When the world seems to be going crazy, the skies are turning grey, and the apocalypse is apparently nigh, there is one thing we can still rely on when fall rolls around: Pumpkin spice, of course!
All right, I realize that may be a bit of an overstatement, but I KNOW how so many of us out there just love pumpkin and cinnamon everything. It really is an almost fanatical fixation for some people I know!
But, since you and I also care about our health, the pumpkin-spiced frappuccinos, cakes, and cookies tend to be consumed fewer and further apart than in our ideal world. This makes it somewhat harder for us to get our quintessential fall fix — which is why I’m going to share a pumpkin #fitfood for you to prepare as a dessert!
While you can definitely fix up a great oatmeal or even a smoothie with the right spices and a bit of pumpkin puree, we all crave a cookie from time to time. The difference is these cookies are packed with protein, blood-sugar stabilizing cinnamon, and the quick carbs your muscles love after a good workout.
I’ve used protein powder for a long time to help quickly build muscle and shed body fat after workouts, and I’ve tended to use a good-quality whey protein powder without a lot of additives that has a great flavor (I’ve tried a lot of them and it takes time to pick your favorites!) but when I started using it in baking, a whole new world opened up!
It’s All About Moderation
Now, baking with protein powder is a usual occurrence in my house. These cookies are always a favorite of mine, and for sharing with coworkers, clients, and friends during the fall and winter! This recipe also helps me continue to promote a healthy lifestyle while treating others during the holidays. Of course, I am still a huge advocate of moderation, even with healthful indulgences, but it’s certainly nice to be able to enjoy a treat when you like!
Speaking of treats, this recipe is just like many of those found in the cookbook I wrote, Protein Powder Cooking… Beyond the Shake! In it, you’ll find a wide variety of protein-packed recipes that may be gluten-free, vegan, sweet, or savory — something for any occasion —that will boost the nutritional value of whatever you’re cooking up!
Protein Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
⅓ cup vanilla protein powder
2 cups flour (whole wheat works!)
1 tsp. Baking soda
¼ tsp. Cream of tartar
⅛ tsp. Salt
1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
⅓ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus ¾ teaspoon cinnamon, divided
½ tsp. Ground ginger
½ tsp. Allspice
¼ tsp. Nutmeg
3 tablespoons sugar, to coat
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk the first five ingredients together. Mix in the remaining ingredients, except for the sugar and the ¾ tsp. of cinnamon.
- In a small bowl, combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Drop the cookie dough by rounded spoonfuls into the sugar and cinnamon, and roll it around to coat. Place the cookies 1 ½ inches apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 9 to 10 minutes or just until baked through. They will finish setting as they cool.
Makes 25 cookies.
Nutrition for one cookie: 48 calories, 1g fat, 7g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g protein