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The Great Pumpkin!

Versatile Fruit Isn't Just for Halloween

There are very few fruits as versatile as pumpkin. Aside from being a great source of entertainment, pumpkin is actually very nutritious! Low in calories, fat and sodium, but high in fibre, pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene, B vitamins and potassium.  The seeds are very high in protein and an excellent source of iron and zinc. October is pumpkin harvest month so visit The Menu Planner online for recipes the whole family will enjoy.

PUMPKIN MUFFINS - GLUTEN FREE

 

Ingredients:

  • 1  14 oz can pure organic pumpkin
  • 1 ½ cups brown rice flour
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax
  • 1 ½ baking soda
  • 1 ½ baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon all spice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ cup butter or coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cup sucanat
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 cup cashews (optional)

Directions:

  • Cream butter and sucanat together.
  • Add pumpkin. Mix well.
  • Add eggs and mix again.
  • Mix the brown rice flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg together.
  • Add to the wet mixture and mix.
  • Add the coconut milk. Mix again.
  • Fold in nuts.
  • Grease muffin pan and fill each cavity ¾ full.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 min or until muffins spring back when touched in the centre.

 


PUMPKIN AND MACADAMIA SOUP

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon macadamia or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped macadamias
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 3 cups diced pumpkin
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Plain yogurt for serving
  • Whole or halved macadamias, roasted for garnish

Directions

  • Heat oil in a heavy based pan, add the macadamias, onion and ginger and saute for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Add the pumpkin and apple and cook 2-3 minutes then pour over the stock.
  • Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.
  • Transfer mixture to a blender and process until smooth and creamy.
  • Serve in large bowls with a swirl of yogurt and a few roasted macadamias tossed over for garnish.

Serves four to six

 


PUMPKIN HUMMUS

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-ounce canned pumpkin (or fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  • In a food processor, combine ingredients until smooth and creamy.
  • If hummus is too thick, you can add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency.
  • Spoon into serving bowl, and sprinkle with desired topping like cinnamon, red pepper, or more parsley.

 


PUMPKIN PIE

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin puree** or 1  14 oz (398 ml) pure canned organic pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sucanat or 1 1/4 cup maple syrup or mix 50/50
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt

For pumpkin puree: Look for small cooking “pie pumpkins” which are a special variety different from Halloween pumpkins and have a texture similar to a Hubbard squash. You can also use a Hubbard squash or a 50/50 combination of pie pumpkin and Hubbard squash.

To cook the pumpkin:

  • Cut the pumpkin in half and place both halves into a rectangular baking dish. Fill the baking dish with water about 1/3” deep. Cover the pumpkins with aluminum foil.
  • Bake for about one hour or until the insides are very soft. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • Scoop out the seeds. These can be rinsed off, sprinkled lightly with seasalt and roasted for a nice snack.
  • Once the seeds have been removed, scoop out the pumpkin and place two cups cooked pumpkin in a food processor or blender and puree.


Note: One small pie pumpkin may not yield two cups of puree so two pumpkins will probably be required to make a pie. Any excess can be frozen and used for soup
or muffins.

Directions:

  • Mix all the ingredients together and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour pumpkin filling into a 9 “pie shell.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 30 minutes.
  • Let cool and serve while still slightly warm. Serve with whipped cream, whipped
  • coconut milk, or vanilla ice cream.

Serves 8

 


PUMPKIN SESAME GREEN BEANS

Along with the garlic and pumpkin seeds, rosemary transforms ordinary green beans into an exceptional dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
  • Pinch of seasalt and pepper

Directions:

  • In a large pot steam beans for 7-10 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add pumpkin seeds and cook until brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add sesame seeds, garlic and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add green beans and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
  • Season with seasalt and pepper.

 


PUMPKIN SOUP WITH DRIED CRANBERRIES

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tart green apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 can (28oz/796ml) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon seasalt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup plain yogurt

Directions:

  • In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat. Cook celery, apples, onion, carrot and ginger for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir in pumpkin, half of the cranberries, seasalt, pepper, cinnamon and 6 cups of water; bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  • Transfer in batches, to food processor and puree until smooth.
  • Garnish each bowl with 1-2 Tablespoons yogurt and sprinkle with remaining cranberries
  • Makes 8 servings

SPICED PUMPKIN RICE PUDDING

This pudding is rich and creamy enough to serve as a dessert, but nutritious enough to eat for breakfast as a cooked cereal. Its tastes great cold from the refrigerator and is also delicious warm.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) rice (or millet)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) plain or vanilla soy, rice or almond milk
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) pumpkin purée (canned, fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 12-oz (400-ml) can coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) light agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) ground ginger
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) ground nutmeg

Directions:

  • In small saucepan, place rice (or millet), soy, rice or almond milk and water.
  • Bring to boil over medium-high heat then remove from heat.
  • Whisk in pumpkin. Add coconut milk, agave, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine.
  • Pour into greased or sprayed casserole dish; cover.
  • Bake in preheated 350F (180C) oven 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
  • Let stand, uncovered, at least 20 minutes before serving. Stir again before serving.
  • Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.
  • Makes 6 servings.

 

Michelle Weir is a Holistic Nutritonist & Live Cell Microscopist at BLUEPRINT Holistic Health clinic in Midtown Toronto. www.blueprintwellness.ca