It seems like Summer is slowly bowing out and Fall is starting to pop its head in. I grew up in Southern California so actually noticing a change in the seasons is sort of a big deal. Actually seeing trees change colors and walking on sidewalks covered in leaves while drinking coffee and feeling the crisp air is seriously romantic. Although I dread the rain that is about the hit us, I am concentrating on embracing one season at a time and enjoying Fall while it lasts.
Another fabulous thing about Fall – pumpkin! Pumpkin combined with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and other spices has become the quintessential treat of the season, and I am ALL about the celebration of those big orange squashes while they are in season. In addition to its incredible taste, pumpkin boasts some great health benefits!
- Vitamin A (and tons of it!) – One cup of cooked pumpkin has over 200% of your recommended daily intake
- Fiber – Eating pumpkin provides fiber that will keep you feeling fuller longer with fewer calories
- Potassium – Pumpkins contain more potassium than bananas, making them a great for refueling after a difficult workout
- Vitamin C
Pumpkin seeds also contain important nutrients, such as tryptophan, zinc, and antioxidants like Vitamin E.
The downside to Pumpkin Mania? There are MANY pumpkin flavored and themed “foods” that flood our stores this time of year that do not contain any real pumpkin. This means you aren’t actually getting the health benefits of eating real pumpkin. And how do you flavor something without actually including the item the product is supposed to taste like? Chemicals. No bueno. So, please, be mindful of how you enjoy the pumpkin craze and don’t get duped into consuming garbage.
One of my favorite things to make with pumpkins is pumpkin butter. I can slather, blend, and spoon that stuff into just about anything. Oats with a dollop of pumpkin butter, toast with pumpkin butter, apple slices dipped in pumpkin butter, and my favorite, Chocolate Shakeology with pumpkin butter and spices.
I am typically not very brave in the kitchen when I am trying new recipes (what IS that?! I am trying to let go of my fear of messing up…one meal at a time! 🙂 ). I love to follow the book, so to make my first batch of pumpkin butter I used the ever-so-fabulous blog, Oh She Glows, as a guide. It turns out making pumpkin butter at home with whole ingredients is a breeze and now I cannot WAIT to make this again with various additions. I’m dreaming of a pumpkin butter with coffee and chocolate….because coffee. And chocolate. STAY TUNED! Making pumpkin butter will also make your home the coziest smelling place on the block! Nothing says Fall more than this recipe. I hope you enjoy 🙂
Roasted Pumpkin Butter
By Oh She Glows
- 1 small-ish pumpkin (I think mine was about 4 pounds?)
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3-4 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- First, roast the pumpkin.
- Preheat the oven to 350*
- Cup the top off of the pumpkin and slice it in half. Be safe and use a *sharp* knife.
- Scoop out the seeds and guts and save the seeds to roast
- Brush the inside of the pumpkins with a little oil and place face down on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the skin is easily pierced with a fork.
- Allow the pumpkin to cool a bit and then peel the skin off and discard.
- Add the pumpkin to your blender. Add the apple cider and blend until smooth.
- Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg and blend until smooth.
- Place the mixture into a pot and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and cook for about 10 minutes. Be careful, the mixture may splatter a little. Use a lid to partially cover the pot or a mesh splatter guard.
- Remove the butter and stir in the vanilla. Allow the butter to cool completely and stir in the lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt.
- Store in sealed jars in the refrigerator and enjoy on everything!!!