It's beginning to feel a lot like autumn in Chicago lately, which means a lot more time spent cozying up at home with my blanket scarf, a good book and my favorite candles. The more time I spend at home, the more I find myself in the kitchen experimenting with anything and everything in my cupboard. The other day, I made over 50 oatmeal cookies, using a recipe that called for cups and cups of sugar and butter.
I ate a lot of them.
Today, I found myself with the baking urge again and remembered the pumpkin puree hiding in the back of my cupboard. After scrolling through some of my favorite health food blogs to find a good (and easy) recipe, I stumbled upon Lee From America's pumpkin fat ball recipe. The below was inspired by Lee and adapted by me - with an added dose of the ever-important ingredient you've likely seen on Instagram: collagen peptides.
Collagen is the most abundant protein that our bodies produce. Unlike whey and casein protein, collagen is made up of amino-acids, which act as the glue that holds our bodies together. It strengthens our connective tissue, and gives our skin, hair, nails, bones, and joints strength and structure.
As we get older, our body's ability to produce collagen begins to slow - cue wrinkles and joint pain! To add insult to injury, our diets today contain little to no collagen. If you're not supplementing it, you're probably not getting it.
Vital Proteins has made it so easy to incorporate collagen back into our lives. You can add a scoop to your coffee, smoothie, soup, water... or these pumpkin fat & collagen balls! Some benefits of a daily dose of collagen include:
Visibly reduced cellulite / stretch marks
Tendon & bone strength
Increased muscle mass & energy output
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (organic, unsweetened)
1 scoop Vital Proteins collagen peptides
1 serving vanilla protein powder (I use plant-based for tummy sensitivity)
1 pitted medjool dates (can omit for low sugar option)
2 tbsp sunflower butter
1/3 cup cashews
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp chia seeds
1" fresh organic ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp all spice
2 tablespoons cashew milk (or any non dairy milk)
1/3 cup coconut oil
Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend for 3-4 minutes, then throw into the freezer to harden. This allowed the oils harden before I rolled them into balls. It get's messy, but that's the fun part about being in the kitchen! Enjoy on top of your smoothie bowl, as an on-the-go snack (my favorite!) or top with coconut yogurt like Lee.
Try them out, get creative with your add-ins, and let us know what you think!