I love this time of year – have I said that before?
I always enjoy the transition to fall ingredients, especially the sudden abundance of pumpkin. I usually celebrate with pumpkin-flavored lattes, beers, and of course pie. This year, I am inspired to use pumpkin even more. I am looking forward to snagging my Mom’s pumpkin soup recipe and making it on my own for the first time. I would also like to take a crack at this pumpkin coconut curry I have heard so much about. And there is a spicy fall stew baked in a pumpkin that I have wanted to make for two years. 2010 might be the year that I go for it.
For now, I am experimenting with a big can of 100% pumpkin puree. I am finding that it isn’t just for pie and that it’s a great ingredient to have in your pantry this time of year. Here are two ways that I used pumpkin puree today.
Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal with Walnuts
It is about to start raining here again for a few days. It isn’t always easy to jump out of bed in the morning when you are cozy under your covers and listening to the soft patter of the rain on the windows. This oatmeal is definitely worth the few minutes of extra preparation (a little more prep and a little less sleep).
1/2 cup oats
1 cup water
2-3 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp maple syrup (or 2 Tbsp if you have a sweet tooth)
A palmful of walnut pieces
1. Mix the oats, water, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple syrup in a microwave safe bowl or mug.
2. Microwave on high for 2.5-3 minutes or until cooked.
3. Top with walnuts and enjoy!
This is also tasty with the addition of a handful of raisins. I can’t wait to try it with chocolate chips too.
Pumpkin Coffee Smoothie
This is a great way to get that delicious pumpkin latte taste on the days that a cold beverage would be more satisfying than a big mug of pumpkin spice. In Central Virginia, we tend to have warm weather throughout October and I am not always in the mood for a hot drink. This was so fast and easy to make that I prepared it in about 5 minutes on my lunch break then hopped in my car to head back to the office. My coworkers looked at me kind of funny when I told them what I was drinking, but I think they were just jealous.
1 cup cold coffee
1/3 cup milk
3-4 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp brown sugar (oh yes…)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3-4 ice cubes
Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add one straw. Bliss.