Fall is my favorite season. One of my many favorite things about Fall is pumpkins! You can do so many wonderful things with pumpkins from carving jack-o’lanterns and other crafts, to roasting pumpkin seeds and making pumpkin pie.
Pumpkins are rich in vitamin A and other antioxidant compounds. Pumpkin, alone, is low in calories and full of minerals like calcium and potassium and full of fiber. They can be used in sweet and savory dishes and the possibilities are limitless. You can even find pumpkin in drink recipes. Following are some of my favorite pumpkin recipes:
Makes about 6 servings.
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
15 oz. can pumpkin
2 cups powdered sugar
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
With an electric mixer, blend cream cheese until smooth. Slowly blend in pumpkin and spices until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the powdered sugar a little at a time.
Chill before serving. Serve with graham crackers, apple slices, vanilla wafers or your own favorites.
Chili Lime Pumpkin Seeds
Makes about 1 cup.
1 cup pumpkin seeds, cleaned and dried
Juice and zest from half a lime
1 tsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, making sure all pumpkin seeds are well coated. Spread seeds out flat on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, checking after 10 minutes to make sure they’re roasted, but not burning.
The ingredients here are really to-taste. If you prefer more flavor, you can add more chili powder of cayenne for an extra kick.
Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer
1 cup half and half
1 cup milk
½ cup pureed pumpkin
2 cinnamon sticks
4 Tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together half and half, milk, pumpkin and maple syrup. Add in cinnamon sticks and stir occasionally until ingredients start to steam. Do not let it boil or the milk could curdle.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Remove cinnamon sticks and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. This will keep about 7 days.
If you don’t have maple syrup, you can use about ¼ cup honey, stevia, agave or other sweetener. If you don’t have cinnamon sticks, you can use ground cinnamon, but it tends to clump. If you have cheesecloth, it would be best to strain the creamer before storing if you’re using ground cinnamon.
What’s your favorite pumpkin recipe?