· By Nora Lynch
Flourless Pumpkin Protein Pancake Recipe
Fall is finally here and the pumpkin craze has begun! From carving pumpkins to pumpkin spice lattes and beer to pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving – it’s everywhere! Sometimes pumpkins get a bad rep because more often than not, they’re used to make delicious recipes that can unfortunately be loaded with unwanted sugar and calories. In reality, pumpkins are rich with vitamins and nutrients and can have major health benefits giving us a reason to yell ‘Tis the Pumpkin Season. Here’s why it’s okay to be cheater, cheater pumpkin eater: Feel Fuller: Pumpkins are packed with fiber, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer and controls the appetite. The seeds in a pumpkin have 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce. More of a mashed pumpkin fanatic? There are only 80 calories but 7 grams of fiber in a cup of canned pumpkin. This means that one serving provides more than 20% of the daily-recommended fiber value! (1) Improve your Vision without the Glasses: Pumpkins are also loaded with Vitamin A, providing more than 200% of the daily recommended intake. Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in dim light. Maybe carrots shouldn’t be getting all the credit after all! (3) Aid your post-workout recovery: Once again, bananas stole the show on this one. While this fruit is known to be a main source of potassium, a cup of cooked pumpkin has 564 mg compared to 422 mg in a banana. Potassium helps restore electrolytes after an intense workout and keeps muscles performing at their best. (2) Pumpkins have a way to the heart: Low cholesterol can be the key to a healthy heart. Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil are rich with phytoestrogens, or plant-based chemicals. Research has shown that when rats were fed this oil on a diet, it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just twelve weeks. (1) Catch some Z’s: Maybe pumpkin really is the one to blame for the post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness we tend to feel. Pumpkin seeds are rich with the amino acid, tryptophan, which helps the body produce serotonin. Serotonin is the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps us relax. An added plus: serotonin also has been known to improve the mood! (1) Clearly…I love pumpkins and it just wouldn’t feel right to end this without sharing my new favorite pumpkin recipe – protein pumpkin pancakes! Ingredients: 1/3 cup organic canned pumpkin puree 1/4 cup old fashioned oats 1 serving vanilla or cinnamon protein powder 1/2 cup egg whites 3 Tbsp cottage cheese 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice Dash of cinnamon Instructions: Mix all ingredients together in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Heat a skillet over medium heat with your oil of choice (we love coconut!). Pour about 1/4 cup batter to make small circular pancakes. Cook on one side until bubbles start to appear on the top, then flip. Add your toppings of choice. Try some homemade nut butter with a touch of maple syrup! ENJOY :) Sources:
- Brown, Mary Jane. “Top 11 Science-Based Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 12 June 2016, www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-benefits-of-pumpkin-seeds#section2
- Klein, Sarah. “8 Impressive Health Benefits Of Pumpkin.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 4 Sept. 2014, www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/04/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html.
- Obenschain, Chris. “6 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkins.” CNN, Cable News Network, 21 Oct. 2014, www.cnn.com/2014/10/21/health/health-benefits-of-pumpkin/index.html.