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Fall has arrived. The weather is cooling down & the kids are back to school. Workouts migrate outside to embrace the cooler temps and the vibrant scenery. All of these things bring me to my favorite seasonal ingredient to use - PUMPKIN!
Pumpkin is chock full of vitamins and is very low calorie. It's vitamin A, potassium and antioxidant rich too. Plus pumpkin is full of vitamin C & fiber which help promote a healthy blood pressure and heart. So many benefits in this vibrant-colored ingredient. Plus along with everything else that grows, it has protein. Protein! Never has one ingredient been so controversial for people. If you're vegan like me - the typical question is... "Where do you get your protein?" to "How much is necessary in a diet?"
How Much Protein Do I Need?
The US Department of Agriculture recommends that all men and women over the age of 19 should get at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day (or 0.37 grams per pound). That means a woman who is 130 pounds should get at least 48 grams of protein but some recommend 70-80 grams if you're athletic. Depending on your daily activities, you still may not be getting enough to help your muscles recover from your workouts.
If you get too little protein, you can suffer from fatigue, weakness or muscle loss. Your metabolism slows down and you put yourself at risk of gaining weight. It also weakens your immune system.
This breakfast can be made ahead on the weekend so that you can refrigerate or freeze them and defrost as needed. Plus this makes a perfect quick & healthy breakfast for your kids too. And let's face it... homemade trumps store-bought daily.
These are vegan & gluten free.
2 cups oats
1/3 cup of protein powder (vanilla works best)
1½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 large or 2 smaller bananas (ripe)
1 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup unsweetened almond or another nut-based milk
1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Flax egg (1 tablespoon of flax seed meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of water - let sit 3 minutes)
1/3 cup walnuts - extra protein source
Hemp hearts - extra protein source
Into your food processor, add your oats and blend down to a chunkier flour.
Then, add your protein powder through salt and pulse a few times to blend. Blend your flax and water in a separate bowl and set aside for a few minutes to thicken up. While that's working, add the remaining ingredients through the flax egg (when thick) to your food processor. Pulse several times to blend completely. If you need to, stop and scrape down the sides and pulse a few additional times.
Heat a skillet or cast iron pan over a medium flame with a bit of oil in the pan to prevent burning. I prefer to use a measuring cup to measure out the pancake mixture onto the pan (to keep them equal). Once bubbles start to appear, flip the pancakes over and cook on the reverse side. Each side should be a beautiful golden brown. Top with your favorite syrup and hemp hearts/walnuts. Serve immediately or let cool completely and store in the freezer or fridge in an airtight container.