Pumpkin spice lattes?
Pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes?
GET IN MAH BELLY!
The trouble with this is that all of the above are really pretty loaded with sugar. And that plus the fact that it's easy to just throw on the yoga pants and oversized sweatshirt (it's cold, right?) makes it oh-so-tempting to succumb to the waistline-wrecking ball that is pumpkin flavored pastry or caffeinated goodness.
But stay strong, brothers and sisters!
I have found something that is just as tasty and is not nearly as full of sugar as all my favorite pumpkin goodies. AND, it's awesome after an early morning (or late evening if your schedule is as crazy as mine!) crisp fall tempo run.
(Disclaimer: I rarely bake, because I hate measuring things. But I love to cook, because food is art. You just keep throwing things together until you get what works best for you. That's my kind of recipe! So I do a little-of-this-and-a-little-of-that, but for the sake of a recipe here I've given my best estimates at measurements. Just try it out until you find the right pinch of everything for you!)
Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal
You will need:
1/2 C Quaker Oats
1 C water or skim milk
a pinch of salt, if you so desire
1/4 C or so of canned pumpkin (you can always add more!)
a healthy spoonful of brown sugar (more or less depending on your taste...and how concerned you are about sugar! I usually do about 1 TBSP or so)
a few pinches of pumpkin pie spice (maybe 1/2 teaspoon?)
a handful of sweetened dried cranberries (or any dried fruit, really!)
optional: add some chopped pecans or walnuts to really make it a hearty meal and add some healthy fats!
It's really easy, and takes just a few minutes! Simply prepare the oatmeal, using water or milk (and salt if you desire) in the microwave according to the directions. Then, add a glob of pumpkin puree, a spoon of brown sugar, the pumpkin pie spice, and your cranberries. Mix it all up, and enjoy your healthy pumpkin creation.
Now you can save your extra calories for something even better!
REESE'S PEANUT BUTTER PUMPKINS.
Enjoy, and happy fall running!