Black Friday: Coffee, organization and recipes

With due respect to those expert bargain hunters, I have chosen to abstain from Black Friday. Well, aside from my coffee purchase at the neighborhood Tim Horton’s this morning. So technically, I haven’t gotten away with zero participation, but that will be my limit today. I’m not anti-consumerism and while I plan to do the bulk of my holiday shopping at local businesses, there will be purchases made at online deal sites and I’m sure at least one trip to a big box store. Instead of shopping, I’m taking this day after Thanksgiving to organize, physically and mentally, for the holiday season. It’s about setting myself up for success, and my definition of success includes huge amounts of joy and fun fueled by good, healthy food and exercise.

On Monday, I’ll share my thoughts on yesterday’s 116th Annual YMCA Turkey Trot. Today, I’m sharing one of my new, favorite kitchen creations, pumpkin pie/apple pie yogurt.

On a recent long run with buddies Sue and Nicole the topic turned to food. (This is not a surprise.) In discussing autumn favorites, pumpkin and apple butter were high on our lists. Then Nicole mentioned how she likes to mix pumpkin butter into ¬†yogurt. Instantly I became hungry. It’s so simple! How did I not see it myself? So this week I experimented with some combinations, with credit to Nicole for the initial idea.

I used nonfat, plain Greek yogurt. It’s packed with protein and has a thick, creamy consistency. When buying pumpkin and apple butters I read the labels looking for as few ingredients as possible. I never thought my favorite local cider mill would disappointment me by putting high fructose corn syrup in its apple butter, but alas, it does. My purchase power now goes elsewhere to fruit butters that don’t contain artificial ingredients.

Below is the basic recipe, but feel free to experiment. Add dried fruit, granola or different kinds of nuts. Or leave the nuts out all-together. This is great as a snack, after a workout or even as dessert. Use it to top cereal or whole grain waffles. It’s a great taste of the season.


  • 1 individual container of plain, Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin butter or apple butter
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice
  • 1 tablespoon almonds


Mix together and enjoy!


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