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The Power of Pumpkin (For Runners)

A stack of pumpkin bars

IT'S DELICIOUS AND GOOD FOR YOU!

A stack of pumpkin bars

Ah, yes, we can’t say it enough: Pumpkin-spice-everything season is here! And we’re obsessed with a lot more than just pumpkin-spice lattes. In fact, on a quest for a more nutritious pumpkin pie recipe, we came across this wholesome treat (modified just slightly from the original).

… But first, here are five reasons that, as a runner, you really should be eating all the pumpkin this year:

1. With fewer daylight hours and more miles logged after dark, you need to keep your eyesight sharp. Thankfully, pumpkin is jam-packed with Vitamin A, an important vitamin for healthy vision in dim light.

2. Pumpkin seeds are high in phytosterols, a heart-healthy chemical that lowers LDL cholesterol and keeps us running strong.

3. As runners, we spend so much time out of doors and under the elements that our skin takes a beating. Pumpkin, yet again, for the win! It's rich in antioxidants (carotenoids) that fight cancer cells and may help keep our skin wrinkle free.

4. It’s an ideal fall and winter carbohydrate fueling choice: Just one cup of pumpkin has three grams of fiber and just under 50 calories.

5. One cup of cooked pumpkin offers nearly 400 mg of potassium, which makes it an excellent post-workout recovery food for restoring proper electrolyte balance.

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 C coconut flour
  • 3/4 C maple syrup
  • 2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 tsp aluminum free baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • Coconut oil (for greasing the pan)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or a mixer with a paddle attachment, combine all ingredients until no lumps remain.
  3. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan.
  4. Spoon mixture (it will be thick) into pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
  5. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the edges turn golden and pull away from the sides.
  6. Remove from oven and cool completely before serving. (When hot, the bars crumble easily.)