Pumpkin oatmeal cookies

Pumpkin cookies KaleAndAle.com

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies

Who else is with me right now and just can’t get enough pumpkin? I am craving it in every way. Beer (obvs), sweets I usually stay away from, coffee, carbs, you name it. I love this time of year for so many reasons, and pumpkin is a big part of my excitement. Now if the temperature would drop a little in South Florida so it would feel like fall, things would be great.

I love experimenting with adding pumpkin in different ways during this eight- to 10-week window where it’s not only accepted but encouraged and possibly even obligated to have pumpkin touch everything. Since I had some overripe bananas to use, I thought I would work them into a cookie. A natural, vegan, gluten free sweet treat is totally my kind of comfort food. And this recipe is a snap to make with just a few ingredients.

Pumpkin cookie ingredients KaleAndAle.com

Banana, pumpkin, oatmeal and cinnamon. That’s it!

Bananas and pumpkin is a lot of moisture, so I added some oats and cinnamon for flavor. Because of the moisture, it creates a soft cookie, almost breakfast cookie/bar like, but still sweet and satisfying. Add a handful of walnuts, and you have some great texture. If you prefer something a little sweeter, I think these pumpkin snickerdoodles with their cinnamon or pumpkin chocolate chip cookies would be perf.

What pumpkin foods are you eating now? I think I might need to make a parfait, so you might be seeing that in this spot soon!

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies

Makes about 8 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional: A handful of chocolate chips or walnuts, maybe some shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the banana.
  3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients until combined. If the mixture seems too wet, add some more oats. If it seems too dry, add more pumpkin or banana.
  4. Form the mix into eight cookies.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. If the cookies are still sticky, bake for 5-10 more minutes.

Avocado-banana smoothie

I just made my first Vine (on Twitter’s video-sharing service) and I’m sure it surprised nobody that it was about food. I made a quick vid on how to make an avocado-banana smoothie! Hope you enjoy this short tutorial, I guess we can call it. For six seconds of vid, I had too much fun making it. How are you using Vine?

This is a great, thicker smoothie that is super creamy. I made mine green, but you could add a tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder to make it chocolaty.

Avocado-banana smoothie

Makes one large glass

Ingredients

  • ½ an avocado
  • ½ a banana
  • Small handful of spinach
  • ¼ cup oatmeal
  • 1-1.5 cup almond milk, depending on how thick you want it
  • 1 tablespoon liquid sweetener of your choice (I used agave but maple syrup or honey would work)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

 Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, blending until smooth

 

Banana-yogurt parfait

Already a big fan of frozen banana “ice cream” (one frozen sliced banana blended with a room-temperature banana to create a sweet cream) when I’m looking for a sweet treat, I was drawn to this healthy parfait (my picture doesn’t do it justice) when I found it on Pinterest. (Show of hands: Who tries lots of new foods based on the awesome Pinterest pictures?!?)

The parfait uses the “ice cream” as a base and is layered with Chia gel*, Greek yogurt, sliced banana, honey and cinnamon. It’s like a Greek sweet and tangy dessert, and if anything, I feel healthier eating it!

It was the perfect, simple treat to end a day that started with running my first 10k and I will definitely add it to my quick, sweet treats rotation. Get the recipe here.

*Chia gel is Chia seeds and about 3 times as much water soaked for about 12 hours, resulting in a gel. Chia seeds are high in protein, fiber and Omega 3. The gel can be used in drinks, oatmeal, baked goods or the gel can be eaten alone as a great workout gel, among other things.

Banana mango dessert

Looking for a cold vegan treat to satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling guilty? I have found the easiest dessert. And if you are lucky enough to have a lot of mango this summer, here is a great way to use it.

I don’t have a large sweet tooth, but when I heard about the banana mango dessert, was craving sweets. Not too sweet, not to tart, cold and creamy (without dairy), it’s the perfect simple summer snack. I say dessert because I don’t know what else to call it. It’s not ice cream, not yogurt, not sorbet. You decide.

Banana mango dessert

Serves 2

Put a frozen banana (peel it, cut it into about six pieces, put in a freezer bag and freeze), a room temperature banana in chunks and one cup frozen cubed mango into a food processor.

Place all items in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Put into a bowl and enjoy. Warning: It melts fast, but the trick is to eat faster!

I’m thinking other frozen fruit could work as well, though both the banana and mango have a natural creaminess to them. If you try this or another combination, I would love to hear how it worked and what you thought.