I realize that last week’s post about how wonderful I was feeling may have turned a few people off. While I was hoping to inspire women to feel ok about feeling good about themselves and stop seeking reasons to put themselves down (and from your comments I know I succeeded!), I know what it’s like to be on the other end of the ladder. People who come off as perfectly positive all the time can be downright annoying when you’re feeling that low.
Well, I assure you I am neither perfect nor always positive.
My legs are short, my tummy is round, my chest is flat, and my nose is big. (Side note: I recently I had an epiphany. Maybe I am sexy because of those things and not despite them. How’s that for positive thinking?) And despite all the progress I’ve made overcoming an unhealthy relationship with food and a blatantly painful body image, one could argue that I still exhibit some symptoms of disordered eating. According to Katie at Health for the Whole Self, I’m not alone. The difference these days is that I’m not ashamed to admit I still struggle sometimes with negative thoughts about food and image, and that I have adopted much healthier ways of dealing with those thoughts.
Something that always makes me feel good is choosing foods that are more than just delicious, but also nutritionally sound, balanced, and clean. They fuel my body and my mind with energy to do good things – a lot more efficiently than the out-of-control choices I might have made in the past. One example is this dessert. Or is it a breakfast, or a snack? I can tell you from experience, it’s all of the above.
This Baked Pumpkin-Cranberry Oatmeal Pudding is an adaptation of Ricki’s (Diet, Dessert and Dogs) Baked Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Pudding, which I also caught over on Amy’s blog, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Both of these ladies are constantly inspiring me with their decadent treats consisting of healthy, all-natural ingredients and this is no exception. Full of heart-healthy nuts and vitamin-rich pumpkin, yet free of gluten, dairy, and sugar, my pumpkin adaptation of this recipe is a warm, sweetly-satisfying, luscious and creamy treat for any time of day. As a bonus, it comes together super quickly and doesn’t dirty too many dishes at all. Just trust me – this is one of those things that as soon as you make it once, you’ll already be craving it again. But no worries – you don’t need to feel an ounce of guilt over it.
Before sharing the recipe, I need to give two very important shout-outs. First, in case you missed it, I was honored to write a guest post for Dani Spies’ blog yesterday. While she’s taking a little break, I was putting together a delicious, lasagna-inspired Spaghetti Squash Torta full of wonderful things.And, I am currently participating in my first ever blogger bake sale, on Ashlee’s blog, Veggies by Season. Ashlee is trying to raise money to cover veterinary care for a cute little deserving pup. Head on over to see the list of awesome baked goods, including my Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies, and consider making a pledge for a good cause!
1/2 cup (75 g) pecans or hazelnuts (I’ve tried both, each with great results)
1/2 cup (75 g) cashews
1/2 cup (40gm) old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup (180gm) canned pumpkin puree or homemade, pureed winter squash
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract (or other sweetener, to taste)
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
pinch of ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1-1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup frozen cranberries
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 4-6 cup casserole dish, or small individual ramekins with cooking spray.
Lightly toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, shaking them around in the pan occasionally, until lightly browned and fragrant.
Place the nuts in a high-speed blender or food processor along with the oats, pumpkin, vanilla, stevia, spices and salt. Pour the milk over all and blend for about two minutes, until perfectly smooth and creamy. Fold in the cranberries with a spatula, then pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish(es).
Bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes (40 minutes for the smaller ramekins, until the pudding begins to puff and crack and the top appears dry. Cool sightly before serving. May be served warm or cold. Makes 4-6 servings. Store, covered, up to 4 days in the refrigerator, reheating individual servings in the microwave for about one minute, if desired.
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 16.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 41.4 mg
Total Carbs: 16.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.4 g
Protein: 4.5 g
PS – I’m sharing this treat with Amy for her Slightly Indulgent Tuesday Feature on 11/9!