Now that fall is here, it’s time for pumpkin spiced everything! Avoid the refined sugar and artificial sweeteners by making your own delicious pumpkin parfait, full of good-for-you ingredients and natural sweeteners.

Benefits

Cinnamon: In Ayurveda, cinnamon is used to treat indigestion, colds, and diabetes. It possesses both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and may help stabilize blood sugar and lower bad (LDL) cholesterol.

Ginger: Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory that also aids in digestion and supports a healthy immune system.

Nutmeg: Studies show that nutmeg may help prevent or reverse anxiety or depression. Nutmeg imparts an intensely sweet flavor, making it a perfect spice to use for breakfast, especially when mixed with cinnamon—no need for sugar or other sweeteners.

 

Here’s the recipe:

 

Pumpkin Parfait with Coconut Caramel

Makes 4 servings

 

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Pie Layer:

16 oz steamed and peeled pumpkin ( or one 15 oz can pumpkin)

½ large avocado

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. date syrup

½ – ¾ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

pinch salt

Coconut Caramel Layer (optional):

1 can full fat coconut milk (refrigerated overnight)

¼ tsp. vanilla

1 Tbsp. date syrup

Maple Cinnamon Pecans*:

¼ cup raw pecans

1-2 tsp. maple syrup

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

 

Instructions:

First, bake the pecans: Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup and cinnamon, and mix well until combined. Add pecans in bowl, and mix well until thoroughly coated. Lay out the pecans flat on a baking sheet, and drizzle any remaining syrup mix over them. Bake for 15 minutes.

Make the pumpkin layer: Combine all ingredients in a blender (a bullet works well) and blend until combined, about a minute. Don’t leave out the pinch of salt. Taste, and mix in more pumpkin pie spice if desired.

Make the coconut caramel layer: Flip the coconut milk can upside down and open it. Pour out the liquid part into a separate container, to be reserved for another use. Spoon out the thick white cream and put into a bowl. Add the vanilla and date syrup. Use a hand mixer to whip it all together into a cream (You could also put it in the bullet blender instead. It will be more liquid-y, less fluffy, but equally delicious.)

To assemble the parfait: Spoon alternating layers of pumpkin and coconut caramel into 2 pint glasses/jars or 4 mini jars. Top with pecans, and a drizzle of date syrup, if desired.

 

Notes:

*You can use raw chopped pecans or nuts in place of the maple cinnamon baked ones if you wish.

Author: Maria Marlowe is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who has helped thousands of people improve their health by optimizing their diet. She has created meal plans and programs to help you lose weight, clear up acne, and spend less time in the kitchen yet still eat healthy.  

She has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, NBC, Well + Good, and more. Her first book, The Real Food Grocery Guide, will teach you how to eat healthy without going broke.

Download her free 3-Day Real Food Challenge Meal Plan, check out her site, www.mariamarlowe.com, or follow her on  Instagram @MariaMarlowe and Facebook for more healthy recipes.