I’ve been struggling with my diet lately. Not with what I’m eating, but with how much I’m eating. Apparently. I say apparently because I’ve gained a few pounds since October. I think I never got out of vacation mode from our road trip to PA. I tried not to get into vacation mode in the first place, but with so many Whole Foods everywhere we went, I couldn’t help myself! Well, that and the car-sickness that required pretzels. Lots and lots of pretzels. Regardless of the cause, here I am. And the only way I know to rectify the situation is to track my caloric intake for a while. I have a range of calories I try to stay between, and for months and months, I was naturally doing that. (I know because I was spot checking my intake.) So, for the next few weeks (or maybe even months), I’ll be tracking calories…again. And part of that includes lightening up some of my new favorite dishes – and reducing my fat intake. (I added some oils into my diet a while ago and increased my nut and seed butter intake.) I’m also considering adding in some beans and legumes and maybe a few gluten-free grains like quinoa (really a seed) and wild rice (really a grass). [I'll have a post soon on the current state of my diet: raw, high-fat raw, low-fat raw, cooked, grain-free, bean-free, etc.]
To restart the lighter side of my diet, I lightened up one of my new favorite breakfasts. This recipe is full of vitamin A and beta carotene from the pumpkin (and absorbed nicely thanks to the fat in the chia seeds and almonds); gives you a nice dose of protein and EFA’s from the chia seeds (Can you say Omega 3′s?); and selenium from the almonds (in the almond milk – a mineral that can be hard to get in a primarily raw or grain-free-vegan diet). This powerhouse breakfast can be made the night before and comes in at around 200 calories for a giant bowl of goodness.
Lightened Up Pumpkin Pudding
2 TBSP chia seeds (I like to use white, but brown are fine)
1/2 c almond milk (plain or vanilla, unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla
1 c (not packed) pumpkin puree
1 TBSP maple syrup (optional) or 1 pkt (about 1/4 tsp) stevia
Combine the almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla, and sweetener. Allow to sit for about a half hour (or longer) for the seeds to gel/thicken. Stir in pumpkin before eating. (Or, make everything ahead and eat when you’re ready.)
Keepin’ it Raw: To make this dish completely raw, make your own almond milk from raw almonds (It only takes 5 minutes; try it!); peel, seed, grate and process the raw pumpkin into a puree; use a raw sweetener such as date paste; and sprinkle in a little vanilla powder or raw vanilla extract.
Alcohol-free Vanilla: I’ve been using TJ’s brand alcohol-free vanilla for about a year, and I love it! I’ve yet to find a cheaper source for it, either. If anyone knows of one, please share! It’s still pretty expensive (but worth it…so far – ha!)
This recipe is a lot lighter than the pumpkin pudding I was eating a couple of weeks ago – the filling for my Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake, which is great for a treat, but probably not the best idea for a daily breakfast. (But boy oh boy, cashew cream makes everything so delicious!)
Left over pumpkin? No worries. It keeps well in the fridge, OR use some of the left-over in a Pumpkin Spice Latte!