Your Year-Round Pumpkin Fix

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Even though spring is in swing here, and we’re verging on April— I can’t deny that I’m a year-round pumpkin fiend. While some pumpkin-lovers out there manage to contain their love of all things pumpkin-flavored to the cooler months, I.just.can’t. (Hi, my name is Melissa, and I’m a pumpkin addict…) My solution? I whip up this tasty, healthy, and clean pumpkin pie protein parfait whenever I’m in need of a pumpkin fix. This parfait is sweet, creamy, rich, and pumpkiny. Oh, and did I mention— it’s made with homemade cinnamon-walnut granola spiced with cinnamon and toasted to perfection? It’s okay, guys. You can drool. I’m not ashamed to admit I am.

Homemade Cinnamon-Walnut Granola
Makes 2 cups

1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons honey (or maple syrup)
2 packets Truvia/stevia
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a bowl, combine the unsweetened applesauce, honey, stevia, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats and  walnuts. Stir in the wet ingredients, mixing until the oats and walnuts are coated. Spread evenly across a parchment-lined baking sheet, then bake for 45 minutes until golden-brown. You will need to keep a watchful eye on the granola to prevent burning, and stirring the granola every 15 minutes helps avoid this. Remove from oven and allow to cool. You can experiment with different grains, nuts, extracts, and spices— and of course you can add dried fruits once the granola is done baking!

Pumpkin Yogurt
Serves 1

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1 packet Truvia/stevia
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup homemade cinnamon-walnut granola

In a bowl, combine the yogurt, pumpkin, protein powder, stevia, and pumpkin pie spice. Once thoroughly combined, spoon into a parfait dish, alternating layers of pumpkin pie yogurt and cinnamon-walnut granola. Reserve some granola for topping as garnish.

 

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