Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pumpkin: yuck or yum?

As I was reading the Superfoods book, I flip the page and read "pumpkin" and my immediate reaction is "yuck!"  This opinion is based completely on pumpkin pie.  I have tried since I was 6 years old and the school cafeteria served pumpkin pie as part of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  All of the kids were so excited to get that little square of pie with a little dallop of Cool-Whip on top.  I dug in and was unimpressed to say the least.  Every Thanksgiving for years, I tried it hoping that I just hadn't had a good pumpkin pie.  Well, after at least 25 years of trying, I think it's safe to say that I just don't like pumpkin pie.

What's unfair though is to say that I don't like pumpkin.  Perhaps I just haven't had pumpkin in a way that appeals to me.  Ah, a new adventure begins!  Last fall, I cooked a sugar pumpkin, pureed it and froze it in a muffin tin (about 1/2 cup portions).  It has been sitting in my freezer without a purpose until this morning.  I decided that I would focus on pumpkin and try to make something that I would enjoy.  I generally feel like I make a good muffin, so that was a good place to start.  That, and I've had pumpkin bread in the past and thought I remembered liking it (the real reason I froze the pumpkin in the first place).  The following is my attempt.

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar (used evaporated cane juice)
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (mine was watery because I didn't cook it down completely, so if you use canned pumpkin, it might require some additional liquid)
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. milk
1 egg (I ended up using 2 tiny eggs, but it probably was equal to 1 large one)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (I don't know why I even own this, but thought this would be a reasonable place to use it)

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Mix wet ingredients.  Add dry ingredients.  Stir until just mixed through.  Fill muffin cups the way you normally would.  This seemed to make a slightly small batch that what I usually make.  I ended up with 31 mini muffins.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Check for doneness by gently poking the top of a muffin.  If it springs back, they are done.

The ones I made today did not have milk in them, but I found them a tad dry, so I will be adding the milk next time (as indicated above) to see if that moistens them up a bit.

Second part of breakfast:  smoothie.  I don't usually make a bad one, so this seemed like a good place to put pumpkin too.  Here's what I did.  You even get some play-by-play pictures. :)

1 1/2 cups yogurt (give or take, I didn't measure)
2 bananas
1 heaping cup of frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen pumpkin (I thawed it slightly so I didn't bind up the blender)
a big handful of fresh spinach
2 Tbsp. honey

I blended the banana, pumpkin and yogurt.

Then added the frozen blueberries

Next the spinach. Not that you can see it, but there are tiny green, spinach flakes in there, I swear!


And, finally the honey.

Sorry about the amount of smoothie in the picture of the finished product (at the top of the post).  The kids drank all but that.  Next time I'll take pictures first. LOL!


  1. yum! I love to puree up a butternut squash and use it for muffins, pancakes, waffles and pasta sauce. Mmmm makes me wanna go find one now!

  2. That is pure genius to put pumpkin in smoothies! I was just thinking it would be delicious to add pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla yogurt, and ice cubes to make a pumpkin pie "shake".

  3. Zaira: Tell me about your pasta sauce. My kids balk at squash unless I disguise it, so I'm always up for new ways to use it.

    Tightwad Mom: If you are going for the shake, just give in and use a scoop of ice cream instead of ice cubes. It might not be as healthy, but it would sure taste good! LOL!

  4. Love the pumpkin ideas. Anything to get those extra vitamins in there. I have a blog question, but don't see an e-mail for you. E-mail me at if you have time to answer. Thanks.

  5. Kristin, here's the one and only recipe we've tried. DH and I loved it, DS... not so much lol

  6. Zaira: Thanks. I'll give it a try and let you know how it turns out.


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