Saturday, October 10, 2009

I Love Pumpkin!

"...and I'll water you and feed you until you grow BIG and strong, like me...."

"...and I'll never, EVER, let Mommy use her big, sharp knife on you..."


To be honest, I had never really cooked with pumpkin until just a couple of years ago. One fateful bite of a Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Muffin, and I realized I had been missing out.

So what have I done (so far) with this year's batch of pumpkin puree?

You might recall I set aside one hunk of pumpkin when I was roasting the rest for my pumpkin puree. Well, I took out my box grater and shredded it to make this...

Pumpkin Apple Salad from Allrecipes

Shredded, raw pumpkin, grated apple, raisins, lemon was missing something! I had never tasted raw pumpkin before and I thought it was pretty bland. I added some onion and nutmeg. I'd recommend trying something with a little heat, too.

Last year, my favorite muffin had been these...

Tender pumpkin muffin, chunks of apple, spices and a sweet, crumbly topping - Good Stuff! I almost made them again, but there are so many others I wanted to try.

Pumpkin Wheat Honey Muffins from (three guesses?)

I used dried cranberries instead of raisins - I LOVE cranberries in any sort of pumpkin bread! These are awesome! Moist, flavorful, the right amount of spice!

Now this was something I've wanted to try for a long, long time - Pumpkin Butter.

I used Pumpkin Butter I from Allrecipes, but used my own Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend and apple cider for the apple juice. It came out very good! A great topping for toast or even crackers, to get that salty-sweet combination. I even used some to sweeten and flavor a breakfast smoothie!

Like...THIS ONE!
Autumn Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothie:

1/2 frozen banana, sliced
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/3 to 1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (fresh, if possible)
1 heaping tbsp. Pumpkin Butter

Throw everything in a blender and blend for about 20 seconds.

I DO highly recommend fresh puree in that one - while I do use canned for baked goods, when used in something uncooked I can detect that "tin can" flavor.

Some other ideas? How about a nice warm, fruity, spicy hearty breakfast?
My variation of Pumpkin Oatmeal from Allrecipe was such a treat! Big tweak though - it needed sweetness! Once again I added dried cranberries, but also some brown sugar. Made this before I made my pumpkin butter, but I bet that would have been great in this, too!

Or a rich creamy dessert?
Pumpkin Crunch Parfaits - I used butterscotch pudding mix to make it richer. Nice when you're craving a non-chocolate dessert (for once in my life.)

Or one of my favorites, PUMPKIN PANCAKES!!

And finally, what to do with all those seeds? ROAST 'EM!
This time I used this recipe from Allrecipes, but there are countless ways you can spice them up.

So there you have it! A sampling of some pumpkiny no pumpkin is safe!!!


Lissaloo said...

look at all those AWESOME pumpkin goodies! I want to make all of them!!! Pumpkin butter has been on my to make soon list for about a month now, hopefully I will get to it soon :)

5thsister said...

You are on a major pumpkin roll! Lots of new recipes to try and so little time!

Chicago Mom said...

I am gonna have to try pumpkin again - your recipes all look so delicious! I have never been a pumpkin fan. Every few years I will try the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving and every year I still don't like it. But this can't be right! Your pictures are making me drool!

Willoughby said...

A plethora of pumpkin! I'm all about the pumpkin muffins. I haven't made them in a long time, but I think I must do so immediately (because you said I had to, didn't you?).

The picture of your little punkin with her little pumpkin is adorable!

Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

Yum! My mom makes an amazing pumpkin bread, and I make a pumpkin pasta dish that is delicious; now I'll have to add some of your recipes to our repetoir!

5thsister said...

come by and pick up your award!

Holly said...

I think I am in LOVE...we just adore pumpkin over here. I am goignt ot try the Autumn Smoothie kids will flip!
Holly @ 504 Main

Katie said...

I just stumbled upon a recipe calling for pumpkin butter and I had no clue what it was, so glad you just cleared that up for me!! I am going to have to try to make it myself now.

5thsister said...

I have something for you. Please stop by to pick it up!

Lissaloo said...

That picture of your daughter is soooo cute, I love it :) Just stopping by to say Hi :)

Joanna Jenkins said...

Just stopping by to say hello and Happy holidays! hope all is well.