Its fall ya’ll! AKA the time of year when it is totally acceptable to eat anything and everything PUMPKIN! And why not?! Pumpkin has soo many amazing benefits that you don’t have to feel guilty when you eat a whole batch of these healthy chocolate pumpkin brownies… Right?! Pumpkin puree, which you can get canned at the grocery store, or make at home, and roasted pumpkin seeds are just two of the ways you can use pumpkin in all types of recipes and have the following benefits:
No. 1 Improved sleep. Pumpkin seeds are high in tryptophan, which is responsible for helping the body make serotonin- the neurotransmitter that helps you relax. That same culprit behind post turkey dinner sleepiness. The increase in serotonin has also been shown to increase mood in individuals!
No. 2 Better Vision. A cup of pumpkin has almost double the amount of recommended vitamin A, which is responsible for improving vision, especially in dim light. Vitamin A is also great for the skin, teeth, and bones!!
No. 3 Digestion. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber! Not only is fiber extremely beneficial when it comes to digestion, but it is also great for helping you stay full longer- aiding in weight loss.
No. 4 Cancer Prevention. The beta-carotene that makes pumpkins there amazing orange color is also responsible in cancer prevention due to the high amount of antioxidants.
No. 5 Fuel after a hard workout! Pumpkin is high in potassium, even more so than the go to snack; a banana. This makes pumpkin a great source of fuel before or after a workout. Potassium helps restore the body's balance of electrolytes - preventing cramping on those long runs! And keeps muscle performance in tip-top shape.
No. 6 Immune boost. Pumpkin is high in vitamin C- a known nutrient to help fight off illness. Instead of having your glass of OJ that can be high in sugar, eat some pumpkin instead!
No. 7 DOG FRIENDLY. Obviously not a physical benefit to pumpkin, but if you are a dog parent like me, this is an added bonus! Pumpkin is a great treat for dogs- both raw and cooked! You can freeze some puree and have a nice doggie popsicle, or just give them some roasted pumpkin with their daily meal. The same benefits apply, and I guarantee they will enjoy the treat.
The point is, pumpkin is an amazing addition to soooo many recipes. Roasted pumpkin cubes can be a great side dish for any meal. Pumpkin puree is perfect if you're wanting to thicken up a chili, soup or stew. Pumpkin seeds add just the right amount of nuttiness when placed in smoothies, yogurts, salads, or oatmeal.
Lucky for us, there is an overnight oats formula WITH pumpkin seeds. The VITALITEE blend contains: Rolled oats, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, cacao powder, and green tea matcha. You get all the benefits of pumpkins seeds plus so much more!! For example, added antioxidants from matcha and goji berries, magnesium from cacao powder! And an awesome energy boost from Matcha and rolled oats!! Did I mention it also tastes amazing and is very easy to make!? Just add your fav milk, shake, put it in fridge, and it's ready in the morning!
To try out out the Vitalitee oats click here.
HEALTHY CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN BROWNIES:
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cacao powder
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
¼ cup coconut oil (melted)
2 tsp vanilla
½ cup honey
Optional: Sprinkle cinnamon on top, or add walnuts!
Preheat oven to 350
Combine almond flour and cocoa powder
Whisk in pumpkin, coconut oil (melted), eggs, honey, and vanilla
Pour batter into 9x9 greased pan, and bake for 28-30 mins, until toothpick comes out clean
Let cool (I personally stick them in the fridge once cooled, and have them the next day)