For the Love of the Pumpkin

It is officially the first day of Fall and I am writing this from the Colectivo patio where I am enjoying my almond milk latte with a shot of pumpkin spice and the best pumpkin cranberry muffin in town. Autumn weekends in Chicago, need I say more?

I, similar to most, have an affinity for seasonal things – specifically anything in the realm of pumpkin spice.  As soon as LDW hits, I find myself trying to incorporate pumpkin into just about anything I do. Pumpkin coffee orders, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin Rx Bars, pumpkin candles, you name it, I am here for it.

Thankfully, I am blessed to have a sweet friend who shares my same affinity for pumpkin. So much so, in fact, that she has her own blog centered around all things pumpkin. Enter, Maggie Michalczyk, better known as @onceuponapumpkin. For those of you who are not familiar with Maggie, you’ve been missing out. She is a dietitian and pumpkin enthusiast. I love her approach to eating. She is very open about how she chooses balance over restriction when it comes to food. Aka she is down to taste test everything flavored pumpkin while keeping her nutrition goals balanced.

Over the past few years, I have turned to @OnceUponAPumpkin when I am in need of some seasonal inspo so I was beyond pumped when Maggie released her own cookbook this month featuring 50 pumpkin flavored recipes for all of us pumpqueens.  If you follow our blog at all, you know I am a huge fan of cake balls, bites, etc. I have scoured many food blogs in the past for help on how to incorporate pumpkin into a cake ball recipe without overpowering the recipe or having a weird, loose, consistency. I am so THRILLED to announce that the search is over. Maggie has provided an amazing pumpkin cake ball recipe in her new book. The recipe, FALL IN A BALL, is beyond delish and Maggie has already perfected it so that we don’t have to.


As I do in the preparation of most of my cake bites, I threw in some Vital Proteins Marine collagen because I love to get in an added protein and collagen boost as frequently as possible. We LOVE our Vital Proteins. We could go on for hours regarding our love for the duo that is collagen + protein, (and lucky for you we already have) and our affinity for adding it to literally every one of our favorite recipes.

Because Maggie is the greatest, she gave us her blessing in sharing her recipe with you all. Enjoy and order her cookbook for more pumpkin inspiration all year long.


½ cup almond flour
½ cup pumpkin puree
2 pitted medjool dates (I added a few more because I have a major sweet tooth!)
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup raw cashews
¼ almonds
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp. ground flax seed
2 tbsp. Hemp seed
1” fresh organic ginger, peeled and grated
1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp. Almond milk
2 scoops Vital Proteins Marine Collagen


  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients except for almond milk. Pulse for about a minute

  2. Add almond milk, and continue pulsing until it looks like chunky dough has formed

  3. Roll into balls with your hands. If the dough is very sticky and hard to roll, add more almond flour (about 1 tbsp. At a time)

  4. Store in an airtight contained in the fridge or freeze to enjoy all fall long!

Makes roughly 14 balls. Recipe from Once Upon a Pumpkin: 50 Creative Pumpkin Seasoned, Flavored, Shaped, & Spiced Recipes.

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