I love pumpkin – the smell of it baking, knowing how nutrient-dense it is – but I’ve never been a fan of pumpkin pie. If you’re looking to expand your pumpkin repertoire, or just need a few ways to make your house smell warm and delicious as the weather turns cold, here are five ways to get your pumpkin fix – minus the pie.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
Pumpkin spice lattes are all the rage every fall, but who can afford to buy one every day? Here’s a delicious way to save a few dineros this winter.
3 cups whole milk, warmed
1 Tbsp. sugar, or to taste
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4-1 cup double-strength brewed coffee
pumpkin pie spice, for dusting
Combine the hot milk, sugar, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice in a blender; blend until frothy. Pour the mixture into 2-3 coffee mugs, filling them about 2/3 full. Divide the coffee between the mugs, and top with whipped cream and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. Serves 2-3.
Maple Pumpkin Pie Granola
It’s worth making this recipe just for the way it makes your house smell – better than any potpourri. And so seasonal to munch on for breakfast or straight-up snacks. Adapted from twopeasandtheirpod.com.
4 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup nuts and seeds, such as almonds, pecans, walnuts and pumpkin seeds
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1 tsp. vanilla or maple extract
3/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat the oven to 325° F.
In a large bowl, toss the oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, maple syrup and vanilla. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until well combined; spread out on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden. Remove from the oven and stir in the cranberries, then set aside to cool. Makes about 2L.
Starbucks-Style Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins
Another coffee shop creation you can make at home. Thanks to my sister for the recipe!
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. flour
1 14 oz. (398 ml) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour (all-purpose, whole wheat or a combination)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg (if you’re not using pumpkin pie spice)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
In a large bowl, mix the pumpkin, sugar, oil, egg and vanilla. In another bowl, stir together the dry ingredients; add to the pumpkin mixture and stir just until combined.
Fill paper-lined muffin cups and if you like, sprinkle with coarse sugar. If you’re filling them, poke a hole in the top of each with the handle of a wooden spoon and add a small spoonful of the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 25 minutes, or until springy to the touch.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen muffins.
Roasted Pumpkin & Pear Soup with Goat Cheese
1 small sugar pumpkin or butternut squash
2 ripe pears
a dab of butter
1 small onion
1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and chopped
1 L chicken or vegetable stock
goat cheese, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Peel and chop the pumpkin or squash and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. If you like, core and quarter the pears and add them to the sheet too. Drizzle everything with oil and toss with your fingers to coat. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until soft and golden on the edges.
In a medium saucepan or small pot, heat a drizzle of oil with a blob of butter over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for a few minutes, until soft. Add the ginger and cook for another minute. Add the roasted squash and pears (if they’re raw, just chop and toss them in, skins and all) and enough stock to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until everything is very soft. Add a big pinch of salt and puree with a hand-held immersion blender (or transfer in batches to a regular blender) until smooth. Serve hot, sprinkled with crumbled goat cheese.
Pumpkin Spice Bread Pudding
1 cup pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
One large day-old loaf of crusty bread, challah or brioche, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
½ cup raisins
Whipped cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter six ramekins, small oven-proof dishes or custard cups.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt. Toss in the bread cubes, and stir gently to evenly coat; stir in the raisins. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, stirring once or twice.
Divide among prepared dishes and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden, puffed and set. Serve warm, with whipped cream. Serves 6.