What comes to mind when you think of a good snack? Do you envision lots of fruits and veggies, or are you more interested in processed convenience foods? We all know chips, candy, cookies, and ice cream are easier to reach for when hunger strikes, but if you want to be lean and healthy you need to make cleaner food choices. It can be a challenge discovering how to keep hunger at bay while living a fit lifestyle, but if you’re a foodie like me that still wants to succeed, you need to change your mindset towards eating. Even though processed snacks have to go, it doesn’t mean you’re no longer allowed to snack.
To stay fit and healthy while still enjoying food, start by arming yourself with nutritious snacks that can stand in for any sweet, savory, or crunchy craving that may arise. Take, for example, this pumpkin chia pudding. This recipe is super easy to make & will satisfy any sweet tooth without packing on the pounds. Unsweetened almond milk provides the pudding a low-calorie, dairy-free base, chia seeds give a fiber boost, while warm and aromatic pumpkin pie spice provides a nice depth of flavor to complement the pumpkin.
Even though pumpkin is a fall flavor and we are currently entering spring, this recipe is simply too good not to share. I initially developed it back in the fall when pumpkin was still in season, but thanks to canned pumpkin you can enjoy one of fall’s best flavors year round in this gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sugar, healthy snack. If you do opt to buy canned pumpkin over roasting your own fresh pumpkin, just be sure it is organic pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling. If you have a sweet tooth and love anything pumpkin, I recommend you give this recipe a try. It’s a sweet treat that won’t hinder your progress to being lean!
PUMPKIN CHIA PUDDING
(Yield: 6 Servings)
- 2 cups Plain Unsweetened Almond Milk
- ½ cup Pitted Dates
- 1/3 cup Chia Seeds
- ¾ cup Unsweetened Pumpkin Puree (fresh or canned)
- ¾ tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
- Pinch of Sea Salt
- Cinnamon Sugar; for garnish (if desired)
- In a large jar or container with a lid, combine milk, dates, & chia seeds. Cover, shake well, & chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but no longer than 8 hours.
- Remove chilled mixture from the refrigerator & place in a blender. Process mixture on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, & salt. Blend again until thoroughly combined. Divide among 6 (4 oz.) meal prep jars or store in one larger container. Refrigerate at least 1 hour more before serving. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Nutrients Per Serving: 4 oz. Pudding
Calories: 104 Calories, Protein: 3 g.,
Total Fat: 4 g., Sat. Fat: 0.5 g.,
Fiber: 5 g., Sodium: 83 mg.,
Sugars: 9 g., Carbs: 16 g.,
Cholesterol: 0 mg
RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: C. LYONS
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS
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