Tuesday Thoughts

Loving this quick article about being happy with gaining weight. Not about scale progress, about mental progress.

This Buzzfeed article on Instagram Food vs. Real Food is perfect. Love it.

I don’t think any dessert could be any more perfect than these s’mores cakelettes. Now in my bookmarks bar.

Obsessed with this song lately. The lyrics are perfection.

Two words. Pumpkin. Push-pops.

 

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Pumpkin Bread

I was in a baking mood this weekend. Even though I’m not Paleo anymore, I try and make baked goods that use Paleo ingredients not only for health reasons but it’s fun to see what can come out of almonds and coconuts.

I had BIG plans to make banana bread, banana bread donuts and something with pumpkin. A word of advice: baked paleo banana bread donuts don’t work so well without a donut pan. They come out very flat. Live and learn.

What did come out of my incessant creating was the best pumpkin bread I’ve ever baked. It rose perfectly, looked pretty and most importantly, is crazy moist and delicious. The only thing I wish I did was throw in some chocolate chips. Luckily, there will be a next time for this bread.

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Pumpkin Bread:

1 cup almond flour
2 tsp. coconut flour
1 tbl. + 1 tsp. vanilla protein powder
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 flax egg (1/2 tbl. flax+1.5tbl. water mixed and set for a few minutes in the fridge)
1 egg
1 tbl. maple syrup (i used Walden Farms)
2 tbl. peanut butter
1 packet stevia (or two teaspoons regular sugar)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1.5 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon
Shake of ginger
Pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and liberally grease a small loaf pan. 

In a bowl, mix together almond flour, coconut flour, protein powder, stevia, baking soda and spices. 

In another bowl, mix pumpkin, flax egg, egg, syrup and peanut butter. 

Add wet to dry and mix thoroughly. 

Add in apple cider vinegar and mix again. 

Pour into loaf pan and smooth out the top. 

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top springs back and a knife comes out dry and clean. 

Let it cool completely before slicing and removing from pan. Store in the fridge.

Pumpkin Spiced Granola

If someone created a food that totally does not match pumpkin, I would probably eat it anyway. I think I’ve gone through like, 5 cans in the past few weeks. I add pumpkin to everything: oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies. I also have a million pumpkin things in my house right now including but not limited to ice cream and biscotti. The only problem is that I CANNOT find pumpkin m&ms. Apparently it’s a Target thing only but the three Target’s I’ve been to haven’t had them. Can’t a girl get some pumpkin m&m’s around here?!

I bought some Trader Joes pumpkin granola the other day and while it’s good, I often prefer to snack on granola of my own making for a little less sugar, well, I guess just a little piece of mind that I made it.

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Granola is one of those things that is super simple but always seems like a pain to make, or at least for me it does. I think it’s the mixing. I also always add chocolate chips too early and they melt making it more chocolately than chippy. Nothin’ wrong with that though.

Pumpkin Spiced Granola
You’ll Need:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup almonds (I used whole because that’s what I had but slivered works too)
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger (I just shook a few shakes)
Pinch of salt
1 packet stevia
3.5 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp.+ 1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
Optional but suggested additions: dark chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes

To Make:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

Melt coconut oil over low heat and stir in honey and vanilla.
Pour over dry ingredients and mix using a rubber spatula.

Pour onto a baking sheet and spread into a thin layer.

Bake for 30 minutes, mixing every 10 so the edges do not get burned.

When browned, remove from oven and place a heavy pan on top of the granola *I used a pan with a cast iron skillet on top*
Once the granola is cool enough to touch, clump with your hands.

Let cool then mix in chocolate chips and coconut.

Enjoy with your choice of milk, on top of yogurt or oatmeal or straight from the jar!

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Pumpkin Carrot Bread

I had some pumpkin in my fridge that I needed to eat so naturally, the first thought I had was to make a pumpkin loaf.

I surprised myself by figuring out my own measurements for the second time this week and coming out with something that was perfect the first time.

This loaf..ugh..I could eat the whole thing.

The best thing besides the bread? You can throw everything in one bowl and just mix it up. Quick and easy.

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You’ll need:
1 cup almond flour/meal
1 tablespoon coconut flour
2 carrots, grated
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pumpkin
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon ground flax
1 egg
2 teaspoons date syrup (dates soaked in water and processed)
2-3 tablespoons raisins
2-3 tablespoons shredded coconut
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1.5 teaspoons ginger
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, grate the carrots, then add everything else into the bowl saving the baking soda/powder and vinegar for last.

Mix well.

Pour into a loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 45 minutes (maybe a little more or less depending on your oven) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let cool completely before slicing.

Pumpkin Smoothie Bowl

Yesterdays WOD included shoulder presses. I started slowly working up weight as that was the direction for this strength portion, and was on my second to last set of five when something popped in my shoulder. It was one of those “I hear it, I feel it” situations. Immediately, I put the bar down and took a breath. I rolled out the muscle with a ball, with the bar, against the wall, anything to help move the pain. After a few minutes rest, I lightened my bar load, finished the strength portion of the workout and got myself ready for the next segment. I pushed through–throwing snatches up over my head until the rounds were over. Even though I finished the workout in good time, I left defeated.

I should’ve stopped. Instead of rolling out, I should have gathered my things and called it a day. Should have left early with an injury. My theory of pushing through helped me finish the workout, but certainly didn’t help me in the long run.

I’ve been in the worst pain I’ve ever been in since. Excruciating pain every time I move my right side, turn my head to the right, bend forward, raise my arms to put on a shirt. I had x-rays done this morning and nothing is dislocated or broken, so I must have strained or pulled a muscle. It feels like a million bones are crushed inside me.

The point of the story is, know when to stop. I knew that I should’ve called it quits yesterday and instead kept going. Would it have changed my bottom line now? Maybe, maybe not, i’ll never know. But I do know that it is important to take care of yourself. Instead of working out today, I’m sitting at my computer. Instead of working out tomorrow, I’ll still be sitting at my computer (or doing something equally as uninteresting and active).

When the going gets tough, know when to sit back and take a break–that’s what I’ve got to tell myself from now on.

On a lighter note, I’ve discovered a magical thing. Smoothies definitely taste better when they’re in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. I think this should be a new thing–like fro yo with healthy smoothies that you add toppings to and devour (don’t anyone steal this idea…I’m going to make a store now 🙂 ..but really).

My go-to smoothie bowl this week is super easy, good for you and tastes deeelicious.

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You Need:

2 tablespoons canned pumpkin (simply pumpkin–nothing else in there)
1 handful of spinach (about a cup)
1/2-1 frozen green banana
About 1/4-1/2 cup coconut or almond milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. almond butter
1/2 tsp. coconut butter
more cinnamon

To Prepare:

The night before you are going to make the smoothie bowl, slice up a green banana, cover, and put in the freezer.

When you are going to make it, remove banana from freezer and allow to thaw while you are preparing everything else.

In a blender (or food processor like I’ve been using because I don’t have my blender), mix pumpkin, spinach, milk, cinnamon and vanilla. The mixture will be a little chunky but continue to blend until all big leaves are broken down and the mix starts to thin out.

Add a few banana slices, process and repeat. Continue to blend until all chunks are gone and the smoothie is a thick, green puree.

Transfer smoothie to a bowl and swirl in almond butter, coconut butter and cinnamon. You can also top with nuts, granola, coconut–anything you desire.

Grab a spoon and dig in!

Pumpkin Pancakes (Paleo)

I wish the title bar in WordPress that the option to make numbers with powers because this recipe is also known as P(3)-P to the three. P cubed.

Last night I decided I wouldn’t set an alarm to wake up on this fine Saturday so I got to sleep later than usual.  A nice, lazy, weekend morning where I had not a care in the world. I was all set to make eggs as I do everyday but I was sick of eggs and the can of pumpkin was calling to me from the cabinet.

Since my house was chilly and fall-like I decided to go all out. I attempted a pumpkin latte, made these pumpkin pancakes and made a pumpkin smoothie bowl later in the morning for a snack. I have a mild pumpkin obsession all the time but today it got weird.

Pumpkin latte

These pancakes though? Ugh. The best Paleo pancakes I’ve ever made. They had taste, they didn’t break when flipped and they looked delicious. Perfection.

Pancakes

To Make:
Approximately 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 serving vanilla protein powder (I happened to have this on hand to use as a binder. I’ve made these with coconut flour before too. Usually about a tablespoon/a little less with a pinch of baking soda). **With the “binder” I add until the consistency is not runny but not too thick. About the wetness of regular pancake batter.
Coconut oil for frying
Coconut butter+ vanilla + cinnamon for topping

Turn oven on as low as possible and place a plate inside.

Mix the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, binder of choice in a bowl until everything is well incorporated.

Heat up coconut oil in a frying pan. When it is hot, spoon a thin layer of the pancake batter into the pan. Cook approximately 2 minutes or until the sides begin to brown and the pancake starts forming small bubbles. Flip and cook another 2 minutes.

Put pancake on the warmed plate and repeat with all remaining pancake batter.

To top, melt coconut butter in a pan with a tiny drop of vanilla (optional). When melted, drizzle over pancakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Dig in!

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