Saturday, October 14, 2017

Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Bars

     Sugar Cookie Pumpkin Bars fit well into all the Fall "feels".  Not only are they delicious, they are healthy and calorie friendly, for a hugh 4x4 inch piece it is only 251 calories, 10g net carbs and 18g protein.  Enjoy this moist decadence for breakfast, afternoon snack or dessert...or all three!  :)

Ingredients for 4 servings~
1/2 cup Sugar Cookie G Butter ( (sub with melted Coconut Oil)
1/2 cup Pumpkin
4oz (1/2 cup) Unsweetened Applesauce (or grind your own)
2 jumbo Eggs
1/4 cup Coconut Flour
1/3 cup Swerve Granular Erythritol
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
Dash Pumpkin Pie Spice (sub with Cinnamon)
Dash Vanilla
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1 Tablespoon Lily's Stevia Sweetened Dark Chocolate Chips
1 Tablespoon chopped Pecan's
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1 Tablespoon Sugar Cookie G Butter ( ) (sub with melted Coconut Oil)
1 Tablespoon reduced fat Cream Cheese, softened
1 Tablespoon Swerve Granular Erythritol

     Mix first set of ingredients and pour into 8x8 parchment lined pan, top with second set of ingredients, bake at 350 for 20 minutes, remove and cool.  Meanwhile, mix third set of ingredients til smooth, add to baggie, snip corner and drizzle in a decorative pattern.  Enjoy  :)

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pumpkin Brownies

     The dessert options for Fall are limitless, there are so many options it has it's own zip code.  Lucky for us, Pumpkin resides in the 90210 section of the community (...that humor may be lost on you if you are only in your second or third decade of life...just trust me, it's funny).  If you type Pumpkin in my search bar you will get well over 60 recipes pop up, how's that for proof in the puddin'...err, Pumpkin!?  But my all time favorite pairing is with Chocolate, especially in Brownie form.  So the next time you're in the kitchen and hankering for a sweet, try whipping up a batch of Pumpkin Brownies and see if it turns into your #1 as well.  Each of these 9 beautiful spectacles are only 203 calories, 6g net carbs and 12g protein.  :)

Ingredients for 9 servings~
1/4 cup melted Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Cocoa
1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder (I use Quest Chocolate Milkshake)
2 jumbo Eggs
1/2 cup Pumpkin
1/2 cup Swerve Granular Erythritol (can sub with sweetener of choice)
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Dash Pumpkin Pie Spice
Dash Vanilla
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7oz  2% Fage Greek Yogurt
5 Tablespoons reduced fat Cream Cheese, softened
1 jumbo Egg
1/3 cup Swerve Granular Erythritol (can sub with sweetener of choice)
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1/4 cup Pumpkin
3 Tablespoons reduced fat Cream Cheese, softenend
1 jumbo Egg
2 Tablespoon Coconut Flour
1/4 cup Swerve Granular Erythritol (can sub with sweetener of choice)
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1 Pumpkin Pie Protein Bar, diced (I use Fit Joy Protein Bar)(can sub with other flavor)

     Mix first set of ingredients til well incorporated and pour into parchment lined 8X8 pan.  Mix second set of ingredients and pour over top of Brownie layer.  Mix third set of ingredients and drop by four equal dollops in each of the 4 quarters of the pan, then take a knife and swirl thru each of the Pumpkin areas.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, remove and sprinkle with Protein Bar bits and slightly pat down.  Bring to room temperature and chill in fridge over night.  Enjoy the heck outta this baby  ;)


     Let it be known, Pumpkins are not just a means to scare little kids on Halloween....although some of those carvings can be pretty terrifying.  Have you ever realized that Pumpkin is the most widely consumed food that is also used in decoration and recreation!?  (I mean, would you ever dream of setting a Turkey on the front porch to spook visitors on Thanksgiving....didn't think so...and if you do, you need to seek medical attention immediately.)
     One of the most popular crops in the United States, 1.5 billion (yes, billion) Pumpkins are produced each year.  And ironically, if you think about it, they are mostly only used in the last quarter of the year, September is the warm up to October madness.  Not only an excellent source of Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene, it is calorie friendly and a wonderful option for Breads, Soups, Pies, Muffins, Waffles, French Toast, Pancakes, Latte's, Oatmeal, Pasta, Hummus, Chili, Cupcakes and Cookies.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to Pumpkin, the only question is, what will you create during the last 3 months of the year!?  PS  Thank you to the "guy" who created canned Pumpkin...#lifemadeeasier

Here are a few of my favorites, and for more than 60 other options, type Pumpkin in the search bar of my blog and spend the entire day perusing all things Pumpkin!

Pumpkin Ginger Bread

     Who doesn't love a good slice of Bread!?  White, Wheat, Banana, Cinnamon, it doesn't matter...but turn it into Pumpkin Ginger Bread and then it matters most...or should I say "moist".  Combining spices creates a whole new world of flavors bursting on your taste buds.  This offering is what Fall should taste like, not to mention it's versatility pairs well with any meal, although I consider it a superlative breakfast bread.  To top it off, this gluten free winner is only 171 calories, 15g net carbs and 5g protein for each 1/8 loaf, add a nut butter and you have a perfectly balanced mini meal.  If you are looking for a earthy, dense, heavy, hearty bounty then this fits the bill.  :)

Ingredients for 8 sliced servings~
2 cup Oats, ground into powder via food processor
1 cup Pumpkin
2 jumbo Eggs
1/2 cup (4oz) unsweetened Applesauce (grind your own is best)
1/4 cup melted Coconut Oil
1/2 cup (1 very small) grated Zucchini (place in dish towel, squeeze and remove excess liquid)
1 cup Brown Sugar Sukrin ( ~no calorie all natural plant based sweetener, can sub with Swerve Granular Erythritol or sweetener of choice)
1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Tablespoons Ginger Powder (use less for a softer hint of Ginger)
Dash Vanilla
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

     Mix all together and pour into Pam sprayed loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour.  Cool and flip on rack til ready to eat.  Enjoy  :)

Creamy Pumpkin Chili

     Cool temperature and warm soups go together like Sonny and Cher...oh wait, they broke up, forget that example, bout the Kardashians and "Kash"...together forever, happily eva afta!  Now you get the picture!  And who doesn't love a fun new twist on an old classic!?  Take a walk on the wild side and experiment with a unique flavor and put a pot of Pumpkin Chili to the test.  Each of the 6 servings are only 367 calories, 30g net carbs and 35g protein, each serving is 1 3/4 cups.  You will not believe how good pumpkin is as a Chili addition, it's time to up your soup game!  :)

Ingredients for 6 servings~
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon chopped Garlic
1 medium white diced Onion
Heavy Dash Cayenne
1.5 pounds finely diced Chicken Breast
2 teaspoons Chicken Base or 2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes
1 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Salt, more to taste
4oz reduced fat Cream Cheese
1.5 cups Pumpkin
2 15oz cans diced Petites Tomatoes
2 15oz cans drained Black Beans (sub with other favorite Bean, I used assorted cans)
2 small 4oz cans diced Green Chiles
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Sour Cream, optional garnish
Cilantro, optional garnish
Cheddar Cheese, optional garnish

     Heat Olive Oil in skillet, add Onions, Garlic and Cayenne til golden brown.  Add diced Chicken til cooked thru, then stir in rest of ingredients til fully combined and heated thru.  Top with optional garnish (macros don't include garnish).  Enjoy  :)

Pumpkin Hummus

     If you want to be the star at the next big gathering, then volunteer to bring Pumpkin Hummus and tell everyone it's a secret family recipe!  They will never be able to guess what is bringing out the rich flavors in this freakishly delish dip!  And each of these yummy 1/4 cup offerings are only 119 calories, 9g net carbs and 4g protein.  You will be astonished how smoothly this mellow hummus slides down and lands with a smile in your belly!  :)

Ingredients for 6 servings~
15oz drained can of Garbanzo Beans
1/2 cup Pumpkin
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon chopped Garlic
Dash Cayenne Pepper, to taste
Dash Salt, to taste

     Blend in food processor til well incorporated, smooth and creamy.  Garnish with Chili Powder Sprinkles, if desired.  Enjoy  :)

Creamy Pumpkin Alfredo

     You would not believe the creamy mellow melt in your mouth goodness that flows from this Pumpkin Pasta.  I literally heard myself saying "mmmmmm...." after my first bite.  If you want to experience the power of the "mmmmmmmm.....", then I suggest you give this one a try.  For each 2/3 cup of  extra rich sauce, it is only 135 calories, 13g net carbs and 6g protein.  If you don't sigh with goodness after your first bite it's not worth eating ...

Ingredients for 6 servings~
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 medium diced Yellow Onion
1 Tablespoon chopped Garlic
Heavy dash Cayenne Pepper
2 cups Fat Free Half n Half
1.5 cups Pumpkin
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Salt, if desired for taste
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Spiralized Zucchini, "Zoodles" or favorite Pasta (not included in macros)
Pumpkin Seeds, as garnish if desired (not included in macros)
Diced Green Onion, as garnish if desired (not included in macros)

     Heat Olive Oil in skillet, add Onion, Garlic and Cayenne til golden brown, stir in Cream, Pumpkin and Parmesan til well incorporated and heated thru.  Serve over your favorite Pasta, I served mine over Zoodles for a guiltless dish, garnish with Green Onions and Pumpkin Seeds if desired.  Enjoy  :)

PS  There is a Zoodles video on my Facebook page for further instructions, I always eat my Zoodles raw, they become mushy if you cook them, in my opinion.