There's more to pumpkin spice than those sugary lattes!

I love a fresh fall morning! Something about the way the leaves start getting crisp and the air starts feeling sharp in your lungs really gets me in the mood to go for a run. Maybe it's the nostalgia of donning sweats right after a cross country meet or it's that the oppressive heat has finally burned off, but either way fall gets me in a fitness frame of mind. 

But there's another reason I love fall.

Call me basic, but I am a pumpkin spice girl through and through. Leggings, fuzzy socks, and pumpkin. But there's a common misconception about pumpkin that I'm determined to put to bed. Pumpkin does not always have to be cinnamon, sugar, spice, and everything nice! It's actually a really versatile ingredient that's packed with a lot of health benefits! We're talking squash that's high vitamins A and C, low-calorie, and antioxidant-rich. Toss some canned pumpkin into your chili or your mac and cheese and you've just made your dinner richer, creamier, and healthier. (Note: 100% pumpkin, ditch that pumpkin pie mix. No, we're not talking the cans of pumpkin with all the sugar and spices mixed in—yuck! Looking at you, Kraft. That's just wrong.) Or mix in your own spices and make some muffins.

Either way, pumpkin is going to give you a boost this fall with my recipe for Pumpkin Energy Bites. Feel free to take a look at the original recipe, but I highly recommend my adaptation for several reasons. These don't need to be refrigerated because they're lightly baked, making them an easy treat to keep on your counter if you want a quick enery-boosting afternoon snack or if you want to pack a couple to take with you on your long run. Also, my version is bladder-friendly, cutting out irritants that can make you feel the urge to go, which is not something you want in the middle of your workout.

Let's get cooking!

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