Monday, October 14, 2013

It's All About the Pumpkin

Ahhh, after a few weeks of writing, I know why I decided to start my blog when I did... Fall is the absolute best time of year to start eating more plant-based foods! Seriously! Who doesn't love squash, apples, potatoes, maple, cinnamon, and PUMPKIN... the flavors of fall are amazing! Even if you aren't a vegetarian, you probably aren't even missing the meat in my recipes. After a season of burgers and barbeque, the only meat that is really associated with fall is turkey. And let's be honest, on Thanksgiving everyone is far more excited about the pumpkin pie than the turkey.

Well, I noticed that I was starting to collect a backlog pumpkin recipes. After serious thought, I decided that rather than spreading them out, I'd just embrace it and give you a concentration of recipes and along the way explain why pumpkin is good for you. Most of us think of pumpkin as a junk food since it's most commonly associated with the sugar and fat in pumpkin pie but the nutritional value of pure pumpkin is actually really high. Pumpkin is a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese, as well as vitamins A, C, E, and K. Pumpkin can potentially stabilize your blood sugar and reduce your blood pressure and the antioxidants in pumpkin show potent free radical scavenging activity.

Pumpkin Butter Sorbet

1c organic Turbinado sugar (in general, I prefer brown sugar to white, since it's less processed. But in sorbet, brown sugar will turn everything a sad brown color. Even darker than what I have)
1 can pumpkin puree
4c water
generous amounts of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Heat over high heat, constantly stirring until you reach a steady boil. Keep at a rolling boil for 1- 2 minutes. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and let the magic happen!

Easy Pumpkin Butter

1/2c pumpkin puree
1/4c apple sauce
3T brown sugar
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves to taste
maple syrup to taste (I used ~1/4c)
1/4t apple cider vinegar (this will help it keep longer)

Pumpkin butter is super-easy... who knew?! Just mix the ingredients and let the fall flavors combine overnight.

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