With Gingerbread and Peppermint hot on its heels, it’s safe to say Pumpkin is ready to make its annual retreat. But to keep this seasonal sensation in the spotlight a little longer, I bring you my favourite pumpkin recipe: Pumpkin-Berry Parfaits. Full of tasty and nourishing ingredients, these charming parfaits are nutritious enough for breakfast, but delicious enough for dessert!
The Odd Couple
When you think of pumpkin, blueberries probably aren’t the first thing that come to mind. But trust me, the sweetness of blueberries and the richness of pumpkin create a perfect blend of summer and fall flavours.
On their own blueberries are bursting with antioxidants and vitamin C that boost our immune system and fight disease. And pumpkin is full of fibre for a happy tummy and vitamin A for glowing skin and healthy eyes.
Oddly enough, it is their differences that make this a match made in heaven. Pumpkin is a rich source of iron and therefore is an important ingredient in any plant-based diet. But because the iron is from a plant source, our bodies don’t absorb it as well as the iron found in meat and eggs. That’s where blueberries lend a helping hand: When eaten together, the vitamin C in the blueberries actually helps your body absorb the iron in the pumpkin. Now that’s what I call pumping iron!
And the Glue that Holds them Together
The sneaky star of this recipe is the chia seeds, because without them this recipe wouldn’t work. Chia seeds are loaded with soluble fibre, which means they absorb liquid to create a gel-like consistency. Just mix ’em together and let them sit for at least an hour and voila, pudding!
Plus, chia seeds add even more nutrition to this recipe, contributing loads of heart healthy omega-3’s, protein, antioxidants, and calcium.
- 1 cup skim milk or unsweetened soy beverage
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup blueberries (thawed if frozen)
- 1 cup pumpkin spice granola
- In a medium bowl, whisk together first seven ingredients until mixture is well combined and free of clumps.
- Refrigerate overnight (or for a minimum of 1 - 2 hours) until mixture has pudding-like consistency.
- Layer half of the chia pudding, blueberries and granola evenly in four glasses or mason jars. Repeat layers once, ending with granola.
**Nutrition information analyzed using eatracker.ca
**If using frozen blueberries, allow to thaw for 4 - 6 hours in the refrigerator.
Looking to pump up the protein? Choose the option below that fits your calorie and protein goals:
- Whisk 1/4 cup of natural peanut butter with the pudding ingredients before refrigerating = 4 more grams of protein (and 92 calories) per parfait.
- Add 1/4 cup of sliced almonds to granola topping = 5 more grams of protein (and 140 calories) per parfait.
- Whisk 1 scoop (40 grams) of vanilla flavoured protein powder with the pudding ingredients before refrigerating = 8 more grams of protein (and 38 calories) per parfait.
Hope you’re as pumped about these parfaits as I am!