It never gets old…Pumpkin two ways.

Next Day Pumpkin Yogurt Parfait=Breakfast Bliss

Yup, I can’t help myself this time of the year. If you read my post last year, you know the frenzy that happens in this household once October hits.

It’s as though the second I see an orange gourd my eyes light up and visions of all things Halloween and multi-colored leaves about to sprout amongst us simply has me beaming.

I grew up with parents that truly made this a happy holiday, my grandmother made my costumes and there were always fairs, parades and the eventful ‘pumpkin carving night’. (Thanks mom and dad for making holidays such a blast-however, you might’ve suggested I not wear the pink leotard with bunny ears that one year.) I’ll share that pic here once I get my hands on it. 

Anyway, it’s always a joyous occasion to find new reasons to use the orange mush (aka:pumpkin guts blended up). Last year I told you to just toss a few spoonfuls in your oats,or blend it up in a smoothie, or roast it in chunks and make a glorious salad.

This year I baked it, somewhat custard style, somewhat desserty. It’s got a bit of grains to chew on but a hint of sweetness (don’t expect super coconut flavor, I thought the coconut milk would stand out, it didn’t).

Ready to be roasted

I didn’t know what to call this, but it’s healthy. Nuff said.

While many of my posts have included Nutrition Tidbits, if you head over to the pumpkin infused oatmeal, I said it all there (about the pumpkin that is). This time, why not fun facts? Change it up for a moment.

Did you know: 

  • Pumpkins are fruit.
  • The name pumpkin originated from “pepon” – the Greek word for “large melon.”
  • Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.
  • Colonists sliced off pumpkin tips; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie-(I know someone is going to try this at home).

Creamy, Pumpkinny, a little chewy and quite satisfying


RECIPE(s)

Pumpkin Custard

&

Next Day Pumpkin Parfait

Serves: makes 2-6 oz. ramekins (I also suggest doubling the recipe and using a small casserole dish).

Time: 30-40 minutes baking

Equipment:

9 x 24 glass baking dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (note: use the canned stuff if you wish, but why not use the real stuff?-the pioneer woman does a fantastic job on the break-down of how to roast a pie pumpkin).
  • 2/3 cup light coconut milk (options here, like soymilk or almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or other sweetener, i.e. rice syrup)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (make your own or McCormick does a good job).
  • 1/4 cup spelt flakes (alternatively use oats, or another grain-cooked)
  • a smear of coconut oil (optional-non-stick spray can also be used)
  • a sprinkling of toasted pecans (optional for topping-or try a sweetened version I used for my glazed pears)
  • 2 teaspoons crystalized ginger, chopped (optional)

Methods:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using your finger or a pastry brush if you refuse to get dirty and place a little coconut oil on the bottom of 2 ramekins.
  • Place all ingredients in a bowl except toppings, and stir to combine.

Spelt Flakes add a little nuttiness..

  • Pour the mix into the ramekins.
  • Take a glass baking dish and fill it with about 1-inch of a water bath. Place the ramekins inside and bake for 30-40 minutes. (NOTE: you’ll know it’s done when you stick a fork in halfway and nothing sticks to it.

That's some good stuff. Huge forkful!

  • For the topping, toast 1/4 cup pecans in the oven on a cookie sheet for ~5 minutes (possibly more, but don’t burn them). Alternatively, toast them on the stove in a non-stick pan on medium heat for the same time.
  • Add crystalized ginger on top and serve it up!
Tips:
  • You don’t necessarily need to use the spelt flakes or any grain if you just want the custardy style of this dish.
  • Play around with sweetness, milks, amount of spices, etc.
  • I”ll bet a maple infused greek yogurt (I’d use the topping from that recipe for this recipe….oh goodness!.
  • Try the rice syrup sweetened topping from my glazed pears…

For the Next day Parfait:
You’ll need these mix-ins:
  • Crystalized ginger, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), possibly chia seeds, Fage or other brand of greek yogurt (plain works quite nicely here), honey for drizzling (optional) a cool glass to build this treat in and a hungry belly.

Honestly, this is perhaps one of the best post-workout treats I’ve ever whipped up. Hello Breakfast, snack, random time of the day->TREAT!

ENJOY! 
-Jen

What’s your favorite way to use pumpkin or favorite post-workout treat?


Just a Holiday Recap…

Our Feast

The Holiday &“Overstuffing the Pie Hole.”

If I’m being frank, Thanksgiving is not my favorite of holidays, while I love the family atmosphere this holiday seems to celebrate the wrong thing, overstuffing yourself til you either pass out on a couch somewhere or are regretting that you ate 3 slices of pie and your skinny jeans now feel like a scuba suit does not a holiday make. I’m just sayin.

Don’t get me wrong, I obviously love food, I cook it, eat it, photograph it.  I guess there are some things a Dietitian thinks about more than the average person. Fine, I sometimes fall into that stereotype but I wouldn’t have it any other way. You’ll never catch me measuring out half a cup of rice, however, I’m likely more aware of how much I’m putting in my “pie hole.

My Turkey Day

What I typically cook up will be one or two dishes that are “healthy” and that I know I’ll eat at the same time it will make a huge hit with the family, then there’s the flip side, the “not so good for the waistline”dessert I love baking! I just don’t want the end product sitting on my counter all week!  I never said I was perfect.  In past years I’ve made such items as skinny pumpkin pie’s, cranberry apple sauce, maple roasted brussel sprouts (don’t let the word brussel sprout mislead you, those guys had butter all over them!) cheesecakes and salads.

Spiced Pumpkin PIe

The Girl Can Cook

This year I decided the two pie pumpkins hanging out on my ledge needed to be roasted and pureed, then served up in a pie and tossed in a salad, and I felt the need to try a new hazelnut spiced pumpkin pie!

Here’s my maple glazed roasted pumpkin and arugula salad (in case you missed it), such the perfect marriage between that peppery arugula, sweet pumpkin, creamy goat cheese and crunchy toasted pecans! Half my plate was filled with this. Oh how I love that arugula!


My Turkey Day Tactic

  • First, I eat breakfast, and maybe a snackthen workout in the morning.
  • Second, at mealtime I fill my my plate 3/4 of the way with veggies on turkey day (actually, most of the time), and I don’t eat the bird (I know, tragic) so we’ve got sweet potatoes, broccoli, huge portion of salad and some scalloped potatoes on the side.
  • Overall, I’m eatin veggies! I don’t waste my time on the rolls, bread, or other foods I can have any other time of the week.
  • Oh, and I usually leave somethin on my plate. You know we all eat with our “eyes” instead of our “stomachs” sometimes.
Leavin room for dessert…

Maybe this trick allows me the rights to eat more dessert, or maybe the 8 pies we had for 10 people had me glazed over at the site of them and I ate a lil more than I normally would. Everyone spent so much time in their kitchen it’s only right to have a smidgen of each dessert? Right?

I just have to share the leopard print carpet (my aunt’s choice!), oh and the abnormally large turkey!

 

Tell me this is a "naturally" large bird?

So there it is,

my Holiday Bonanza.

Nobody was overstuffed, there are always too many desserts, and nobody left with a button popped on their jeans.

HOW WAS YOUR HOLIDAY? WHAT WAS A MUST HAVE TO EAT?