It’s the end of another month, which means it’s also time for this months Foodie Pen Pals reveal!
I sent a package to Laura in Minnesota and received some goodies from Heather in Michigan. We kept it in the Midwest this month, I guess!
Heather doesn’t write a blog, so she wrote a special guest post for reveal day!
Here’s what Heather wrote:
This month’s Foodie PenPal exchange is my favorite for a few reasons. First, it happens to be my first time participating in this creative, well-organized and exciting program. I’m pleased to become one of over 1,000 Foodie PenPals who sends and receives a box of goodies each month. Secondly, this happens to be my favorite month of the year. The changing colors of the leaves, perfect temperatures for running, apple orchards and cider mills, but best of all, pumpkin!
October and pumpkins, it’s kind of like Linus and Lucy, chocolate and peanut butter, Romeo and Juliet. One is just better with the other. So once receiving my October Foodie PenPal’s info and address, I jumped at the chance to share my love of autumn and all things pumpkin.
As I set out on my journey for interesting pumpkin products, Trader Joes and Whole Foods Market were at the top of my list for such finds. Trader Joes is known for its array of eclectic products and lived up to that reputation for my pumpkin search. At Trader Joes I picked up Pumpkin Pancake and Waffle Mix, a box of flour, dehydrated pumpkin spices requiring the addition of only butter, milk and egg for a real morning treat.
To accompany a stack of pumpkin pancakes, I also picked up a tin of Pumpkin Spice Rooibos Tea. Now as a tea fanatic, I saw this variety for the first time and just had to purchase a second tin for myself. What delight! It’s a redbush herbal blend with natural pumpkin flavoring and spices that makes it the next best thing to enjoying a slice of pumpkin pie. I thoroughly enjoyed with a few drops of stevia extract.
Now once RunningWithNeedles finishes a perfect pumpkin breakfast I don’t want her going into pumpkin withdrawal. Trust me, it’s possible. So to continue the pumpkin party into mid-morning snack, I sent along a Go Raw Live Pumpkin Bar. Sprouted organic pumpkin seeds combine with flax seeds, dates, and agave nectar to produce a bar that’s omega-3 fatty acid- and fiber-rich.
As a registered dietitian I do feel obligated to touch on the nutrition benefits of my favorite fall fruit. Yes, pumpkin is a fruit. Pumpkin’s bright orange is a great indicator that its chock full of beta-carotene. Our bodies use beta-carotene to produce vitamin A. Vitamin A in turn plays a vital role in vision, reproduction and immune function. In fact, vitamin A has shown to be effective for reducing risk of certain cancers, heart disease, age-related macular degeneration and prevention of exercise-induced asthma. One ½ cup serving of pumpkin provides 300% of daily vitamin A requirements and beta-carotene contributes to 80% of this amount. So eat-up pumpkin lovers! For those of you who are new to the gloriousness of pumpkin, here’s a quick and easy recipe to try.
Heather’s Perfect Pumpkin Porridge
½ cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup almond milk or water
½ cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
¼ cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1 package stevia
Pumpkin pie spice to taste
Combine oats and water in a medium-sized bowl. Microwave on high for 2 ½ minutes.
Add pumpkin, stevia and spice mix. Mix thoroughly.
Top with Greek yogurt and enjoy J
Heather also included this awesome postcard of her town.
Thanks to Heather for a delicious, pumpkin-filled October penpal box. I’ve already had several cups of pumpkin spice tea and it’s delicious! If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, go pick up a tin for yourself.
And now it’s time for some details about Foodie Penpals. In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.
If you’re interested in participating for November, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
See you next month for Novembers goodies!