Pumpkin Possibilities

This week we all got a sugar baby pumpkin in our CSA box to celebrate the Halloween Harvest!  These little wonders are not for carving, they are built for tasting!  This recipe is super easy and our freshly roasted pumpkin puree adds vitamins and fiber to a sweet treat – a nice trade off! I had this at party over the weekend and modified it for using fresh pumpkin puree.  You can watch the kids gobble up this treat with fiber, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A, C, and B-6.

You might also consider the following ideas for incorporating more pumpkin into your diet.  You can add it to soups, stews, or chili; use it to replace some of the fat in your favorite baked good recipe; or add to yogurt or oatmeal. The flavor might be subtle, but the nutrition you are adding is powerful!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

Pumpkin Dip

Roasted Pumpkin Puree

1 sugar baby pie pumpkin (about 1 1/2-2 lbs)

Remove the pumpkin stem and with a large sharp knife split the pumpkin
in half. Scoop the guts and seeds out (I roast the seeds along side the pumpkin) and place the
cut sides down on a foil or parchment lined cookie sheet or baking dish.
Roast at 350 for 45-60 minutes until soft and tender when pierced with
a knife. If you are roasting the seeds, pull those out at 30 minutes or they will burn.  (Put the Candied Pecans in for the last 10 minutes – see below for recipe)

Let cool and scoop the cooked pumpkin away from the skin into
a 2 cup glass measuring cup. You should wind up with about 2 cups of
pumpkin.

For the Dip

8 oz of cream cheese – you can use lowfat or vegan
1-2 cups of confectioners sugar (depending on the level of sweetness you like, 1 cup was more than enough)
2 cups of mashed pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Let the cream cheese come to room temperature.  In a food processor process the cream cheese and sugar, then add pumpkin and spices and process until smooth.  Refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving, top with candied pecan bits and serve with dippers of your choice.

Candied Pecan Bits – Topping

1 cup of raw pecans
1 T coconut or brown sugar
1 T maple syrup
1 T melted butter

Melt the butter in a small skillet or saucepan, add sugar and syrup, stir and then then pecans and coat with the butter/sugar mixture.  Roast on baking sheet with pumpkin for 10 minutes.  Let cool and chop into bits.

Possible Dippers

Apple Slices
Pretzels
Graham Crackers
Ginger Snaps (for gluten free, try Annie’s Ginger Snap Bunnies)
Shortbread Thins
Cinnamon Pita Chips
Animal Crackers

 

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