Ditching the Canned Crap-Fearless Pumpkin Purée

*This is a previous post from my old blog

Tired of the canned pumpkin crap at the store and motivated by one organic sugar pumpkin, I decided to do something I’ve never done before–I made my own pumpkin purée. Thinking about doing this in the past led to stress and the fear that I just couldn’t take it on. It seemed too difficult. But after doing it just once, I realized how simple it is to do, how much better off I was with homemade puree and ended I up with FIVE recipes all from one 5 pound pumpkin. So take the time this Thanksgiving season to honor the pumpkin by bringing it off the doorstep and into the kitchen with these REAL pumpkin recipes. You’re sure to impress friends and family by using just one pumpkin to make five delicious recipes. No dyes or additives here, just real pumpkin purée, juice and seeds to put a twist on traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

Pumpkin Cake with Orange Walnut Frosting
Pumpkin Horchata
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds—Sweet or Spicy
Pumpkin Butter
Pumpkin Soup

~How to make your own Pumpkin Purée
It’s too easy not to make your own pumpkin purée. Forget the canned stuff this year and grab a 5-pound Sugar Pumpkin, any pumpkin will do but these are best for flavor, and take these simple steps to making your own fresh pumpkin purée. You will also be able to get pumpkin juice from your purée to use for the Savory Pumpkin Soup recipe below.
Image-1-3.jpg
Pumpkin Purée steps: roast, scoop, purée, put in sieve to drain.

Wash your pumpkin and cut off the stem. Then cut it in half horizontally.
Scoop out the seeds and guts. Set aside the seeds to make Roasted Seeds (recipe below) later.
Place the pumpkin halves, inside down, on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until the pumpkin can be pierced easily with a fork.
Let the pumpkin cool a bit then scrape the pumpkin out and transfer it to a food processor to be pureed.
After you’ve puréed it, put it in a sieve over a bowl for 45 minutes to remove the liquid. Save the liquid to make Savory Pumpkin Soup (recipe below) later.

Pumpkin Cake with Orange Walnut Frosting

Coconut palm sugar gives these bars the sweetness they need without damage that real sugar does to our bodies, especially during the holidays. This cake is also made without dairy so it won’t leave you feeling bogged down after an entire day of eating. Make sure to pick good oil such as certified organic coconut oil or safflower oil for baking. This makes all the difference to your health while holding the cake together and keeping it moist.
You will make room for a slice of this cake because it’s too good to resist—just hope you have leftovers.
Cake
*Organic ingredients when possible

My Pumpkin Horchata and Pumpkin Cake with Orange Walnut Frosting
1/2 cup homemade pumpkin purée from a 5-pound sugar pumpkin
1 cup safflower or coconut oil (melted and cooled)
1 1/2 cups coconut sugar
4 tablespoons ground flaxseed mixed with four tablespoons water to make ‘eggs’
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon each ginger, nutmeg, and cloves (combined in a small bowl prior to mixing in with other ingredients) or all-in-one non-GMO, organic pumpkin spice
2 cups 100% whole wheat flour
½ cup toasted chopped walnuts (toast at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes and cool before using)
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting
*Organic ingredients when possible
8 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) coconut spread
½ an orange to 1 orange, juiced
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup coconut sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
Orange zest, for topping

To make the frosting, mix roasted walnut pieces in a food processor until crumbled. Add the cream cheese, coconut spread, maple syrup, coconut sugar and salt and mix on low speed. Then pour in the orange juice little by little. You don’t want the frosting to be too watery so only use as much juice as it takes to make it spreadable. Put it in the fridge until the cake is cooled and ready to be frosted.

Pumpkin Cake with Orange Walnut Frosting
This pumpkin cake is a great twist on the traditional pumpkin pie. Made with coconut palm sugar and topped with a dairy-free, orange-walnut frosting keeps it low in fat and fructose.
Have a slice with an ice- cold glass of Pumpkin Horchata (recipe below).

Steps:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease cake pan.
Beat 4 tablespoons flaxseed with 12 tablespoons water to make “eggs” (1 tablespoon per 3 tablespoons of water). Let sit for five minutes.
Beat the oil and the sugar together until well blended in the large bowl.
Beat in the flaxseed “eggs” then the pumpkin purée.
Stir the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spice into the wet ingredients, then stir in the flour and combine.
Stir in the nuts and raisins.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it’s cooked through. Test with a toothpick.
Cool the cake completely before frosting.
Frost the cake and once the frosting has set, it’s ready to enjoy!

Iced Pumpkin Horchata
~Fills one large mason jar
*Organic ingredients when possible

½ cup homemade pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups almond milk
3 tablespoon coconut sugar
4 ice cubes
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon sticks for serving (optional)

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
*Organic ingredients

Spicy (left) Sweet (right)
Steps:
Wash and spin-dry your seeds.
Choose sweet or spicy and toss the oil with the spices and roast your seeds at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Sweet
1 tablespoon coconut spread or oil
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
Or…..
Spicy

½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
Cayenne pepper to taste

Pumpkin Butter
~Fills a large mason jar
*Organic ingredients when possible

My Pumpkin Butter

3 cups homemade pumpkin purée (see pumpkin purée directions above)
1 cup fresh apple juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground ginger
Steps:

Bring ¾ cup apple juice, cinnamon, ginger and cloves to a boil.
Add pumpkin puree and reduce heat to very low and simmer for 15 minutes stirring frequently so as not to burn it.
Stir in the rest of the apple juice, ¼ cup and take off heat once the juice has been absorbed.
Let cool in pan before transferring to jar to keep in your fridge for later use.
This pumpkin butter can be spread onto toast, bagels, stirred into your oatmeal or even topped on a cracker with a slice of salty cheese. However you have it, it’s sure to be a tasty treat that will give you a taste of Thanksgiving long after it’s passed.

Savory Pumpkin Soup
This warm soup uses the fresh juice from your roasted pumpkin giving it a subtle hint of pumpkin flavored lightly with green onions and salt. The ingredients offer simplicity, great flavor and nutrition. Top it off with some spicy roasted pumpkin seeds (recipe above) for a kick, and parsley, which packs even more nutrition into this delicious holiday dish.
Soup
~Makes enough soup for two
*organic ingredients when possible

My Savory Pumpkin Soup topped with Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup fresh pumpkin juice (see homemade pumpkin broth directions above)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon salt, adjust as needed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large, green onion, chopped
Parsley for topping (optional)
Spicy Pumpkin Seeds for topping (optional)

Steps:

Heat the oil and garlic in a saucepan until the garlic is fragrant then remove from heat.
Add juice, broth and milk and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down and add the salt as needed.
Stir in green onions and let sit on low heat until ready to eat. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and parsley.

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