Happy Halloweeeeeeeen!!!

The weather has finally cooled a bit Florida!  With Halloween here, it’s time to put away the lemons and get out the pumpkin!  I began my morning with mouthwatering, pumpkin pancakes.  I’ve been hitting the snooze button way too many mornings lately and this morning was no exception.  Getting out to run at 4:30 am in cold weather makes my bed suddenly feel like the most comfortable place on earth. When my toddler decides he’s hungry, he starts rummaging through the pantry scooping out handfuls of pretzels or Goldfish and then refuses to eat his breakfast, so if I wanted to make these flap jacks, I needed a super fast pumpkin pancake recipe! I want everyone to reap the benefits of this bright orange vegetable, rich in vitamin A essential for eye and skin health.  Packed with potassium necessary for muscle contraction, regulation of fluid and mineral balance as well as maintaining blood pressure, you get a real bang for your buck!  Pumpkin is also loaded with fiber, something we all need more of to prevent diseases such as diverticulosis and colon cancer.
Easy Pumpkin Pancakes
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups Krusteaz pancake mix
  2. 1 1/2 cups water
  3. 2/3 cup pure pumpkin
  4. 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  5. Smart balance cooking oil
Instructions
  1. Combine pancake mix, water, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in medium bowl. Stir just until moistened. Do not over mix. Lumps are okay.
  2. Spritz oil onto griddle at around 345 degrees. Pour 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake and flip when edges begin to bubble. Cook each side for approximately 1-2 minutes. Serve with butter, dusted with powdered sugar or drizzled with pure maple syrup.
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If pancakes don’t tickle your fancy, try a Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie!  With 12 grams of protein, only 210 calories and 1 gram of fat, this tops the list for a lean breakfast treat that satisfies the whole family! Creamy-Pumpkin-Cheesecake-Smoothie-Time-With-Thea-4
Pumpkin Cheesecake Smoothie
An incredibly delicious way to include this vitamin A rich vegetable into your day
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup canned pumpkin
  2. 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (I use organic Stoney Field)
  3. 1 cup fat-free milk
  4. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  5. 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 3 tsp turbinado sugar
  7. sprinkle of nutmeg
  8. 2 squares graham cracker squares, crumbled
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except nutmeg in a blender or Magic Bullet and blend until smooth. Serve sprinkled with nutmeg and crumbled graham crackers.
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Don’t throw out the pumpkin seeds!  You may not want to eat the pumpkin you carve but, seasoning and roasting these leftover beauties are sure to satisfy any snacker’s desire!  There are hundreds of ideas for toasting pumpkin seeds whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer salty and savory! roasted-pumpkin-seeds 16 Best Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipes Pumpkin seeds are especially rich in zinc, essential for many of the body’s processes including healing and maintaining the body’s immune system. Since you can’t have Halloween without candy corn, I’m throwing in a fun little snack for a pre-trick or treat snack…as though the kids will be needing any additional sweets for the evening.
Candy Corn Bark
Fun and simple Halloween treat
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Ingredients
  1. 16 oz almond bark
  2. 1 cup broken pretzel sticks
  3. 1 1/4 cup candy corn
Instructions
  1. Melt almond bark over a double-boiler or heat at 15 second intervals, stirring after each 15 minute interval. Be very careful not to over-cook in microwave! Combine melted almond bark with 1 cup candy corn and 1 cup of pretzels. Spread onto a greased baking sheet covered with wax paper (the oil beneath the wax paper helps the paper to lie flat). Top with remaining candy corn. Allow to dry and cool for 1 hour. Break into pieces.
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Some things you may want to have handy for these fall treats:
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