Pumpkin Power

Call me a bandwagoner, but I love pumpkin.  Like, love it.  My fiance and I keep a pumpkin pie in our fridge and freezer all year long – one ready, one on deck.  It’s a very serious relationship.

But come this time of year, everyone starts kicking into high-cal pumpkin mode – those insanely chemical-ridden pumpkin spice lattes, the Pinterest-worthy pumpkin baked goods, and even the occasional pumpkin-shaped cheese ball (say what?).  Sure, I’d love all of these treats, too.  Thing is, my waistline wouldn’t.  And so each fall I seek ways to get my pumpkin fix without completely losing the calorie battle (especially before the holiday season even kicks in!).

First of is my daily treat – the pumpkin pie oatmeal.  True story: if you put pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in just about anything, you can convince yourself you’re having a treat.  And guys – canned pumpkin is super healthy!  The plain stuff (not the canned pie filling – steer clear!) is only 50 calories a half cup and packed with fiber.  Pumpkin IS a veggie, after all.

Need a snack?  Pumpkin mixes gloriously well with Greek yogurt for a kind of faux-cheesecake effect, which you can savor anytime of day (just watch the added sugar – you rarely need as much as the recipes suggest, and you can always sub Stevia or even raw maple syrup for a healthier, lighter sweetness).

While you have your Greek yogurt out, might as well throw it in some batter for these amazing protein-packed pancakes – seriously guys, it’s like a little piece of heaven on a Sunday morning, and combined with a healthy syrup option, you can pretend you’re having a crazy indulgent meal but staying completely on track.

And finally – I get it.  You need the whole pumpkin spice latte thing to make it through the season – I’m not gonna hate.  This one – which, yes, takes a bit of commitment but for a huge payoff – is worth your time.  You can make a batch and heat ’em up all week!

Do you have any go-to pumpkin recipes for the fall season?  How do you enjoy your pumpkin in a healthier way?

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