Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pumpkin on Pumpkin on Pumpkin

It's only the very beginning of fall, and I've already made things including pumpkin-on-pumpkin-on-pumpkin!
But, luckily, I'm not even near sick of it! The smell is enough to make me keep it around for another three months!

Aside from my clean pumpkin cupcakes, and my cinnamon pumpkin spice pancakes, I've also made banana pumpkin oatmeal mini muffins and the best pumpkin spice mug cake ever! (Along with multiple pumpkin oatmeals, including two delicious baked pumpkin oatmeals! Can you say Heaven?!)

I feel like you guys deserve to have these recipes for yourself, so this post is to all of you pumpkin lovers out there! 
Mini Banana Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
The calories for mine were actually about 34 each, but I miscalculated at first! (Not that it even matters...)

2/3 cup dry oats*
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup water*
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
dash of nutmeg
dash of cinnamon
dash of pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp packed light brown sugar
6 packets (1/4 cup) of sweetener/Stevia
1 tsp butter, melted for a few seconds (you can sub this with canola or coconut oil, if wanted)
1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1 medium ripe banana (easier to mash and moister when REALLY ripened!)
1 cup of water

*note: I actually used 1 packet of cinnamon spice instant oatmeal + 1/4 cup dry old fashioned oats because I didn't have enough oats to use just the normal dry. If you use just dry, you might need more liquid considering I'm not 100% sure how much it actually equaled altogether. But, keep in mind that the instant oatmeal packets WILL work!


Chop oats in a processor or blender for about 5-7 pulses.
Let soak in about 2/3 cup of water for 10-20 minutes.
Heat your oven to 350 (175 degrees celscius).
Add baking powder to oat mixture. Stir till foam-y type texture appears.
Add in vanilla. Stir again.
In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and sugars.
In another separate both, mash banana and pumpkin together. Add to the flour mixture.
Add in the oat mixture.
Stir thoroughly.
Add in about 1 cup of water.
Spray cupcake/muffin tins, or apply liners.
Add in your mixture with an ice cream scoop for equal portions.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Optional: enjoy with peanut butter because I promise you, they are THE perfect match
These muffins stay moist for DAYS... Definitely a pro to adding ripened banana to your recipes!

Pumpkin Microwave Mug Cake + Almond Milk "Ice Cream"

Ingredients (for ice cream, since it takes at least 2 hours to freeze):
1 cup of almond milk
1 packet of Stevia/sweetener
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon
any other add-ins you want! (To flavor your ice cream)
*I used 1/4 a packet of strawberry shortcake flavored Duncan Hines Frosting Creations, and it tasted EXACTLY like strawberry ice cream. Though the consistency was obviously a bit different, I 100% recommend investing in some $1 Frosting Creations packets! The chocolate almond, mocha, cinnamon roll, and strawberry shortcake are my favorite so far!

Mix all ingredients together in a freezer-safe bowl.
Freeze for 2+ hours.
Enjoy with a warm treat, or on it's own with some toppings!

*Inspiration from here!*
Ingredients (for pumpkin microwave mug cake):
2 tbsp canned pure pumpkin puree
2 tbsp dry oats
1/4 tsp baking powder
dash of cinnamon
dash of salt
dash of pumpkin pie spice
dash of nutmeg
1 tbsp almond milk
1 egg white
1 packet of stevia
sprinkle of brown sugar

about 1/2-1 tsp nut butter (optional)
banana slices (optional)

Mix all ingredients very well in a microwave-safe mug.
Microwave for 1-2 minutes. Use your spoon or fork to feel around the edges of the cake to see if it'll slide out okay, or if it needs more time to "bake".
(I didn't stir mine enough the first time, hence the egg white showing... Oopsies! Still incredibly delicious, though)
When done, carefully turn over your mug onto a plate. Your cake should slide right out.
Serve with whatever you want, but I recommend some ice cream, because the warm and cold contradict perfectly! Also, PEANUT BUTTER!
If you don't have oats, you can for sure use any type of flour in replace of! I got inspiration from both Blogilates + Kiss My Broccoli for this one!
Just a little peak inside this beauty!  

Let me know if you guys want any baked oatmeal recipes, or any more recipes period! Though I eventually may want to create my own cookbook, in the meantime I'd love to share recipes with all of you lovely people!  Have a happy Sunday, everyone!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Best Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes

So, tonight, I made breakfast-for-dinner for my family. Which, on its own, makes for a fabulous dinner any day!
But, while I made them plain & chocolate pancakes (from box mix) with a side of cheesy eggs, this is what I made myself:
Cinnamon pumpkin spice pancakes with a beautiful egg white scramble.

Now, I've made pumpkin pancakes lots of times before tonight... But, they've always seemed to come out either super small, or super thin... almond under-cooked. (Not that they were bad necessarily, they just weren't as enjoyable as an actual pancake should be!)

I don't really know what I did differently tonight... But I'm glad I did it!

Low Calorie, Super Healthy Cinnamon Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Ingredients (serves 1):
2 tbsp dry oats (I used old fashioned)
1.5 tbsp whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
small dash of salt
a few generous dashes of cinnamon
dash of pumpkin pie spice
a generous dash of nutmeg
1 packet of Stevia
sprinkle of brown sugar

2 generous tbsp pure canned pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling!)
1 egg white
splash of almond milk (about 1-2 tbsp total, just eye-ball it)
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (optional, but I'd definitely add in a spoonful of some type of yogurt!)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl, any which way and any order you please.
Heat your skillet or pan to a medium to high heat.
Spray or grease it so the pancakes don't stick. (Do NOT forget to do this step! They might stick horribly if you do!)
Once mixed through thoroughly, add in a spoonful of your pancake mix. Let cook until bubbles appear on the surface, then flip. Make sure to not flip too early, or too quick, so your pancakes stay in one beautiful piece!

Once done, serve with whatever toppings you want, and enjoy your plate-of-fall!  I must say, immediately topped with Biscoff spread (so it melts), banana slices, granola, maple syrup and cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice made for a sinfully healthy and delicious meal!

P.S. If you're worried about calories, the pancakes themselves should equal out to about 110 calories more or less, with both healthy carbs and proteins!


What I Ate Wednesday #21 - I Love Fall!

The weather, the food, the holidays, the sweaters, the colors... just about everything is quite perfect about it. One of the only things I truly love about living in New Jersey, is the change of seasons. (And that's it, really...) I don't think I'd ever be able to live somewhere where the weather was one way all year round. That'd be lame.

Btw, can you believe we're already into our last week of September?! I'll admit, this month, of all months thus far (this year), has gone pretty slow... But, still! IT'S ALMOST HOLIDAY TIME! 

Anywaaaaaays! This past week has been full of another batch of new meals, which is actually quite surprising for me! I'm proud. Very proud. I'm glad I'm getting (sort of) out of my super routine-y habit of eating the same things all. the. time. I've also been changing up some of my workouts, which is quite the A+ on my part!

9/20/12 - Breakfast: surprise OIAJ are the best way to start the day!
We had this jar of natural peanut butter for quite awhile, and my mom had finally finished most of it off in my sister's sandwich for lunch that she prepared that morning... And I couldn't let the jar just sit and go to waste!
Cinnamon apple spice infused egg white oatmeal with oatmeal raisin granola + apple slices + plain Greek yogurt + cinnamon & Stevia + a leftover pumpkin muffin... All inside a nearly-empty natural peanut butter jar! This = delicious. I love OIAJ more than I love a lot of things. (And just oatmeal period...)
9/21/12 - Breakfast: I decided to try out sweet potato oatmeal for the first time... And I absolutely loved it! This was sweet potato & pumpkin egg white oatmeal with pumpkin flax & oatmeal raisin granola + banana slices + plain Greek yogurt + cinnamon + the last of my pumpkin cupcakes.
9/22/12 - Breakfast: my first day of fall breakfast had to be fall-themed, of course.
Baked pumpkin spice-chocolate swirl egg white oatmeal with oatmeal raisin & pumpkin flax granola + banana slices + plain Greek yogurt + Biscoff spread + a sprinkle of cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice + a drizzle of maple syrup. I baked this and ate it inside one of our fall dishes! Hehe. It looks like so much food, but I promise it was one serving and not six! Hahahaha...
9/22/12 - Tea time!/"Snack": found this pumpkin spice chai tea at a Pepperidge Farm thrift store, and I automatically had to get it!
The taste is VERY strong, though, so I had to add some almond milk, Stevia & cinnamon to be able to drink it all. But, nonetheless, it was so warm and comforting. So lovely for the upcoming weather!
9/22/12 - Dinner: made dinner for my family -- baked chicken wrapped in bacon with Guy Fieri marinade & minced garlic! Put mine over a biiiiig salad! 
Protein, I love you. (And, bacon, I love you almost more than I love chicken. But not quite. Sorry...)
9/23/12 - Breakfast: sweet potato pie oatmeal was in store for my post-workout breakfast on Sunday!
9/23/12 - Snack: I decided to get experimenting with baking again... And these muffins/muffin tops (since they didn't rise very well) came out even better than last week's muffins/cupcakes. They're seriously so incredibly delicious and moist... even over 24 hours after they were baked! It's amazing how something that's only 34 calories (I miscalculated and thought it was 37... not that it's much of a difference/not that it even matters the least bit) is SO delicious and HEALTHY! I think I'm gonna turn these into a bread recipe soon... 
9/24/12 - Breakfast: cocoa banana protein egg white oatmeal with some Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares + banana slices + plain Greek yogurt + cinnamon + a leftover, still SUPER moist & delicious banana pumpkin oatmeal muffin (crumbled up) + White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter.
One of my favorite combinations ever: chocolate, peanut butter, and banana. Literally perfection in it's simplest of forms.
9/25/12 - Breakfast: this was SO good. Strawberries + chocolate = always a good combination.
Strawberry shortcake egg white oatmeal with granola + some Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares (hehe... always!) + banana slices + plain Greek yogurt + cinnamon + a leftover (STILL moist & delicious) banana pumpkin oatmeal muffin + Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter. Mmmm, so good.
9/26/12 - Breakfast: I love being off from school and being able to workout early and eat a yummy post-workout breakfast!
I was so determined to have OIAJ for my post-workout breakfast this morning, that I made my dad and little sister sandwiches for lunch tomorrow with this peanut butte... And I also gave my little sister half a sandwich with some, too... Hahahahahaha. I know I'm pathetic, but I truly don’t care! Hehe.
Pumpkin spice infused egg white oatmeal with some granola (plain & pumpkin flax) + a few Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares + apple cubes + plain Greek yogurt + cinnamon + a leftover (... still perfect) banana pumpkin oatmeal muffin, all inside a nearly-empty (with around 1 tbsp of PB left... That's right, disordered thoughts! I have no regrets! ) Omega-3 peanut butter jar! SO. FREAKING. GOOD.

Aside from the food, this past week has definitely had it's up and it's downs. But, one of the MAJOR ups, is that people (a lot of them!) are voting me for "most changed" for our senior classes' superlatives! That might not mean much to some people, but it means the absolute world to me. (It also gives me a giant boost of motivation!) It means the world because people are noticing how much work I put into changing myself... When I lost weight (I was nearly obese, btw. I didn't lose weight just to fit society's definition of "skinny".), I gained confidence, which was something I never had before. I also became more outgoing and just happier all-around. I'm so happy people are noticing that.

Friday, September 21, 2012

"Clean" Pumpkin Cupcakes!

In honor of National Cupcake Week, I got bakin' and experimentin'!
I made pumpkin cupcakes... Healthy pumpkin cupcakes, that is!
Though, they came out more muffin-looking... That's okay, because they're still cupcakes in my eyes! 

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (unsweetened apple sauce will work, too!)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
approx. 3 cups water (I just estimated... You might need more, might need less, so just eyeball it!)
5 packets of Stevia (or normal white sugar)
1/2 tsp packed light brown sugar*
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup of pumpkin*
4 tsps butter, melted for 20 seconds (OR 1-2 tbsp canola or coconut oil to make it "cleaner".)

*note: my muffins didn't have too much of a distinct pumpkin flavor, so if that's what you're expecting, add more pumpkin and another 1/2 tsp light brown sugar (or even 1 tbsp for a sweeter taste)!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees Celsius).
In a small bowl, mix baking powder and Greek yogurt (or applesauce) to make a foam-like texture.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar/Stevia, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar.

Add pumpkin puree, your oil, and the Greek yogurt mixture to the larger bowl. Add in water as needed. (Should be around 2-4 cups total!)
Mix well.
Spray your cupcake tins, or add in cupcake liners, then scoop mixture with an ice cream scooper to create equal-sized cupcakes into each tin/liner.
Mine came out to be 20 cupcakes altogether!
Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
Once cooled, frost with icing if desired!
(I used light whipped cream on some, and unsweetened all natural cocoa powder mixed with milk chocolate protein powder, whipped cream and Stevia on others. You can use whatever you want, if anything! Greek yogurt, peanut butter (which would taste delicious), or actual frosting!)
Right: light whipped cream & a sprinkle of unsweetened all natural cocoa powder
Left: light whipped cream mixed with unsweetened all natural cocoa powder & chocolate protein powder & Stevia

My mom loved these, my dad loved them (even plain... which was odd, because I didn't think they had much flavor plain!), and I loved them! I really loved the "chocolate frosting", too.
Oh, and I heated up leftovers for a few days and layered some into my morning oatmeal... Hehe. 

I hope you guys like 'em! Enjoy, and remember... PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!! 

P.S. Fall officially starts tomorrow! YAY!!