Pumpkin is super yummy, super healthy, and super versatile! In my house, we love this fall fruit in everything from soup, smoothies, lattes, and baking (muffins, cookies, brownies and donuts) to protein balls, oats, and chia pudding.
Pumpkin is packed with fibre and vitamins & minerals such as A and C, magnesium and potassium. It is also rich in powerful antioxidants that have anti-aging benefits for the eyes and skin and may help to protect against cancer, hypertension and heart disease.
For this recipe, you can use homemade or canned organic pumpkin purée. The homemade stuff is actually very simple to make and I have provided directions below. If using canned, be sure to get pure pumpkin and not pie filling, which is full of processed sugar. In Toronto, I have purchased small cans of organic purée from Summerhill Market, Whole Foods, and Pusateri’s.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond or nut-free milk
1 cup canned organic coconut milk
1 cup pure pumpkin purée
1/4 cup Nuzest Clean Lean vanilla protein powder
2 tsp gelatinized maca powder (optional)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
pinch each of nutmeg and black pepper
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or raw honey (nonvegan), or sweetener of choice, adjusted to taste
1/2 cup chia seeds
optional toppings: seeds, nuts and/or nut butter, dried or fresh fruit, dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs, coconut flakes
Put almond milk, coconut milk, pumpkin, protein powder, vanilla, and spices in blender container and blend until smooth. Sweeten to taste.
Add chia seeds and pulse-blend until just combined. Alternatively, blend thoroughly for a smoother texture to the chia pudding.
Pour into a bowl or divide between single serving mason jars and cover. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, then whisk or shake well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, stir and enjoy with your favourite toppings. Here I added pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs and chocolate coconut chips. Pumpkin Protein Chia Pudding can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PURÉE
Be sure to use a pie pumpkin since they have better texture and sweetness for eating.
Preheat oven to 400F. Cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise and scrape out the stringy pulp and seeds. These can later be washed & roasted for a delicious healthy snack! Place flesh-side down on cookie sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until the flesh is nice and tender when pierced with a fork. Cool for an hour. Then use a large spoon to scoop the pumpkin out of the skin and put it into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. This will keep for several days in the fridge or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
This recipe was first published October 23, 2017.