Fall for Pumpkin Protein Balls this Season (See What I Did There?)

I look forward to October every year for one simple reason: it’s Pumpkin Everything Season! And despite living in Southwest Florida where the temperature rarely drops below 60 degrees, once autumn shows up on the calendar, I morph into that girl.

pumpkin-everything-season

Yep, I’m basic apparently. So sue me. Fall is a glorious time. And pumpkins are a direct result of that gloriousness.

These seasonal superfoods are rich in Vitamin A to promote vision health, Fiber to increase digestive regularity, Antioxidants to support immune function, Potassium to stimulate post-workout energy and Carotenoids to reduce skin aging effects.

Plus, they get all the Instagram likes, so…

But I digress. If you wanna experience those nutritional benefits for yourself, not just during autumn but year-round too (Why isn’t the PSL Summer Edition a thing? Looking at you, Starbucks!), might I suggest these no-bake Pumpkin Quinoa Protein Balls.

They’re perfect for a healthy plant-based breakfast or afternoon snack. And, all basicness aside, they taste like fall is supposed to taste. *insert brown leaf emoji*

I rest my case.

pumpkin-quinoa-protein-balls

yields 2 dozen protein balls

Ingredients:

1 can Pumpkin Purée (organic)

1 tbsp. Sunflower Butter (organic)

1/3 c. Rolled Oats (whole grain)

1/4 c. Quinoa (organic)

1 Apple (peeled & diced)

1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Spice

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. Ginger

pumpkin-quinoa-protein-balls-ingredients

 Preparation:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to its package instructions, then set aside.
  2. Combine the pumpkin purée, rolled oatssunflower buttercinnamon, ginger and pumpkin spice in a mixing bowl.
  3. Slice the apple into small chunks, then stir into the pumpkin mixture.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa to the pumpkin mixture, then stir these ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  5. Divide the batter into bite-sized balls and place in the freezer for 1 hour before serving.

pumpkin-quinoa-protein-balls-batter

pumpkin-quinoa-protein-balls-before-photo

pumpkin-quinoa-protein-balls-after-photo

So. Much. Yes.

For the Pumpkin Spice Latte Lover in All of Us…

It’s here, ladies. The annual orange invasion is upon us…

’tis the season for pumpkin-flavored EVERYTHING.

Out come the “do you even have to ask?!” Starbucks orders, the “look at my infinity scarf and UGG boots!”-latte drinking attire, and (most importantly) daily #PSL Instagram posts.

There’s no denying that a crisp autumn morning feels incomplete without a pumpkin spice latte. Like an extension of fall itself, you NEED that PSL! Your whole world teeters off-balance until you utter those magic words, and a barista comes to the rescue. Then, you inhale the spicy aroma…relish the steam on your face…and take that first sip.

Yeah. That. First. Sip.

Hello, glorious deliciousness! Hello, pure perfection! You aren’t even aware of anything else at this point.

But – about halfway through slurping whip cream at record pace – you casually wonder just how wholesome this sweet temptation really is. Can’t be that sugar-dense and empty calorie-loaded, can it? After all, pumpkin is a vegetable.

Well…you might want to rethink the PSL obsession. Or, at least, how frequently you indulge. There are 330 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 37 grams of sugar in 1 tall latte. Not gonna lie: that’s quite the “tall order” (pun intended!) to consume on a regular basis.

But, if you just can’t resist this fall favorite, try my lighter version of the Starbucks PSL we all know and love.

It maxes out at only 155 calories, uses all-natural ingredients, and tastes (almost) as yummy as the original.


  •  Ingredients:
  1. 1 cup Black Coffee (brewed)
  2. 1/4 cup Pumpkin Puree (organic)
  3. 1 cup Rice Milk
  4. 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  5. 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  6. 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  7. 3 packets Stevia

psl ingredients

  • Preparation:
  1. Pour all these ingredients together into a blender.
  2. Pulse the blender until this mixture is smooth and thoroughly combined.
  3. Transfer the latte into your favorite mug and warm it in the microwave.
  4. Sprinkle a few dashes of cinnamon or nutmeg on top.

psl blended

5. Enjoy! But, that goes without saying, so…

Move over, Pumpkin Pie. There are new Fall Favorites on the menu!

Now that school is back in session and September well underway, it’s time to give into that quintessential pumpkin craving we (try to!) suppress all year. Fall has almost fallen…let’s usher in this glorious season with some good ol’ comfort food.

And, on that note: the following recipes are figure-friendlier twists on classic autumn indulgences. So, you can satisfy your sweet tooth without souring your waistline!

Warm Mulled Cider

mulled cider ingredients   

  • Ingredients:
  1. 3 cups 100% apple juice (I used Simply Apple brand)
  2. 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  3. 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  4. 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  5. 1 tsp. orange zest
  • Preparation:
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring the stove-top heat to a boil.
  2. Stir this mixture constantly until it has reached a rolling boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-high, then simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Stir the mixture occasionally throughout these 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the saucepan from heat and allow the cider to cool slightly.

mulled cider   

Pumpkin & Carrot Bars

  • Ingredients:

pumpkin bar ingredients   

  1. 3 egg whites
  2. 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  3. 1 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  6. 3/4 cup organic Stevia powder
  7. 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  8. 1/3 cup carrots (shredded)
  9. 1 1/2 tbsp. applesauce (unsweetened)
  • For the Frosting:
  1. 1/4 cup fat-free cream cheese (softened)
  2. 2 tbsp. organic Stevia powder
  3. 1/2 tbsp. skim milk*

*If your dietary needs or preferences exclude dairy, you can substitute 1/2 tbsp. soy milk whisked with 1 tsp. apple cider.

  • Preparation:
  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the baking soda and powder, flour and pumpkin pie spice.
  2. In another bowl, combine the applesauce and sweetener, until the texture is smooth.
  3. Add the egg whites, carrots and pumpkin pie filling, then continue mixing.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then mix again until everything is thoroughly blended.
  5. Spread the batter onto a greased jellyroll pan (a baking sheet will also suffice), then set aside temporarily.
  6. Combine the cream cheese, milk and remaining 2 tbsp. of sweetener.
  7. Spoon the frosting on top of the batter, then swirl them together with a butter knife.
  8. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the batter has cooked thoroughly.
  9. Allow the cake to cool completely, then slice it into even squares.

pumpkin bar before   pumpkin bar after