Breakfast

Pumpkin Breakfast Parfaits, and a Probiotic Update

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The other day I posted about Pumpkin Health Halos and talked about how many foods these days are labeled as “pumpkin flavored”, but sadly aren’t as healthy as they sound.  You’re all smart enough to know that pumpkin Pop-Tarts and pumpkin donuts aren’t healthy, obviously, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could have a delicious pumpkin treat that actually was healthy?? My pumpkin ice cream was, well, not healthy, but a better choice than most of the pumpkin ice creams on the market these days (because at least with homemade ice cream you know each and every ingredient that is going into the mix).  Today I want to share a simple breakfast idea that is not only a treat, but it’s healthy. Yes, I said healthy.

Pumpkin Breakfast Parfait

Ingredients

  • ½ cup chilled pumpkin puree
  • ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup plain 0% fat Greek yogurt**
  • 1 tsp. chia seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder**
  • Stevia liquid drops, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Old Fashioned Oats

Instructions

  1. Mix the cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice into the pumpkin puree in a small bowl. In a separate bowl mix the yogurt, whey protein, Stevia and chia.
  2. Get out a parfait glass (or a regular glass) and layer; pumpkin, yogurt mixture, pumpkin, yogurt mixture, then top with oats.

Notes

** If you are very sensitive to lactose, you may be better off using 100% lactose-free kefir instead of Greek yogurt (although plain Greek yogurt typically only has about 5-6 grams of lactose per cup, which is a tolerable amount for most individuals with lactose intolerance). Also, choose a lactose-free whey protein (most are lactose free!). As far as other FODMAPS are concerned, pumpkin hasn’t been tested by the Monash University yet, but from what I read it’s safe at smaller amounts of <1/2 cup. If you are in the elimination phase of the diet, I would avoid pumpkin, just in case. You could replace with mashed banana and maybe a tiny bit of pumpkin (banana, pumpkin and yogurt parfait..why not?!)

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 1 parfait Calories: 300 Fat: 3.6 g Saturated fat: .9 g Carbohydrates: 27 g Sugar: 11 g Sodium: 136 mg Fiber: 8.2 g Protein: 33.4 g Cholesterol: 25 mg

Nutrition Highlights:  Only 300 calories (which is great for breakfast. I might even recommend slightly more, closer to 400 calories), excellent source of fiber, vitamin A and protein (remember my post about the importance of getting a lot of protein for breakfast??), and zero added sugars (the sugar in this recipe comes from the pumpkin, and possibly 1-2 grams from the protein powder, depending on which type you buy. My protein powder is sweetened with Stevia).

The chia seeds swell in the yogurt, and also swell in your stomach, therefore helping to keep you full for quite some time.  When I made this for breakfast I was full for 3 hours, and I mean full.  The fiber from the pumpkin puree helped too.

I haven’t talked about probiotics on this blog for quite some time. I do not take a probiotic supplement, which some people find strange since I have so many GI issues, but I do eat yogurt on a regular basis.  I get my probiotics (or “friendly gut bacteria”) from my 2-3 daily servings of yogurt.  Check out this little blurb from an article in Today’s Dietitian Magazine;

If you’ve ever had questions about probiotics, what they are, how they work, and where you can find the best sources (including some reputable probiotic supplements), read this article from Today’s Dietitian’s last issue.  When I was working in the supermarket setting I used to get a lot of questions about probiotics, and I know the topic is only becoming more popular as the years go by. This article should shed some light on some frequently asked questions.

And I couldn’t end this post without showing you this pumpkin that was carved by one of the talented OSU chefs. I know Halloween was last month, but I forgot to post this pumpkin on my blog and I couldn’t get through Autumn without posting it.  It’s amazing, right?  And this isn’t even one of his better ones (so, can you imagine what his others look like?!  They take your breath away).

Enjoy your day everyone!  And … happy pumpkin eating.

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