The smell of pumpkin spice is in the air, and that only means one thing – fall! Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few years, you’re well aware of the pumpkin spice phenomena. Lucky for us, it’s not only a great way to celebrate the welcoming of autumn either. Pumpkin has some surprising health benefits. In one cup of cooked pumpkin, you can expect to find a high content of vitamins, particularly vitamin A that can help your immune system. It’s high in antioxidants so you can stay healthy and help your body fight off any diseases, plus because it’s 95% water, it’s low in calories. Here are some ways you can incorporate pumpkin into your daily breakfast routine.
Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
If you’re in denial about summer being over, this is the perfect compromise! A pumpkin spiced smoothie is also an easy way to get your fix, while rushing out the door to deal with life’s many tasks. We like the idea of this recipe from The Food Network.
1 cup milk
1 frozen banana
½ cup pumpkin puree (with spices)
½ cup yogurt
1 tbsp maple syrup
Splash vanilla, dash of cinnamon
Oatmeal with Pumpkin Puree
Nothing says fall like a warm, comforting bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. We like the idea of creating this quickly in the morning (20 mins or less) or making a big batch in the slow cooker to enjoy all week long! Try adding some roasted pumpkin seeds and pecans for crunch (and added health benefits too!). You could even stir in some added nut butter for protein and to help you stay fuller, longer – like this recipe from Five Heart Home.
Pumpkin Spice Muffin
A grab and go breakfast (or snack) can’t get any easier than this! Bake a batch early in the week so they are ready for whenever you need them. We like the idea of adding in some other healthy goodness, such as coconut, oats, raisins, seeds and nuts. It makes for a hearty start to your day. However, if you make your standard pumpkin muffins ahead of time, you can always add some cream cheese frosting like A Sweet Pea Chef did to quickly turn them into dessert. Especially if you have a sweet tooth – or guests that make an unexpected drop in!
Home-brew Pumpkin Spice Latte
Starbucks is great, and while we do love indulging in their delicious drinks – we think you can just as easily make this at home! This recipe from Inspired Taste is the perfect cup to enjoy at any time of the day. Whether you’re working from home, reading a book or looking for a way to spice up your Sunday morning breakfast. To give your latte an added kick of caffeine, we suggest adding in a shot of espresso.
2 cups milk of your choice
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tbsp vanilla
½ cup strong coffee
Sugar or sweetener to suit your taste
Heat and whisk together on a stove top, and top with whip cream. Makes two servings.
Make your Own Pumpkin Puree
Many of these recipes call for your own pumpkin puree – a much healthier alternative than the canned variety. For ease of use during the work week, we suggest making your pumpkin puree all at once, perhaps on the weekend. Create your pumpkin puree as you would normally then add in the spices yourself. This will help you skip a step later in the week and be one step ahead.
Typically, most ‘spiced’ pumpkin recipes call for cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and brown sugar. Don’t be afraid to creative with your recipe though and put your own touch on it!