Tuesday, 29 November 2011

1st Step is Admitting: I have a pumpkin addiction...

The beginning of fall marks a very exciting time for me, PUMPKIN!!! Pumpkin Spiced tea at Tim Horton's comes out, Pumpkin Chai at David's, Pumpkin soups at restaurants, pumpkin smells, pumpkin decorations, and my excuse to make as many things out of pumpkin as possible! It's best to eat fruits and vegetables with the seasons right? So, there we go, pumpkin is definitely a fall fruit :)

As I felt winter creeping in a few days ago (IT SNOWED) I suddenly had to urge to preserve some fall left and go crazy with the pumpkin at breakfast time. I opened a can of pumpkin puree (I love fresh pumpkin but the chopping part always leaves me with bandaged fingers :( ). So, that morning I used canned and began the pumpkin frenzy! Pumpkin Teff Pancakes, Pumpkin Pie Smoothie and Pumpkin Chai Tea :) mmmmmmmmmmm Only later, to make some delicious Pumpkin Coconut Soup :)

Honestly, I am still not pumpkined out. Can you make pumpkin a verb? I think in my case, yes! Not only is this squash super-duper delicious, it has tons of nutritional benefits as well. It is loaded with vitamin A, antioxidant carotenoids (especially beta and alpha-carotenes known to be an anti-inflammatory agent and to slow the aging process, respectively), potassium, vitamins C, K, and E, and lots of minerals including iron, potassium and magnesium.

Pumpkin also provides about 3.5 grams of fiber for half a cup serving. Not to mention, a full cup serving only has about 40 calories, so for those weight conscious people, it's guilty free indulgence (provided the source is not from from pumpkin pie).

Without further ado, RECIPES :) (All three recipes are vegan and gluten free!)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie-of-Life (Gluten Free and Vegan)

2 ice cubes
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 frozen banana
1 Tbsp chia seed
Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice or cloves)
1 scoop Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened Almond Milk)
1 Tbsp bee pollen (optional)

Place all ingredients into a blender or Magic Bullet in order listed. Blend on high until smooth, let set a few minutes for chia seeds to bulk up. Sprinkle with bee pollen and enjoy :)

Pumpkin Spice Teff Pancakes (Gluten Free and Vegan)

1/2 cup Teff Flour
1/8 cup Tapioca Starch
2 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup warm water

1 Tbsp of oil to cook pancake in (I used coconut oil)

Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl (Teff flour, tapioca starch, flax seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, baking powder, and baking soda).
Once mixed, add vanilla, pumpkin and water. I used a fork to stir with and achieved the perfect consistency.

Warm a skillet on medium heat with oil in it. Place approx. 1/4 cup of batter on skillet and level out with the back of a spoon.

Wait for bubbles to appear and flip pancakes to other side. Cook for another minute of two on this side.

Top with maple syrup or almond butter or even apple butter tastes delicious on these pancakes!

Comforting Pumpkin Coconut Soup (Gluten Free and Vegan)

1 onion diced
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil (or other light tasting vegetable oil)
2 cups of reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cummin
1/2 tsp ginger
Salt and pepper to taste

Warm oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until onion is soft and golden in color.
Add remaining ingredients, stir and simmer over reduced heat for about 30 to 40 minutes.

Option: Add cooked quinoa to the soup to bulk it up and adds protein as well :)

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