Pumpkin Chia Pudding + Blog Brûlée Highlights

Autumn is in the air, and after an action-packed weekend at the first annual Blog Brûlée healthy blogger retreat at Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont, we created this healthy and delicious, fall-inspired Pumpkin Chia Pudding recipe for you and your family. (As invited speakers, our travel and lodging was paid for, and we received an honorarium.)

Pumpkin Chia Pudding via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

We’ll tell you more about this easy dessert recipe further down in the post. But for now, indulge us a bit as we share highlights from Blog Brûlée …

Blog Brûlée toasting marshmallows

The theme of the weekend was “Setting Fire to Better Blogs,” and our small gathering of dietitian bloggers achieved that goal with the help of Blog Brûlée’s founders (left to right), Gretchen Brown from Kumquat, Deanna Segrave-Daly from Teaspoon of Spice, Robin Plotkin from RobinsBite, and Regan Jones, founder of Healthy Aperture … as well as a lineup of well seasoned speakers.

Blog Brûlée founders via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Speakers and Topics:

Food Photography Basics, Food Styling, and Post Processing with Gretchen Brown and Regan Jones {The post-processing information presented reminded us to focus more of our editing attention on tweaking exposure}

iPhoneography with Deanna Segrave-Daly {Who knew Snapseed, a smart phone photography app, could do SO much}

The Art of Online Storytelling with Brierley Wright from Eating Well Magazine and Robin Plotkin {A great reminder that an event like Blog Brûlée could lead to multiple stories and blog posts … and a double reminder to maintain an editorial blogging calendar}

Defining and Delivering SEO with Carolyn Ketchum from All Day I Dream About Food {Aunty Em, we’re frightened, but we’re already implementing Carolyn’s tips and reading The Beginners Guide to SEO on Moz.com}

Building Your Virtual Community with EA Stewart, The Spicy RD {We need to (a) get comfy with Google+ and (b) not focus all of our efforts on commenting on others’ blogs, but rather, share others’ content. Show the LOVE}

Branding in the Blogosphere and Beyond with Liz and Janice, The Meal Makeover Moms (that’s us!!). We talked about the ingredients needed for a successful brand: Authentic, Reliable, Responsive, Engaging, Evolving.

Show Me the Money: Monetizing Your Brand with Anne Mauney from fannetasticfood {We’re working on our Media Kit as we speak, and we’re using Power Point per Anne’s suggestion!}

smugglers notch, Blog Brûlée

The retreat was held at Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Vermont where the service was topnotch. Groups of three were assigned to cozy condos complete with fireplaces, well-stocked refrigerators (more on Liz’s foray into microwaved eggs with roommates Meme and Min in a future post), and gorgeous views. Returning back to reality in MA got us thinking more about our editorial calendar—formerly somewhat loosey goosey but presently more definitive!—as well as the first story we wanted to “tell” post Blog Brûlée.

Pumpkins at Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Coming up with our first story was actually quite easy thanks to our Saturday afternoon field trip to the picturesque Boyden Valley Winery. We were drawn to these just-picked pumpkins perched on an antique wagon, while at the same time, jarred by the realization that our warm and sunny New England summer was over and autumn was in full swing. So a recipe featuring pumpkin became the obvious topic for this first post.

Pumpkin Chia Pudding via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen #pumpkin #chiaseeds #pudding

This week we got cooking in the Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen with a pudding makeover made with canned pumpkin, organic soymilk, maple syrup, and chia seeds as well a few other goodies from our Swag Bag …

Pumpkin Chia Pudding Ingredients and toppers via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Lake Champlain Chocolate, Vermont maple syrup, and Fat Toad Farm caramel.

Pumpkin Chia Pudding

Makes 2 Servings

Sticking to our MEAL MAKEOVER mission, we whipped up this easy-to-make pudding packed with kid appeal AND great nutrition. This recipe is so simple, your kids can make it in minutes by placing the ingredients in a Mason jar and giving it a shake, shake, shake!

  • 1 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 1/3 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Pinch salt

1. Place the soy milk, pumpkin, chia seeds, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a 16-ounce wide-mouth pint-size Mason jar (or any other jar you have in your kitchen), shake vigorously, and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours to overnight.

2. Serve with any number of optional toppers including: caramel, shaved chocolate, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, or your favorite fruit.

Nutrition Information per Serving (1/2 cup):  190 calories, 9g fat (1g saturated, 4.4g omega-3), 180mg sodium, 24g carbohydrates, 11g fiber, 8g protein, 120% vitamin A, 30% calcium, 10% iron

Print Recipe

Blog Brûlée attendees via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kithen #blogbrulee

Every blogger at the retreat brought something to the table. We learned from one another, became instant pals, and left the weekend with a commitment to nurture and support one another. Pictured here are a few of our new friends; we’ll tell you more about the group in our follow-up posts.

{Bottom row from left to right: Julie Harrington, RD from RDelicious Kitchen, Anne Mauney, RD from fannetasticfood, Rachael Hartley, RD from An Avocado a Day, and Kara Lydon, RD from The Foodie Dietitian}

{Top row from left to right: Holly Larson, RD, Grass Roots Nutrition, Meme Inge, RD from Living Well Kitchen, Min Kwon, RD from The Adventures of MJ and Hungry Man, Marisa Moore, RD from Marisa Moore Nutrition, Ashley Galloway, RD from The Fresh Beet, Jen Haugen, RD from Down to Earth Dietitian, and Ann Dunaway Teh, RD from Dunaway Dietetics.

Picking Concord Grapes at Meadow Mist Farm with the Welch's RD via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Writer’s cramp has set in, so we’ll have to sign off soon. But stay tuned for a few more Blog Brûlée posts including foraging for Concord Grapes with Casey Lewis, the dietitian from Welch’s (an event sponsor), one of Janice’s favorite activities from the weekend—a wine and cheese tasting with Cabot cheese at Boyden Valley Winery—and Liz’s first experience cooking eggs in the microwave (microwaves hadn’t been invented when she was in college).

Blog Brûlée 2014

For more information on the conference sponsors, visit the Blog Brûlée website.

Here are the Blog Brûlée blog posts from our fellow speakers and nutrition bloggers. We’ll update this as more go “live.”

Blog Brûlée Recap by Anne at Fannetastic Food

Blog Brûlée + Clean Eating Recipe RoundUp by Danielle Omar at Food Confidence

Blog Brûlée: What I Learned & What I Ate by Kara at the Foodie Dietitian

Mindful Eating: What’s Chocolate Got to Do with it? by Diane Boyd at Cape Fear Nutrition

Best Blogging Conference: Why Families Belong in the Kitchen Together by Jen Haugen, Down to Earth Dietitian

Blog Brûlée: Soaking it All In by Julie Harrington at RDelicious Kitchen

Blog Brûlée Recap (AKA The Most Epic Blogger Sleepover Ever) by Kylie at Immaeatthat

Blog Brûlée Recap & Grilled Cheese Recipe Round Up by Min Kwon of MJ & Hungryman

Blog Brûlée: Quick Recap by Marisa Moore at Marisa Moore Nutrition

Autumn Chopped Salad with Apples, Fennel, Cheddar Cheese, Macadamia Nuts and Apple Maple Vinaigrette by EA Stewart at The Spicy RD

Easy Chicken & Rice Meatball Soup

Chicken & Rice Meatball Soup via @MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

This Chicken & Rice Meatball Soup was created for the Boston kickoff of the Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest sponsored by Uncle Ben’s. It’s an easy recipe that your kids can cook with you, and it’s healthy and delicious too!  This week, we helped Uncle Ben’s kick off the third annual Ben’s Beginners Cooking Contest at [more]

Asian Pork Tenderloin and My Adventures in Oregon (Podcast #252)

Asian Pork Tenderloin via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

This recipe for Asian Pork Tenderloin is rich in protein and flavor, and you’ll definitely want to include it in your family’s weekly meal planning! On this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, Liz and I dish about our summer food and fitness adventures and share recipes for Asian Pork Tenderloin and Wild Blueberry & Chia Seed Smoothies. [more]

Wild Blueberry & Chia Seed Smoothie: The Wild Blueberry Barrens of Maine

Wild Blueberry & Chia Smoothie via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

This healthy smoothie recipe is made with frozen wild blueberries, frozen mango, chia seeds, Greek yogurt, and orange juice, and it’s an easy snack for kids and families. I’ve been on a bit of a wild blueberry binge since returning from a three-day trip to the wild blueberry barrens of Maine last month. Surrounded by [more]

Avocado & Banana Frosty and a CA Avocado Giveaway {Podcast #251}

Avocado & Banana Frosty via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Now that the kids are back in school, try this healthy, after-school vegan snack made with California Avocados, banana, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and agave.  The blogosphere has been buzzing with fun and healthy recipes for back-to-school lunchboxes. Our recipe for California Avocado Orzo Salad was part of the buzz, but now we’re shifting our culinary [more]

10 Back-to-School Good Nutrition Tips and a Lunchbox Recipe for California Avocado Orzo Salad

Back to School Good Nutrition Tips via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

This lunchbox recipe features orzo pasta, avoids, olives, cucumbers, pine nuts, and feta. Read on for the recipe as well as 10 back-to-school nutrition tips. It’s hard to believe that between us, we have two kids in high school, one in college, and one paving her way out in the real world! Our kids may [more]

Bite-Size, Back-to-School Lunch Ideas from The Recipe Redux {August Challenge} … And Our Recipe for Peachy Peanut Butter Pancake Bites

Peachy Peanut Butter Sandwich Bites

Our kids go back to school next week, which may seem pretty late compared to our friends who live down south, but no matter when the school bus starts to wind its way through your neighborhood, chances are you’re thinking about school lunches … and what to pack for your kiddos. To the rescue is [more]

New Proposed Seafood Guidelines for Pregnant Women and a Recipe for Tilapia Wraps with Corn Salsa {Podcast Episode #250}

Tilapia Wraps with Corn Salsa via MealMakeoverMoms.com/kitchen

Pregnant women and women of child-bearing age should eat more seafood. That’s the latest proposed recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration. To explain why seafood is critical for a healthy pregnancy, dispel concerns about mercury, and share ideas for adding more fish to the diet, we invited fellow dietitian and mom-to-be, Jennifer McGuire, MS, RD [more]

My Family Vacation on Nantucket and Recipes for Double Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes and Cod Cakes in Tomato Sauce

Nantucket Reds via mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen

Our UK family came to visit last week, and we all spent a magical week at our new home on Nantucket playing at the beach, cooking summer-inspired dishes, fishing, golfing, and just hanging out. The island is famous for a lot of things including Nantucket Reds, which my husband, brother-in-law, and son all wore as they [more]