Pumpkin walnut butter

I am taking the most interesting class right now.  It’s a child psychology/counseling class and we are talking about brain development and nutrition this week.  A few interesting facts I have picked up from the lectures are:

– the prefrontal lobe does not fully develop until the age of 25

– the brain makes itself new every 4 to 5 months

– poor diet leads to poor brain function

That last fact is so important. So many parents think it’s okay to give their children cheetos, hot dogs, and crap out of a box, but it seriously limits their brain development. I mean, people have to know this! You literally ARE what you EAT.  This is not something new, people! Anyway, I’m not here to preach, just here to say that I am choosing to live by this and feed my family accordingly.  The majority of Miles’ food (95%) is organic, whole foods.  I give him Cheerios when I’m cooking, but that is the only non-organic, processed food he gets. Dr. Daniel Amen gave us a list of “brain foods” that children need every day, and adults, too!

-water – 80% of our brain is water. Water is essential for optimal brain function.

-blueberries – Dr. Amen called these “brain berries”.

-oranges – Vitamin C!!

-beans – Protein, people!

-red bell peppers – These contain 3x’s as much vitamin C as green bell peppers.

-oats, pumpkin, wild salmon (not farm raised), raw spinach, green tea, turkey, yogurt, and walnuts.

Children need foods that are rich in healthy fats, like walnuts and avocados.  Did you know that a low-fat diet can be detrimental to the development of a child’s brain? It is also not good for an adult. We need those fats, as well.  I know many parents don’t feed their kids this stuff because their kids won’t eat it, but the way I was raised, if I didn’t eat what was in front of me, I didn’t eat. I like that philosophy and I’m sticking to it. Kids have to eat sometime, right? Anyway, I took two of those brain foods and made something delicious! I keep seeing pumpkin-almond butter everywhere, so I decided to one up that nut butter and make a pumpkin walnut butter.

Pumpkin-walnut butter spread over an organic brown rice cake. A yummy and nutritious snack!

Pumpkin Walnut Butter

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

In a food processor, puree 1 cup of walnuts until you start to see a little bit of butter on the bottom.  Throw in a half a cup of pumpkin puree and either some pumpkin spice (1/2 teaspoon) or some cinnamon and nutmeg.  Puree until mixture looks smooth as butter! I didn’t add any sweetener, but you are more than welcome to do so. I just sprinkled a tiny pinch of raw sugar over my rice cake.

Well, I’m off to decide on a research project for my Personality Theories class.  Have a great day!

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