So Long Sweet Summer

September 22, 2012

Pumpkin Perfection (Just in time for fall!)

It's officially the first day of fall, even if it still doesn't feel like it. Check out this wonderful addition from one of our awesome interns!

I don’t know about you, but for me nothing says Fall more than your favorite foods with a pumpkin twist. Looking beyond pumpkin’s festive appeal for Fall, they also provide numerous health benefits by preventing aging, as well as fighting against cardiovascular diseases. Rather than settling for an artificial pumpkin-flavoring mixed into your morning latte, you can prepare these easy and healthy recipes, that not only satisfy your pumpkin craving but you will still receive numerous health benefits. Pumpkins offer high-levels of proteins and essential fatty acids, which prevent disease and promote healthy skin. For those of you starting up the beginning of a new school year, a pumpkin filled breakfast serves as excellent “brain food,” for day packed with studies.

Rather than splurging with a piece of traditional Pumpkin pie, I found a wonderful website called “fit sugar,” that is based on a health-recipe group that has endless low-calorie versions of tasty and easy-to-make recipes for any of your favorite foods. After being on the pumpkin prowl in search of my favorite selections, I have picked a few of the front-runners to share with our Kitsch readers. ( ....And yes for our Vegan readers, believe it or not there is a Tofu-pumpkin pie so you can enjoy some healthy pumpkin pleasures in the dessert category as well!)

Pumpkin’d Oats
1/4 cup (40g) steel cut oats 1/2 cup water
pinch of salt 1/2 medium banana (I added 1/4 while the oats were cooking, and 1/4 as a topping, sliced into thin pieces)
1 tsp stevia
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice

1/4 cup canned pumpkin 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp flaxseed meal 1/2 small kiwi, peeled and sliced
1/2 tbsp (8g) sunflower seed butter pinch of sunflower seeds
handful of shredded oats or your favorite crunchy whole grain cereal

The night before you plan to eat the oatmeal: In a medium size pan, heat the oats, water, and salt over medium-high
heat, with a lid on. Once the mixture reaches a boil, turn the burner off. Make sure to keep a close watch, because a boil over can happen very quickly (speaking from experience). You do not want to lose half of your oats all over the
DO NOT REMOVE LID. This is very important. This keeps the moisture inside, which is going to continue to cook the oats. Leave the covered pot on the stovetop overnight. In the morning, turn the burner on to medium heat.
Once the mixture begins to simmer, approximately 5-6 minutes, stir in a 1/4 of the sliced banana. Continue to stir
often, almost whipping, until the banana breaks down and the mixture thickens. Once the oats have thickened to your desired consistency, turn the burner off and add the pumpkin, vanilla, stevia, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and
grated nutmeg while continuing to stir. Pour into a serving bowl and top with flaxseed meal, the rest of
the sliced banana, sliced kiwi, shredded oats, sunflower seeds, and sunflower seed butter.

Pumpkin Protein Spread
- 3 tbsp pumpkin (canned pumpkin) - 1 scoop of protein powder
-1 tbsp of Almond Butter -dash of cinnamon
Directions: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, and spread on a pita, waffles, or perfect for dipping apples into!
I put mine on a pita and added granola on top!

A Pumpking Thanksgiving Tofu Treat..
Although there may be some skeptics with this one, it’s very easy to make and after your puree everything together and bake it (you can
use a pre-made vegan crust from your health-food store) you can’t even tell the difference!

* 18 ounces lite extra-firm tofu
* 2 cups canned (or cooked) pumpkin * 2/3 cup honey
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract * 1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger * 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves * 1 9" reduced-fat prepared graham cracker crust

1) preheat oven to 350°
2) drain tofu. place in a food processor and process until smooth 3) add remaining ingredients. process until well-blended
4) pour into pie crust. bake for about an hour 5) remove from oven and chill until firm

What fall flavors are you most excited about!? 

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