Thursday, November 7, 2013

all things pumpkin

Before I get started I would just like to express my gratitude to this beautiful day and these stunning flowers that I get to gaze at over my computer screen as I construct this blog post. I couldn't ask for a better situation. And as promised, here are some pumpkin recipes! If you missed the last post, I baked a pumpkin, and you can too, check it out here.

I am totally a hummus addict, classic hummus, black bean hummus, beet hummus, herbed hummus, you name it. So naturally, I made this:

Pumpkin hummus

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
Throw all ingredients into your food processor and whizz. It will be very thick so add water as needed to get the consistency you want, I added about 3 to 4 Tbsp. Top with pepitas and choose your dipper (sesame thins were my weapon of choice). 

Yes, there is more! Vegan pumpkin cookies! Every year for as long as I've been out of my parents house I have made pumpkin cookies for Thanksgiving. They are light and fluffy and cakey, mmmmm. I usually do a non-vegan version with white chocolate chips but the times are changing and the cookies have to change too. This year's pumpkin cookies are egg and butter free with pecans and vegan carob chips, and they couldn't have turned out better!!

Vegan pumpkin cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup earth balance, at room temp.
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 6 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup vegan carob chips
First thing you want to do is mix the flaxseed meal with water and set it aside (this is your egg substitute). In a smaller mixing bowl combine all dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice. In a larger mixing bowl combine the sugar, maple syrup, earth balance, pumpkin, and vanilla. Then add the flax mixture. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, a little at a time, until fully combined. Now mix in the goodies: pecans and carob chips. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and spoon out cookie dough onto trays. Cookies should be 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool for 2-3 minutes before transferring to wire rack or plate. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Yum! These are so dangerous! I baked them at my mom's house and ended up eating 4 of them before I even got them home! Ooops! 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

pure pumpkin puree

It's officially fall! Not that it makes much of a difference here on maui, except that the waves are back, the weather is finally starting to cool off, and we just did some pumpkining! If you are wondering what pumpkining is, it's basically doing anything that involves a pumpkin. Baking, carving, roasting, toasting, smashing, etc. This year, instead of carving my large orange symbol of autumn, I decided to bake it! It's super easy, and now I have about 8 cups of homemade pumpkin puree in my freezer!

I have already made a pumpkin chili and some pumpkin energy balls, which I will get to later, and I am still planning on vegan pumpkin cookies and a vegan pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving (which is also my birthday this year!! woo hooo!). As for the pumpkin baking, it goes a little something like this...

Cut your pumpkin in half from top to bottom, scoop out all the innards (save the seeds to roast if you so desire), and cut out the top and bottom stems. 

Place halves face down on foil lined cookie sheet. I had to use two because mine was a rather large pumpkin, almost 9 pounds!

Bake at 400 degrees F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The skin will darken and separate from the flesh and you can test it by just poking it with a fork. It should be very soft! The bigger the pumpkin, the longer the cooking time. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool for easy handling. Peel off all of the skin and cut into chunks. Throw them into your food processor and puree! 

Store in airtight containers in the freezer, make sure you don't fill them too full though, the pumpkin still has a lot of water in it and will expand while freezing. 

I'm going to have lots of my own pumpkin recipes coming your way, but for now, I'd like to share one that wasn't my own, but that is rocking my world right now! These pumpkin spice energy bits are super easy and store and travel well!