Tag Archives: pumpkin

Pumpkin Round Up: All my Favorite Things! Recipes & More.

If you live in the United States, you pretty much cannot miss the fact that it is pumpkin season. There is pumpkin stuff everywhere!! Lattes, pretzel bites, granola, and even pumpkin body butter. It’s usually all artificial too πŸ™ In this round up you won’t find any of those things. All the recipes contain real pumpkin & I have included a few of my favorite past-times as well. Even though pumpkin gets the stereotype of ‘being basic’, to me it is a fun way to enjoy the changing seasons. 

Pumpkin Round Up

1. Pumpkin Pie protein shake

Healthy, delicious and made with real pumpkin! This is a great way to satisfy a pumpkin pie craving, especially close to Thanksgiving. IMG_7212

2. Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

With REAL pumpkin!!! A healthy remake of the famous PSL that you can make at home. It’s very simple and you don’t need any fancy coffee equipment. Get recipe. Photo Oct 16-5

3. Pumpkin Protein Pancakes from Fit Body Bakery

This recipe also contains REAL pumpkin. These pancakes could not be easier to make. Fit Body Bakery is a local company from Seattle. All their bake mixes are gluten free, have no refined sugar & are DELICIOUS!
To make these pumpkin pancakes, I used the Power Up Pancake mix. I followed the directions on the package but instead of the water I used 1/3 cup pumpkin puree. I added a few tablespoons of water. They are so yummy and have 11g of protein per serving. IMG_7221

4. Quest Pumpkin Pie protein bar

This Quest bar is new this year. I really like it, it helps with the cravings for pumpkin things that come this time of year. It is limited edition, so check it out ASAP!!IMG_7220

5. Pumpkin Protein Muffins

This was one of the most popular recipes on my blog last year. They are good! These are very easy to make, only a few ingredients, one of which is REAL pumpkin! DSC01516 Photo Oct 23-2

6. Carving Pumpkins!!

I  love to carving pumpkins. It is a tradition that is so much fun to me. This year I got the cats pumpkins too. I know, I’ve become that crazy cat lady haha. I ‘carved’ them with a sharpie for them. They were’t very impressed. 

For my pumpkin, I chose a Disney princess. I wanted to do Cinderella, but I decided to save her for next year. I am actually really impressed with how Snow White turned out! Andy carved R2D2. He is pretty pumped for the new Star Wars movie to come out in a few months. 


7. Pumpkin Patch Trip

Another thing I look forward to every year, the pumpkin patch!! The pumpkin sling shot is our favorite. If you hit the bullseye, you get to take home a MASSIVE pumpkin. We didn’t win one this year πŸ™ 


Tell me: What is your favorite pumpkin item of the season!??

Stay Sweet!!

All About Abs! [Workout Wednesday]

Today’s workout is all about abs with a festive fall twist! There may or may not be a pumpkin used in today’s workout πŸ˜€

I included 10 different exercises here that all work the abs in different ways. A few moves that can be done using extra weight to really work the abdominals. If you want to use a pumpkin, I recommend anywhere from a 3 – 10 pound pumpkin depending on your fitness level. The more round the pumpkin, the easier it is to use in these exercises. Do use caution when using any sort of weight. You can also leave the weight out, as these exercises are effective using just body weight. 

In the video I demo of all the moves and we have some pumpkin fun. Grab a mat if you like and try these with me! 

Today’s Workout

1) pumpkin pulse crunch 
2) pumpkin reach thru
3) lying pull downs
4) roll ups
5) russian twists
6) boat pose sit ups
7) bicycle crunches
8)  lift and lower
9) extended leg curl ups
10) hip lifts

Make sure to use GOOD form. Keep you abs engaged the entire time, pull them in towards your belly  button. Do not pull on your neck, be sure to lift from your abs and if any of the straight leg exercises are too difficult, perform them with bent knees. If at any time you feel pain in your low back, take a break – either modify the exercise or stop doing the workout.  

Remember, just doing ab workouts along won’t get you a flat tummy, you also have to put in work in the kitchen. Doing abdominal workouts is a great start and having a stronger core will help you perform other exercises better and make your workouts more effective. 

Hope you enjoyed today’s workout. Will you try it with a pumpkin!? Let me know πŸ™‚

Stay Sweaty!

Easy Recipe: Make Your Own Pumpkin Yogurt

Pumpkin has gotten quite the stereotype over the last few years… 

While I do think this whole pumpkin-spice craze has gotten a little out of control, it doesn’t change the fact that real pumpkin is great for your health and delicious too!

I have created my own share of pumpkin recipes… protein muffins, a real pumpkin spice latte, some pumpkin protein balls, and even a pumpkin quesadilla. I have also purchased the NEW Quest pumpkin pie protein bar (it’s delicious, more on that later). xx Using REAL pumpkin has excellent nutritional benefits. It is loaded with potassium, which aids in recovery after a workout. It is also high in Vitamin A and contains other vitamins and minerals. Pumpkin is a part of the squash family, so without all the added sugar and sweeteners, it is a healthy food.

This time of year, I enjoy eating my share of pumpkin. Pumpkin and pumpkin spice have become a signature fall flavor, so I like to create healthy recipes with those flavors so I don’t feel deprived. Like I shared above, pumpkin itself is a very healthy food, it is everything that gets added to it that is not. 

Pumpkin Yogurt  

Making this yogurt is extremely easy and a great way to enjoy pumpkin flavors without all the added sugar. I have made this yogurt using two different brands of yogurt, Siggi’s which is a skyr and Fage which is a greek yogurt.

Both these yogurts are high in protein. The Fage yogurt has no added sugar or anything, it is just straight up greek yogurt. Siggi’s is a good option for those who do not care for the greek yogurt texture. Siggi’s does have a tiny bit of added sugar, however compared to other yogurts is it not bad. It is also very high in protein. 


3/4 cup yogurt OR a single serving container
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
optional: dash of stevia

To make:
Mix yogurt and canned pumpkin together. Sprinkle in pumpkin pie spice and stevia if using. Mix again lightly. Enjoy!!!

pumpkin yogurt

This pumpkin yogurt is a great, high protein snack that will keep you full till the next meal. It is also great for breakfast. 

Tell me: How would you enjoy this yogurt? Is there anything you would add?

Stay Sweet!

Gluten & Dairy Free Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins

Since it is now past November 15th, I have given myself permission to go into full on Christmas mode. We are going to be “gone” this Christmas so I want to fit as many traditions in before we leave ( I will post more about our Christmas plans later)

This is a YUMMY pumpkin recipe and it’s definitely good YEAR AROUND. It is probably my all time fav pumpkin recipe. These muffins are gluten free, dairy free, moist and super yummy. You wouldn’t even know they were good for you!

Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins

original recipe from Betty Rocker
(recipe card below)


 I was so thankful to find this recipe on Betty Rocker’s website. This is so easy to whip up quickly & festive too. I modified a few things from the original recipe. 


Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together + the spice mix. 


The add in the pumpkin, eggs, oil and honey. DSC01214

Mix well. Once batter is mixed up, spray muffin pan with oil, or use muffin liners. I have tried both ways – either is fine

Evenly scoop the batter into the muffin tin – each should be about 3/4 of the way full. This recipe makes 12 muffins. If you have extra tray to distribute as evenly as possible. 


Distribute topping evenly. Press down lightly into batter.DSC01218

Place in the oven – bake @ 350 for about 20 minsDSC01220TA-DA!
These make a great snack or breakfast. Serving size is 2 muffins.

Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins
Serves 6
gluten & dairy free muffins that are a delicious snack or breakfast!
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1 1/2 cups almond meal flour
  2. 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
  3. 1 tsp baking soda
  4. 1/2 tsp sea salt
Spice Blend
  1. 1 tsp cinnamon
  2. 1/2 tsp cardomom
  3. 1/2 tsp ginger
  4. 1/2 tsp cacao powder (can leave out)
  5. 1/4 tsp cloves
  6. 1/4 tsp allspice
  7. (if you don't have all these spices, just use the ones you do have)
  8. 1 cup pumpkin puree
  9. 3 eggs
  10. 1/4 cup olive oil
  11. 1/4 cup honey
  1. 1/4 cup 70% dark chocolate pieces
  2. 1/4 cup walnuts
  3. 3 T hemp seeds (can leave out)
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. 1. Measure all the dry ingredients, including the spice blend into the bowl and mix together.
  3. 2. Add in the pumpkin, eggs, oil and honey. Mix well.
  4. 3. Spray or line muffin tins.
  5. 4. Evenly distribute batter. Should be about 3/4 of the way full.
  6. 5. Mix the topping and measure about a tablespoon onto each muffin.
  7. 6. Bake for 20 mins or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  1. Can leave the hemp seeds and cacao powder off if you do not have those ingredients available.
Adapted from The Betty Rocker
Adapted from The Betty Rocker
A Sweet Blonde & Her Fit Life http://sweetblondesfitlife.com/

Hope you enjoy!


Pumpkin Patch, Halloween & a NSV (non-scale victory)


When we were little, my sister and I LOVED to go out a trick or treat. My dad would usually take us and my mom would stay home and hand out candy. Now the times have changed. Halloween is actually my Mom’s birthday, so now my sister and I try to make up for all the years we were more worried about costumes and candy than my Mom’s birthday! We usually do something super fun with her… this year is a SURPRISE!

Earlier in October we went to the pumpkin patch. When we were little, our parents would always tell us we could pick out any pumpkin as long as we could carry it. I always tried to get the biggest one I could carry! While I no longer have to follow that guideline, I still go for the biggest pumpkin. This year I set a record! My sister tried to pull the “you can’t carry it” line, BUT now I am stronger, so I could carry it!

Photo Oct 16-3
Here is the pumpkin next to my foot, HUGE!
Photo Oct 26-2
On our patio… trying to give you some perspective. It’s just MASSIVE!

Thankfully we had THE nicest weather the weekend that we went to the pumpkin patch – it was like the last sunny weekend of 2014 πŸ˜›

I am trying a new picture gallery display on this post.  Highlight the pics below to read the captions & to see a larger version of the pic, click on it! 

I love going to the pumpkin patch every year for several reasons:

1) All the autumn decor inspiration I get & the mini squash, gourds and pumpkins!!

The last pic of the mum in the pumpkin with a few small pumpkins around the bottom is like the cutest and easiest centerpiece idea! I have some creative ideas brewing for a Thanksgiving table spread…. hmmm.
I haven’t shared much of this on here, but I have a creative and crafty side. I don’t express it much mainly because of time issues between work, working out and other responsibilities. However, this time of year is when it comes out! πŸ™‚

2) Time with my family. It has become a tradition!

3) the pumpkin slingshot!!!!

Seriously this thing is SO much fun. It can get a little dirty, but some dirt won’t hurt.  It’s also a workout!!! Talk about a fun total body workout! It engages your legs, core and upper body! I was sweating!

The way it works is you shoot these pumpkins and if you hit a target, you win a HUGE pumpkin, like the kind you don’t carve and are just for decoration – they look like the massive pumpkin that is the first pic up in #1. We had HIGH hopes this year because last year we actually won a HUGE pumpkin! It sat outside our front door and all our neighbors were super impressed. (haha) So we wanted to win again… 
Unfortunately we left without a trophy pumpkin this year. 

check out that squat stance!! :-P
check out that squat stance!! πŸ˜›  (not sure what inappropriate-ness was happening next door, hahaha awkward photobomb!)

I had an awesome NSV (non-scale victory) this year with the sling shot – before I have always had a harder time shooting the pumpkins. The slingshot is really tight, so you have to muscle up to pull it back. This year it was like not a problem! Felt soooo good!
Loosing weight and/or shaping up areas is a great side effect of  working out, but I think the most rewarding is moments, like this one, where you feel stronger!!

Photo Oct 31-2
happy halloween from coco, the cutest halloween kitty EVER and “the great pumpkin”

“It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”…. seriously this pumpkin is riDONKulous! I am going to carve it right now so it’s ready for tonight. It’s going to be quite the chore – I will be sure to post the finished product on Instagram πŸ˜€ 

What are you doing for Halloween? 
Should this be my costume?? πŸ˜›
Photo Oct 21
Stay Sweet & Safe!


Pumpkin Quesadilla [Recipe]

Sounds like such a crazy combo right?!? Let me tell you, IT IS SO GOOD!  I hadn’t had a quesadilla in a long time because of my allergies, but I was able to make this quesadilla is gluten and dairy free. It’s festive, healthy and yummy. Perfect dinner for Halloween night!
The recipe card is at the bottom of this post πŸ™‚

pumpkin quesadilla

 To make this gluten free, I used a gluten free tortilla wrap from La Tortilla Factory, I found them at Whole Foods. They are delicious. You could also use a gluten free Brown Rice Tortilla from Trader Joe’s.  

DSC01425DSC01426Spread 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree on the tortilla & top with a little chili powder and cumin..


Then add the cheese!

To make this dairy free, I used daiya shredded cheese. It melts and tastes really yummy. It also does’t have some of the additives like carrageenan that some of the other non-dairy cheeses have. I have used the mozzarella AND the pepper jack, and they are both really yummy. Perfect for topping pizza or a quesadilla! (I have found this cheese at Whole Foods or Kroger stores)


Then BEFORE folding the quesadilla in half, I placed it in the skillet flat. This allows the tortilla to warm up BEFORE folding it in half and reduces the chance of the tortilla breaking.


DSC01445I topped mine with avocado & ENJOY!!!!!!!!

Pumpkin Quesadilla
Serves 1
a delicious gluten free and dairy free quesadilla. Perfect for lunch or dinner.
Write a review
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1 larger sized gluten free tortilla
  2. Β½ cup pure pumpkin puree
  3. ΒΌ tsp. chili powder
  4. 1 dash ground cumin
  5. 3 Tbsp. pepper Jack (or mozzarella) non-dairy cheese (ΒΎ oz.)
  6. OPTIONAL: avocado for topping, hot sauce or salsa for topping
  1. 1. Spread half of tortilla with pumpkin; stopping Β½-inch from edge.
  2. 2. Top with chili powder, cumin, and cheese.
  3. 3. Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  4. 4. Add tortilla; cook for 1 min, fold tortilla in half.
  5. 5. Cook (turning once) for 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortilla is golden brown.
  6. 6. Top with avocado and salsa.
  7. 7. ENJOY
A Sweet Blonde & Her Fit Life http://sweetblondesfitlife.com/


Pumpkin Protein Balls [Recipe]

In honor of Halloween being on Friday, I am sharing healthy recipes every day on my blog this week!!!

Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, Halloween is the kick off to the “holiday season” where there is lots of food and lots of desserts, candies and cookies.

There is no better way to combat these tempting things than to make your own fun treats! It’s much more rewarding to experiment with a new recipe and then enjoy the fruit of your work. It  makes it more special and you can also indulge in chocolate and other sweets knowing that they are better for you because they don’t have all the additives and chemicals of the treats you find on store shelves!

Today we make:
PUMPKIN Protein Balls
DSC01435This recipe features Quest Protein Bars !!!
Have you tried Quest Bars before?
They are some of the best protein bars out there are far as amount of protein and ingredients. They are not loaded with a bunch of crap! Click on the image below to read more!


My favorite flavors of quest bars are white chocolate raspberry, double chocolate chunk, cookies and cream, choc chip cookie dough and cinnamon roll! MMM!

This recipe uses the cinnamon roll bars. (Recipe card at bottom of post) Here is what you will need:

Gluten free oats, pumpkin puree, unsweetened almond milk, vanilla extract, 2 Cinnamon Roll Quest Protein Bars and maple syrup.


DSC01416Place 1/4 cup almond milk and both quest bars in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1-2 mins. I did it in 30 second  intervals and stirred in-between. The quest bars will melt into the almond milk.

slowly melting

In a separate bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups gluten free rolled oats, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 2 tbs maple syrup and 1 tsp vanilla extract. 


DSC01419Combine with protein bar/milk mixture. Stir together well. 
DSC01420Roll into balls. Place on parchment paper on baking sheet.
DSC01424Bake in oven or toaster oven @ 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
DSC01430Here is the finished product!

These are a great for a snack or for a quick breakfast on the go! 

Pumpkin Protein Oatballs
Serves 7
a delicious and protein packed breakfast or snack full of pumpkin goodness!
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1/4 cup almond milk
  2. 2 Quest Cinnamon Roll Bars
  3. 1 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats
  4. 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  5. 2 T maple syrup
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. 1. Place almond milk and quest bars in a microwave safe bowl
  2. 2. Microwave in 30 second intervals, string in-between, until quest bars have fully melted into almond milk
  3. 3. In a separate bowl, mix all other ingredients.
  4. 4. Once milk/quest bar mixture is ready, combine all ingredients in one bowl and mix well.
  5. 5. Roll into equal size balls
  6. 6. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  7. 7. Bake in oven or toaster oven for 20 minutes @ 350 degrees
  8. 8. Remove, let cool and enjoy!
Adapted from Quest Nutrition
Adapted from Quest Nutrition
A Sweet Blonde & Her Fit Life http://sweetblondesfitlife.com/
Let me know if you try them!