Whole Foods for some products this past weekend coming up short. Then I happened upon the holy grail Z bar by accident! So I thought it was time for a product update:

1. Chobani yogurt!
2. Honest Foods granola planks
~(found the Spooky Smores bar, hooray!)~
4. Arnold’s sandwich thins
5. Pure Protein Hot ‘n Healthy oatmeal squares
6. Barney Butter (I think most everyone orders this online)
7. Pumpkin spice instant oatmeal (Kath mentioned this on her blog, I checked Wal-mart and no luck so far — thought this would make a good snack)
8. Glenny’s Brown rice marshmallow treats

Something I happened upon last week that I didn’t originally have on this list was a Clif Spiced Pumpkin Pie bar…this was so good and if I hadn’t already had it, I would add it on there. I’m definitely going to go back and grab a few more before they are gone for the season. Hope I’m not too late!

I was also glad to find the Archer Farms Pumpkin Pie spice coffee. I think the one package I bought will last me since I only drink 1-2 cups at a time and only drink coffee at home on the weekends or off days. I think when the season is over, I will try another flavor. I’m also a big Gingerbread fan in the winter 🙂

Has anyone else tried anything new recently that they would recommend? Is there something you’ve been interested in finding and have had no luck? Share!

Seriously good oatmeal

Yesterday afternoon, I was already thinking about having oatmeal for breakfast today, since I like to alternate between having carbs and not with breakfast during the week. I knew I didn’t want to eat apple in it again, just because it was getting repetitive, but I struggled with not having much else at home that would make good oatmeal fillings.

The more I thought about it, I realized I had some canned pumpkin left in the fridge and I immediately began to ponder some sort of pumpkin oatmeal. I did some searching and I found a recipe on Peanut Butter Boy‘s website for Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Oatmeal. Pumpkin and peanut butter? Hmm…I decided to give it a shot.

It was glorious! Not only did it taste great, but it was healthy AND I still haven’t gotten hungry for a morning snack yet. That almost never happens and when it does I need to take note and eat breakfasts like this one again.

Here is my adaptation of this recipe:

Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Oatmeal (adapted from Peanut Butter Boy)

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup Libby’s canned pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Pie spice
  • 1 tsp sugar free pancake syrup
  • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp Smucker’s natural peanut butter

Directions: Cook oats with water, milk and pumpkin all stirred in. Remove from microwave (or stove) and add pumpkin pie spice (a few shakes) and syrup and stir again. Top with walnuts and peanut butter and more spice if desired. Entire recipe (using products I did) is 368 calories.

I’m off to go plan today’s workout. Since I didn’t do any weights yesterday, I thought I’d try to get some in today.

Have a lovely Friday!