One of my favourite fall activities is carving pumpkins and then roasting the pumpkin seeds. I think you may fall in love with this recipe (pun totally intended). These make a great snack on their own, or to sprinkle on overnight oats or granola. Not only are pumpkin seeds packed with magnesium, manganese, copper, protein, and zinc, but they also have amazing health benefits specifically beneficial for people with PCOS (read more below in ‘PCOS Powers’). What are you waiting for? Get carving, cooking and snacking!
2 cups pumpkin seeds (2 large pumpkins made this amount)
4 tsp olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 tsp pumpkin spice (2 parts cinnamon to 1 part each all spice, nutmeg, ginger)
pinch of salt
Scoop out pumpkin seeds along with the inside of the pumpkin.
Separate pumpkin seeds from pumpkin goop (technical word, I know) and rinse clean.
Spread seeds out on baking pans, pat dry with paper towel, and leave out overnight to dry.
Preheat oven to 200 deg. F (very low).
Mix spices and oil together in a small bowl.
Pour over seeds in a large bowl and mix to coat seeds.
Spread out seeds in one layer on parchment paper on a baking sheet.
Cook at 200 deg. F for about 45 min.
contain tryptophan which is a precursor for serotonin (can help induce relaxation and improve brain health)
contain phytoestrogens which can help increase HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure
contain beta-sitosterol which may inhibit conversion of testosterone to DHT
I wasn’t a huge pancake eater growing up. This is likely because pancakes are not something that typically comes to mind when we think of healthy breakfast options (and I have been a health fanatic for a LONG time). However, recently I discovered how to make nutrient-rich, gluten-free plant-cakes which can easily be eaten everyday. The first 3 ingredients listed (oats, banana, almond milk) are a great base to then flavour with seasonal fruit or vegetables (pumpkin, for example). Pumpkin has several evidence-based health benefits including: improved heart health, better eye health, and lower blood pressure.
You may find these much denser than typical pancakes (great for sharing with a friend or saving them for yourself). Also, I like making mini pancakes which results in more pancakes (for stacking fun). Enjoy!
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup pumpkin
2 tsp pumpkin spice (2 parts cinnamon to 1 part each all spice, nutmeg, ginger)
Berry Sauce (heat on stove to make a thick syrup):
3 frozen strawberries
1 tbsp maple syrup
Blend pancake ingredients in a blender until it becomes a smooth enough consistency for pouring.
Use a measuring cup (1/4 or 1/3 cup) to transfer and pour batter for each pancake on to a hot frying pan (with stove on medium heat).
Cook pancakes until bubbles start to form, then flip them.
Stack pancakes on a plate.
Pour berry sauce over stack and top with fruit and/or nuts.
cinnamon = may help balance glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides in blood
almond milk = high in vitamin D and calcium (many women with PCOS are vitamin-D deficient)
oats = low glycemic load, high in fiber, maintains blood sugar levels, and contains tryptophan which boosts serotonin levels for better sleep and a stable mood
An additional almond date pancake sauce recipe can be found in my vegan eBook: Cooking with Compassion – 30 Vegan, Gluten-Free Recipes to Nourish Ourselves, Our Families & Our Planet
Some of my joys of fall include: leaves turning and falling to the ground, cool breezes, invigorating hikes, cozy sweaters, hot tea, pumpkin patches and rich, aromatic flavours. Smoothies are one of my simplest, low effort ways to ensure I am obtaining plenty of nutrients in my day. We know consuming more plant foods can help prevent some long-term conditions, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This is why adding fruits and vegetables, like pumpkin, to our smoothies can be health-promoting.
Since I love warm, cozy spices like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, I added these to this vibrant smoothie of nourishing plant-based ingredients. I hope it also provides you joy and satisfaction. Enjoy and please share your creations with me!
high in a variety of antioxidants (vitamin C, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin)
vitamin C supports healthy immune functioning
beta-carotene may help prevent some types of cancer)
source of fiber (which supports digestion, heart health, and blood sugar regulation)
source of potassium (supports heart, bone, and kidney health)