If you are missing out on the pumpkin spice everything (though artificially flavored and full of sugar) and feeling deprived, I am here to help!
I’m not so much obsessed with pumpkin spice as a flavor, but I truly appreciate what a nutrient-dense food nature provides us when we need it most. Like most winter squashes, pumpkin is high in vitamin A and vitamin C, both of which support a healthy immune system—much needed this time of year as we enter cold and flu season. It’s also a good source of vitamin B6 which in my clinical experience a lot of people are deficient in. B6 is easily depleted but is required for so many physiological processes, including digestion and healthy hormone function. Pumpkin also contains minerals, and is a great source of those pesky healthy “good” carbohydrates. And the seeds! Pumpkin seeds are a great source of healthy fats (not to mention delicious).
Pumpkin can also be used medicinally to treat digestive issues. I prefer to use pumpkin purée that I make from a fresh roasted pumpkin, but I stock up on organic puréed pumpkin this time of year so I always have it. Anytime my digestion is off, I add pumpkin to a smoothie or blended coffee, or most often I just eat a spoonful (or two or three...) of it. It helps all digestive issues, including diarrhea and constipation. It’s also safe for cats and dogs. Growing up, my dogs got pumpkin mixed in their food anytime their stomach was upset or they were throwing up, and now both of my cats get pumpkin when they are sick (or as a treat when I have some on hand); our kitten loves pumpkin and eats it plain!
To make it even more gut-friendly, I added some Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, and grass-fed butter, which are both gut-healing foods. You could also use ghee, which is also great for gut health, or coconut oil if you prefer that.
If you really want to get in the pumpkin spirit, make some of my favorite grain-free pumpkin muffins!
The REAL Pumpkin Spice Latte
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Yields: 1 cup of coffee
*Note: if you are not doing bulletproof-style coffee, coconut milk or Nutpods will work.
Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until mixed thoroughly. Pour into your favorite mug and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spices or cinnamon. Enjoy!
I am obsessed with this banana bread. This is legitimate banana bread, too. Unlike the conventional recipe that is just a sweet bread baked with chunks of banana in it, this is really a bread made out of bananas. That means no sugar and no sweetener is needed, making it EmFit challenge and 21 Day Sugar Detox approved. I have made it with peanut butter, almond butter, and Trader Joe's Mixed Nut Butter (my favorite batch). So I'm certain a nut-free seed butter or cashew butter would work if you have an issue with nuts, peanuts, or almonds.
So unless you have issues with eggs, bananas, or coconuts, this is a pretty allergy-friendly and sugar detox-friendly treat (grain free, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, sweetener free).
Bananas are a great source of potassium, and I have been trying to get more potassium in my diet because I have lingual-neuro tested well for that mineral recently. I've been super busy working two jobs and moving my nutritional therapy business into it's new location, so my anxiety levels have been pretty high. While it's good anxiety (is there such a thing? like good stress?), I still want to be cognizant of my stress management; and since it seems so many of my clients have anxiety, I have been researching how anxiety can sometimes be linked to a potassium deficiency, which I would like to avoid.
Or maybe I am just using that as an excuse to eat more banana bread...
This recipe would also be great for my athletes who need a quick, energizing snack before their workouts. I know a lot of early-morning Crossfitters and other athletes struggle with eating in the morning, but it's really important to get a source of good fuel so your body doesn't have to increase cortisol production to keep your blood sugar levels stable, which over the long-term could lead to some adrenal dysfunction. This is easy to eat and digest, so a couple bites of this before you head out the door can go a long way.
Plus it makes the house smell so good while it's baking.
I can't take the credit for this one. This recipe is my friend Danielle's from Revive Health and Wellness.
Danielle and I graduated from the Nutritional Therapy Association together. She is also a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, as well as a personal trainer and holistic health coach...she does it all! If you are in Maryland and looking for an NTP, or any health and fitness services, get in touch with her. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook for more great recipes and tips.
I asked her if I could post the recipe on my blog because I have been making it so much and wanted to share it. You can find the original recipe here or at the bottom of this page. Per Danielle's suggestion, I made a double batch which is the recipe I am sharing below.
I think for my next batch I will make muffins for easy transportation, and will let you know how that turns out!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Yields: one loaf
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a stand up mixer, mix bananas, nut butter and vanilla until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time. I'm not sure if this would work mixing by hand. You can try but it might be hard to get the bananas to break down to the creamy consistency needed.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour into a parchment paper-lined or greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the walnuts on top and place in the oven. Bake for about an hour, or until golden brown and you can stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean. Oven times may vary so I would use the toothpick test. It will harden up a bit once it cools.
Let it cool and set before serving.
I love this served warm and topped with some grass-fed butter or ghee.
It has been a minute since I posted a recipe because I have been 100% focusing on my practice, but I miss sharing my cooking style with you all!
All will be forgiven once you try this spanish tortilla. We have been eating this for breakfast these past couple weekends (and maybe a couple dinners because it's so easy to throw together). You could also make it ahead of time and reheat a slice or two for a quick and easy weekday breakfast.
I made something like this from a recipe several years ago and thought it was too complicated and never made it again, but I recently found myself craving it. Now that I'm older and wiser, I decided to try it again but do it my way--simple and easy, with minimal clean up.
My favorite way to cook this is to make some bacon in a cast iron skillet, and then re-use the bacon fat already in the pan. Such an easy and delicious breakfast!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the fat of choice in a cast iron or other oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and onions. Stir occasionally, until potatoes cook and onions become translucent (if you sliced your potatoes by hand or they are otherwise pretty thick, you might need to let them cook a little longer). You can add a few pinches of salt while these are cooking in the pan.
Remove from heat. If you wanted to add some extra spices to your potatoes at this point, you are welcome to do that. I would recommend Primal Palate's Meat and Potatoes spice blend, a seasoning salt blend (I used Trader Joe's), or even a couple sprinkles of paprika and garlic powder would be good. I've also made it without extra spices and it's still great.
Take a spatula or wooden spoon and make sure the potato and onion mixture is evenly spread throughout the pan and flattened down a bit.
Crack open your eggs. Add salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp of each will do if you require measurements--depends on your preferences and how much pepper you like) and whisk. Pour the whisked egg mixture over the potato and onion mixture in the pan.
Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, depending on your oven (maybe check in on it around 40 minutes). Let cool.
Take a spatula or knife, and stick it between the eggy crust and the edge of the pan to separate it.
I think traditionally this dish is supposed to be flipped over and served upside down on a platter. But we aren't fancy. We just cut it and serve it in slices like a pie straight from the pan.
It's really great served with some ketchup or hot sauce. Garnish with some fresh parsley if you prefer.