Sugar-Free Pumpkin Protein Donuts with Cinnamon Frosting

Sugar Free Pumpkin Protein Donuts - TheFitFork.comI don’t need to explain myself, it’s October. But, I will because I like to talk! October is the month when all things pumpkin happen and I when I kick up my running into a higher gear for a late fall season marathon. This year, I am also doing Spartan Beast in Dallas on Oct. 31st — I know, SCARY in so many ways!

Sugar Free Pumpkin Protein Donuts with Cinnamon Frosting

The point is, I need some extra power in this month of pumpkin-mania and so I’ve pumped up my recipe with protein powder. You can use whatever type of protein powder you prefer — whey, soy, pea, or whatever! This recipe is also sugar-free, gluten-free, nut-free (pumpkin seeds are SEEDS, duh) and Paleo friendly. Enjoy!

Sugar Free Pumpkin Protein Donuts with Cinnamon Frosting

Sugar Free Pumpkin Protein Donuts with Cinnamon FrostingWhat is your favorite pumpkin treat of the season? Please share in the comments below – XOXO, Jennifer


Sugar Free Pumpkin Protein Donuts with Cinnamon Frosting
Print Recipe
Enjoy the "it" flavor of October and make some muscles in the process with this easy baked donut recipe that uses protein powder. Gluten free, nut free and paleo-ish!
Servings Prep Time
12 donuts 10 mintues
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 donuts 10 mintues
Cook Time
12 minutes
Sugar Free Pumpkin Protein Donuts with Cinnamon Frosting
Print Recipe
Enjoy the "it" flavor of October and make some muscles in the process with this easy baked donut recipe that uses protein powder. Gluten free, nut free and paleo-ish!
Servings Prep Time
12 donuts 10 mintues
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 donuts 10 mintues
Cook Time
12 minutes
Servings: donuts
For donuts:
  1. Preheat oven to 350  degrees.
  2. In large bowl, mix together protein powder, coconut flour, 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, baking powder and baking soda until well combined.
  3. In a medium bowl or large glass measuring cup, add water, ground flax seed, milk, vanilla, pumpkin puree and coconut oil; whisk until combined.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mixing with until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into a non-stick mini donut baking pan and bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until lightly browning and springing back to the touch.
For Frosting:
  1. Mix cream cheese, stevia and vanilla together until smooth.
  2. Spread onto tops of cooled donuts. Sprinkle with extra cinnamon and pumpkin seeds, if desired.
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White Chocolate Pumpkin Oat Bread & #LoveYourAge Inspiration

healthy pumpkin bread with white chocolate Feed your face . . . I mean soul . .  with this wholesome recipe for a fall season-inspired, no-fuss pumpkin quick bread.  This autumn recipe for Pumpkin Oat Bread with White Chocolate Chips is all treat with just a few tricks tossed in to make it a touch healthier than the traditional pumpkin bread I grew up baking. For example, in lieu of some of the sugar, I’ve used a Stevia blend and also reduced part of the oil with extra pumpkin puree for added moistness. Additionally, instead of using entirely all-purpose white flour, I swapped in oats for extra fiber and texture. Oh, and those white chocolate chips are a sweet splurge, but you could substitute nuts or dried fruit.   And, if this flour-y pumpkin bread recipe doesn’t float your boat, I have a gluten-free, paleo friendly Chocolate Chip Cranberry Pumpkin Bread I created last year.

single loaf pumpkin oat bread Pumpkin Oat White Chocolate Chip Quick Bread Recipe

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp. milk of choice (dairy, soy, almond, etc)
  • 3/4 cup stevia baking blend
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1/3 cup oil of choice (canola, olive, coconut, etc.)
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (divided)*
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir in oil, pumpkin puree, and sugars until well combined.
  3. Stir in pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking powder until well combined. Next, stir in flour and ¾ cup of oats. Gently fold in white chocolate chips.
  4. Lightly spray loaf pans with cooking spray. Pour batter into one large load pan or divide equally among three mini loaf pans.  Sprinkle tops of loaves with remaining ¼ cup oats.
  5. Bake in center of oven for approximately 60 – 70 minutes for large loaf and 35 – 40 minutes for mini loafs, or until toothpick inserted into the center pulls clean.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire racks before removing and slicing. Bread may be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  7. Makes one large loaf or three mini loaves.

pumpkin oat white chocolate bread overhead loaves


super oats chia*You can use any oats you prefer – gluten-free, old-fashioned or quick oats.  I actually used Love Grown Foods® Super Oats (Simply Pure variety) – these awesome oats throws in extra like quinoa flakes, amaranth flakes and chia seeds. It’s meant to be eaten as a hot breakfast cereal, but makes a really wholesome recipe ingredient too!  BTW, this isn’t a sponsored post; I just really like the oats!





I also want to share with you some of the ladies who responded to my #LoveYourAge shout out – they are rocking life and proving that age is just a number. I also remind you of the upcoming #R3Summit  (Refresh, Revive, Reinvent) being put on by Prevention magazine October 16 & 17th in Austin.  Register and use discount code R3VIB for $20 off your ticket.

Do you eagerly await for the arrival of pumpkin flavored foods in the fall? What is your favorite pumpkin food? 

Six Fall Season Smoothie Recipes

smoothie recipes for autumn

I’m starting off another post with “It’s still in the upper ninety degrees, y’all!” The official start of fall is just a few days away, yet the Texas sun is still burning us up! It’s so hot, the asphalt is sticking to the bottom of my running shoes and the neighbor’s suburban hens are laying hard boiled eggs. Hotter than a stolen tamale, a fur coat in Corpus Christi, or rubbing your eyes in a pepper patch – okay, you get the idea!

That’s why I’m still drinking my daily smoothie – not just as a way to cool off but also nourish myself with lots of healthy ingredients. I’ve pulled together some of my favorite fall season smoothies, each uses either fruit, vegetables or spices that remind me of the awesomeness of autumn.  Even if the arctic air is blowing in your part of the world, just bundle up, these healthy smoothie recipes are too good to pass up – perfect as an on-the-go breakfast or healthy snack.  If I am drinking one of these as a meal replacement or after an intense workout or long run, I’ll add a scoop of protein powder or substitute the milk with a vanilla high protein shake like Core Power.

pear maple smoothie

Pear Maple Chia Chiller: MMM, a little maple syrup (the real stuff) give this pear smoothie the flavor of fall – throw in some chia seeds for some omega-3 goodness.

Pear Maple Chia Chiller Recipe

  • 8 ounces almond milk
  • 1/2 ripe peeled pear
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom

Add all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth, adding ice to achieve desired consistency. Serves 1.


carrot cake smoothie

Carrot Ginger Date Smoothie: This smoothie will have you in whole food heaven and will remind you of a nice slice of carrot cake without all of the cream cheese frosting guilt – get the recipe in my recent post.

 apple cider smoothie

Apple Cider Sipper: If I had an apple tree in my backyard, I’d be making apple creations in the kitchen every day – everything from strudels to cobblers and fritters. Thankfully, I can satisfy my lust for apple desserts with this healthy non-alcoholic cider based smoothie (love the Litehouse Food brand cider).

Directions: In blender blend together 6 ounces almond milk, 2 ounces apple cider, ½ cup unsweetened applesauce, ½ frozen banana and ½ teaspoon cinnamon and pinch of nutmeg.  Add ice, as needed, to achieve desired consistency. Serves 1.

pumpkin pie smoothie thefitfork

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie: My grandma’s pumpkin pie sure brings back memories of family get-togethers in the fall. She always used a gingersnap crust and drizzled the top of her pumpkin pie with caramel. I’ve replicated this deliciousness in a healthier way in my recipe from last year – check it out!

spinach avocado smoothie

Autumn Greens & Avocado Smoothie: I love my lettuces and greens, but only have recently become accustomed to putting them in a smoothie – something about texture. This delicious smoothie is silky smooth and oh-so creamy thanks to a few slices of avocado. You’ll love this one!

Directions: In blender blend together 10 ounces unsweetened almond milk, ½ small avocado, a large handful of greens (like kale, chard, spinach or mixture).  Add ice and bit of honey or Stevia, as needed, to achieve desired consistency and sweetness. Sprinkle with hemp seeds. Serves 1

mango smoothie.

Chai-Spiced Mango Lassi: I love the exotic flavors of chai both served hot and cold. This healthy mango lassi gives you lots of protein and calcium thanks to the milk and yogurt base – keep those bones strong!

Directions: In a blender, blend together 1 cup of milk, 1/3 cup of plain unsweetened yogurt, 1 cup  cubed mango, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger, pinch of cardamom, pinch of nutmeg and pinch of allspice. Add honey or stevia to taste.

If you are looking for more inspiration, Cooking Light has a yummy collection of creamy, dreamy smoothies to try! You must see (and slurp)!

Caramel Pumpkin Pie Smoothie + More Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

caramel pumpkin pie smoothie close up 2 large

With all the pumpkin mania, it was only a matter of time before I dumped some pumpkin puree in my smoothie!  Praise the gourd, holler-lu-yah! This was a fantastically flavorful idea and I’ve been making pumpkin smoothies for breakfast all last week! Check out the post I wrote for Litehouse Food’s Living Litehouse blog featuring my recipe, Caramel Pumpkin Pie Smoothies. Sugar-free caramel and pumpkin are added to almond milk and protein powder based smoothie – so insanely good, you could serve this healthy treat on a decadent Thanksgiving dessert buffet and no one would be the wiser!

living litehouse button


Get my recipe for Caramel Pumpkin Pie Smoothies here!



You may have seen them before, but here they are again – some of my most requested pumpkin recipes:

jennifer fisher pumpkin collage


Pumped Up Pumpkin Muffins
Baked Pumpkin Protein Donuts
Pumpkin Beef Tostadas with Chipotle Crema
Pumpkin Black Bean Soup
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cranberry Pumpkin Bread
I have a few more ideas for canned pumpkin.  For the most part, I am not a big fan of canned vegetables; the taste and texture are weird to me – not to mention the high sodium levels. But, I have a special place in my heart (and pantry shelf) for pumpkin puree. It’s inexpensive, it’s convenient (the hours required to clean, roast and smash a fresh pumpkin have been taken out of the equation) and it’s versatile – as you can tell by the plethora of pumpkin recipes this time of year.  And, importantly, nutritionists say that canned pumpkin is just as nutritionally sound as fresh – it’s a great source of complex carbohydrates and is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, calcium, iron and other important nutrients.










I like to stock up on canned pumpkin while I can; otherwise, it can be hard to find outside the fall season. Just make sure you are buying sodium-free, sugar-free 100% pumpkin – not pumpkin pie filling!   Here are three other easy ways to incorporate more canned pumpkin into your diet:

quick healthy pumpkin recipes

Pumpkin Quesadillas:  Mix 1/4 cup pumpkin with a tablespoon of your favorite smoky salsa, spread on a tortilla. Sprinkle mixture with shredded Monterrey Jack and top with another tortilla. Grill in non-stick skillet, flipping once, until cheese is melted and tortillas are turning golden brown.

Pumpkin Hummus: In a food processor, mix together one 15-oz can of drained garbanzo beans, 1/3 cup canned pumpkin, 1/3 cup almond butter, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 teaspoons minced garlic, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and  2 tablespoons water. Process until smooth and transfer to serving dish; top with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Spicy Pumpkin Salad Dressing: Whisk together 3 tablespoons each of pumpkin and cider vinegar. Whisk in 2 teaspoons Sriracha sauce and then 1/3 cup olive oil until well combined. Stir in 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper.

Chocolate Chip Cranberry Pumpkin Bread Recipe { #Paleo & #GlutenFree }

In the summer, everyone put up with my peach obsession. Now, like the rest of the fall-loving foodies, I’ve become really sweet (and savory) on pumpkins. It’s pumpkin-palooza over here!  While I have not yet tried the Pumpkin Latte at that (ahem) coffee chain not to be mentioned, I have made my fair share of goodies with this great gourd of the season.

My latest recipe is Paleo Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries & Chocolate Chips. Yeah, I know what y’all are thinking – the Stone Age moms didn’t make pumpkin bread, they were too busy tearing the meat off carcasses, sweeping out the cave, and getting drug around by the hair.  But, let me just quote the forward of one of my favorite healthy cookbooks, Paleo Comfort Foods.

 “Paleo (diet) is a logical framework applied to modern humans, not a historical reenactment.”

Whew, this means I can admit to using my KitchenAid stand mixer to whip up these scrumptious mini loaves that are perfect for breakfasts, snacking and sharing with friends. If you prefer not to use mini loaf pans, just put the entire batch of batter into one regular size loaf pan and increase the cooking time to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center pulls clean.

jennifer fisher - - paleo pumpkin bread chocolate chip cranberry


Paleo Pumpkin Bread with Cranberries & Chocolate Chips         

  •  2/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ can pure pumpkin – not pumpkin pie mix (about 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons Stevia (or 3 tsp if you like sweeter)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 350º and brush pan with coconut oil (or use cooking spray).

In large bowl, mix together eggs, vanilla and pumpkin. Let it sit a few minutes to bring to room temperature. Add coconut oil (liquefied) to mixture, stirring quickly to incorporate (may solidify if eggs and pumpkin are too cold).  Next, mix in Stevia, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until incorporated. Add almond flour and coconut flour, stirring until well combined. Fold in cranberries and chocolate chips.

Distribute batter evenly among two mini loaf pans (or one larger loaf pan)

Bake in 350º F oven for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center pulls clean (for single loaf, add approximately 10 minutes).

Remove from oven and let cool in pan before removing. Cut with serrated knife.

Makes two mini loaves or one standard loaf. pumpkin tip

Also, if you don’t know what to do with the extra pumpkin left in the can, you have a couple of options. Either double the recipe, or freeze the leftover pumpkin in ice cube or mini muffin trays for use later in a seasonal smoothie or sauce.

If you’re looking for more traditional pumpkin bread recipes that are still healthy, check out the Pumpkin Bread Recipes at Cooking Light.  Yum, yum – I am drooling over the Pumpkin Cinnamon Streusel Buns and would eagerly make and partake in some of these for a special occasion brunch!

pumpkin cinnamon-buns-ck-521609-l (1)


And So Fall Baking Begins! Caramel Apple Carrot Cake

Don’t you agree that October is the centerpiece of the fall season?  No longer hot and not yet cold, the days are beautifully colored, fragrant and delicious in every way. Now that I can bear to keep the oven on without cranking down the air-conditioner, I’ve been whipping up heaps of healthy baked recipe and have had no shortage of “quality control testers” hanging around the kitchen.

jennifer fisher litehouse cake slice milk

One recipe that turned out fantastic was the Caramel Apple Carrot Cake I created for Litehouse Food’s Living Litehouse Blog.  When I was a kid, I remember my grandmother making a magnificently moist carrot cake – come to find out it was loaded with vegetable oil. My take on traditional carrot cake adds grated apples along with carrots to add moistness and reduce the amount of overall fat needed to make the recipe work. Also, baking with olive oil reduces the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat and helps nurture the flavor of the other ingredients to come forward.  Some say that the vitamin E found in olive oil helps to maintain the freshness of baked goods; however healthy cakes, cookies and quick breads never last long in my house.

baked pumpkin protein donuts

A go-to choice for crazy-morning breakfasts at my house are Baked Pumpkin Protein Donuts. Aromatically enticing with the seasonal scents of cinnamon and nutmeg, my boys gobble up these little bites of baked goodness without even realizing their eating some vegetable – a gourd – for breakfast. Pumpkin puree, even used straight from the can, has so many health benefits including lots of fiber, vitamins (especially K) and iron.


Next up on my baking agenda list is the Beet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Cooking Light! I hope he’s not reading this, because I’m planning on surprising my husband with this strange-sounding, but utterly intriguing treat for his birthday. Really, you can’t beat beets. This red veggie is a nutritional powerhouse that packs in the potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; and folic acid. Plus, recent research claims that beet juice can help you exercise longer, improve blood flood, and reduce blood pressure. Sign me up, especially if it involves a slice of cake!

cooking light quick breads

My baking wish list is long, and I’ll also be checking out the 30 Best Quick Bread Recipes from Cooking Light. I really like to make muffins and quick breads, especially healthy versions, ahead of time and keep them in the freezer for busier times. When I can actually see and pronounce the ingredients that go into my food, even if I end up tweaking or making substitutions, I feel much more confident serving it to my family. I’ve found that packaged bakery items from the store are usually total fat, sugar and preservative bombs.