‘Tis the season for yummy treats! Just because we’re committed to living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean we can’t have some delicious decadence once in awhile. I’m embarrassed to admit that it took well into my 30’s until I had a serious look at the junk food that were my go to’s and realized it was time to have a relationship style break-up with them. In doing so, I went too far in one direction, only looking to eat clean. It was only when I realized I had become, in my husband’s loving terms, a “tad crazy” did I realize I had overdone it and some treats are necessary for not only a balanced diet, but a balanced life.
Now, I am a chocolate fanatic. And I’m in good company at Hummingbird Pilates. Abey loves Lifeforce and Sacred Chocolate, while I could seriously make dinner out of Chocoveda’s Chakra box. However the key with treats is, ahem, moderation and I think choosing ones that have some nutritional value going on…for example, the cacao in Lifeforce is unroasted thereby keeping all the nutritional content, like those necessary antioxidants. So, you can eat one (or 2 or 3) and feel like you’re giving yourself a treat and doing your body good.
But the real treat of the season is all the homemade goodness going on. I have to admit, I’m not the most crafty in that regard and the current heat wave we’ve experienced has kinda turned me off using the oven and baking…but I have the pumpkin spice fever that goes with the season. So, I’ve been looking to add a fall touch to my smoothies and coffees. I’m sharing the recipes below so you can get into the spirit of fall too!
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
1 whole bananas (frozen)
¼ cup canned pure pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup nondairy milk
a dash of ground ginger
1 tsp pure maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth, adding more non-dairy milk as necessary to achieve proper consistency. Add more pumpkin or spice to taste. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. (1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice = 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cloves or allspice, 1/8 tsp nutmeg).
Pumpkin Spice Latte (Vegan)
makes 2 cups
1 cup homemade almond milk
1 cup hot brewed coffee
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or stevia to taste
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.
But, I think the real treat of the season is the times it brings us together, as families, friends and communities. Breathe deep and treasure this time together. It really is a gift, so enjoy.