Okay, my previous post concentrated on all the health benefits of pumpkin and pumpkins seeds and reasons why you should be adding more of them into your diet. Today the fun begins! Here are some healthy (some more than others) and tasty ways of getting more of the big orange Halloween staple into your tummy.
First, why not start off your day with pumpkin pancakes, thanks to this recipe from Vitacost.com….
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pancakes
- 1 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill or Pamela’s Gluten-free Pancake Mix
- 1 tsp organic cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 large egg or vegan egg replacer
- 1 Tbsp Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Sucanat Brown Sugar, packed (you might also try coconut crystals)
- ¾ cup organic canned pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp organic coconut oil
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (I like Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla) or water
- Optional topping: raw pecan halves
In a medium-sized bowl, combine pancake mix and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and brown sugar, then add pumpkin, oil and almond milk. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix together to make batter. There may be a few more lumps than your typical pancake batter, but don’t fret.
Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a skillet on medium-high. Add 1/3 cup batter to make each pancake. When batter starts to bubble, flip over and cook until browned. Top with pecans, if desired. Enjoy!
FYI, you can get all the ingredients for the pancakes at discount prices through Vitacost.com.
And here’s a recipe for pumpkin hummus from VegNews Magazine and cookbook author John Schlimm. Unbeknowst to me, apparently there is pumpkin-flavored vodka, which this recipe calls for. I’m sure it would be just as good, although maybe a little tamer, without that particular ingredient….
Spicy Pumpkin Hummus – Serves 8
2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and thoroughly drained
1 14-ounce can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, or more to taste
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup pumpkin-flavored vodka
Toasted whole-wheat pita bread, for serving
Vegetable sticks, for serving
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except pita and vegetable sticks. With an immersion blender, purée for about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula. Serve with pita and vegetable sticks.
For those purists who want to use fresh pumpkin, not canned, here’s a soup recipe that got great reviews….
Special Pumpkin Soup
2 medium pumpkins (for recipe)
1 large pumpkin (for tureen)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 cup half and half
Toasted pumpkin seeds, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the 2 medium pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds, and place skin-side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until soft. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh into food processor and puree until smooth. Pour pureed pumpkin into a saucepan and add the chicken broth, water, maple syrup and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the top off the large pumpkin to create the soup tureen. The hole should be wide enough to fit a ladle. Hollow out the seeds, checking for holes and lining with plastic, if necessary. Remove the soup from heat and stir in the half and half. Pour the soup into the pumpkin tureen and serve garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds.
See the reviews and tips from readers for this recipe at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-specials/pumpkin-soup-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
PERSONAL NOTE: Seems like the recipe would be less work, albeit less impressive, if you forego using a real pumpkin as the tureen for serving.
And a tasty vegan and gluten-free main dish…
Thai Pumpkin Curry with Citrus Notes (Vegan/Gluten-Free)
(from Be Well Buzz) This vegetarian curry offers an array of bright colors – orange, yellow, and red – infused with citrus accents. You’ll love the delicious taste of this curry, as well as its healthy combination of vegetables, including pumpkin or squash, yam/sweet potato, carrots, yellow bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes. Makes a perfect vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe, but is equally yummy any time of the year. It can be prepped and cooked in around 30 minutes.
- 1/2 small pumpkin (or substitute 1 acorn squash, butternut, or any other orange squash except spaghetti)
- 1 small or 1/2 large yam or sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1-2 medium carrots, cut into thick slices
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 can chick peas, drained
- 2 Tbsp. grated orange rind
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- 1-2 fresh red chillies (or substitute fresh green chilies, OR 1-2 tsp Thai chili sauce)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tsp. tamarind paste (or substitute 1 Tbsp. lime juice)
- 2+1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce (use wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets)
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- juice of 1/2 lime
- juice of 1 medium orange
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or substitute apple cider vinegar)
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander seeds, 1 Tbsp. ground cumin, and 1 tsp. fennel seed
- 1/3 purple onion, sliced
- handful of fresh basil leaves
- optional: 1 Tbsp. roasted pumpkin seeds and a few nasturtium flowers (or other edible flowers)
- To make the curry sauce, place all sauce ingredients together in a food processor (or blender if you don’t have a processor). Process well. Set aside.
- Prepare pumpkin or squash by cutting it open and scooping out the seeds with a spoon. Either save the seeds for roasting, or discard. Cut the pumpkin/squash into cubes, slicing off the skin. You will probably only use 1/3 to 1/2 a pumpkin for this recipe (save the rest in the refrigerator for cooking later).
- Prepare the rest of the vegetables plus the orange rind.
- Place the pumpkin (or squash), yam, and carrots in the wok/frying pan together with the curry sauce over medium-high heat. Stir well.
- When the curry begins to boil, reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally. Allow to simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until vegetables have softened.
- Add the bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, chick peas, and orange rind, stirring to incorporate. Simmer for 2 more minutes.
- Do a taste test for salt and spice. If not salty enough, add a little more soy sauce. If not spicy enough for your taste, add more fresh chilli (or chili sauce). If too sour, add a little more sugar.
- To serve, scoop into a large serving bowl, or portion out on individual plates. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and pumpkin seeds, then top with several nasturtium flowers (if using). Serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice (white or brown), and enjoy this colorful and fragrant Thai dish!
And from Primarily Inspired, a grain-free, dairy-free, no-refined-sugar pumpkin treat…
Pumpkin Roll – 10 servings
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (you can sub pure honey, as well)
¼ cup coconut oil or butter or ghee
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Dairy Free Maple Coconut Whipped Cream Filling:
2 cans of full-fat coconut milk, chilled in the fridge for at least one night (do NOT use light coconut milk!)
4 tablespoons pure maple syrup (you can sub honey as well)
1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
Cream Cheese Maple Whipped Filling:
1 8 ounce package cream cheese
¼ cup pure maple syrup or honey
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla and coconut oil. Mix together the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice. Combine the wet and dry ingredients together and stir until combined.
Line a 15×10 jelly roll style pan with parchment paper (very important!). Let some parchment paper hang over the ends. Pour your pumpkin mixture into the pan. With a spatula, even out the mixture so it’s nice and flat in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool for a few minutes. Don’t let it completely cool (also very important!). You still want it to be warm.
This is the tricky part. Using your parchment paper, start with the small side of the pumpkin roll (the 10 inch side) and roll up with the parchment paper and all. Mine did crack at a few places, but that’s ok. Just roll it up nice and tight in the parchment paper and let it cool.
Now it’s time to make the filling.
Dairy free whipped filling directions:
Your coconut milk will whip the best when the cans are chilled in the fridge for at least one day. I also put my bowl and mixers in the freezer for at least an hour to help it along. Get just the cream out of the coconut milk can by pouring the water out. Dump the cream into your mixing bowl and mix in the rest of the filling ingredients. Whip until smooth and soft peaks have formed. Depending on your coconut milk, you may or may not need a thickener. The mixture without a thickener will also get harder in the fridge, so you do not need a thickener if you don’t want to add one. I did go ahead and added 1 tablespoon of arrowroot and it made it just the consistency that I was looking for.
Cream cheese whipped filling directions, if you are using the dairy version:
Whip together ingredients until smooth and creamy – about 10 minutes.
Once your roll is cool, unwrap and spread your filling all over it until there’s a nice layer on it. If you made the dairy free option, you will not use all the filling. Just spread a nice layer over the pumpkin and save the rest of the filling – you can use it on top of my oh so yummy grain free pumpkin pancakes recipe, in coffee as a special treat, on top of a sweet potato or squash, or just eat it right out of the bowl
Once the filling is spread all over, now it’s time to roll it back up. I used the parchment paper again to help aid me in making a nice tight roll. But, this time around, do NOT roll the parchment paper up with the roll. My roll did crack in a few places, but that’s ok. Just roll it up nice and tight. I also used some plastic wrap to get it even tighter and then you want to place in the fridge for at least an hour. Enjoy!
For more on how this recipe came about: http://www.primallyinspired.com/no-grains-no-dairy-no-refined-sugar-pumpkin-roll/
PERSONAL NOTE: It may not look quite as exciting, but I had the thought of just making this recipe like a sheet cake and foregoing the roll part. Seems like it would make things a whole lot easier and taste just the same. 🙂
And from Certified Emotion Code/Body Code Practitioner Meghan Birt, here’s a recipe for grain-free pumpkin bread….
Grain-free Pumpkin Bread
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons Stevita stevia
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (or organic butter)
2 Tablespoons raw honey (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan with butter or coconut oil
- In a food processor pulse the dry ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, stevia, baking soda and salt. I like to put it in the food processor because it is like sifting the flour
- Add the pumpkin puree and eggs and coconut oil to the food processor and mix for 20 seconds
- Add the honey, which is optional. It will make the batter a little smoother, but it is not necessary
- This bread batter will be a little thicker from all of the coconut oil, but will cook up really well
- Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
- Refrigerate this bread after it cools because it will go bad quickly because of the pumpkin and there’s no preservatives in it
For more on this recipe: http://www.healerslibrary.com/news/articles/feed-health-grainfree-fall-pumpkin-bread-2/
And to end on, a recipe from MamaNatural.com meant to rival Starbuck’s version of the same thing….
Pumpkin Spice Latte
1 shot of espresso or 4 oz. of very strong coffee
3/4 cup of raw milk (can replace with non-dairy alternative)
3 TB organic pumpkin puree
1 TB of real maple syrup
5 drops of stevia (or you can add another 1/2 TB of maple syrup)
1/8 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg, cardamom)
1/8 tsp. of vanilla extract
Pinch of coconut sugar for topping
Read more here: http://mamanatural.com/pumpkin-spice-latte/
FYI, you can get many of the ingredients for these recipes at discount prices at Vitacost.com, one of my favorite on-line places. If you shop at Vitacost, sign up for a free account at eBates.com beforehand, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, if you are new to Vitacost and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use; eBates also gives a gift card or some other “prize” when you place your first order of $25 or more. How does it get any better than that?!
iHerb.com is another good discount place to shop (use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off, plus can choose something from their free samples and take advantage of their wonderful trial offer section). Shipping is free on orders of $20 or more.
And be sure to read my previous post on the health benefits of pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, if you haven’t done so already. It includes a link to a pesto recipe using pumpkin seeds:
And this post includes a recipe for an Abundance Bowl that has a yummy pumpkin seed sauce that could be used on a lot of different foods:
p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.
Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.