Tag Archives: pumpkin

Creamy Pumpkin Pancakes

I’m ready for the change of seasons.  I happily welcome Fall… and all its wonderful seasonal produce! Not to mention the color of the leaves… the crisp autumn air… the promise of gathering with family… even just the idea of an enticing aroma being emitted from a warm kitchen on a chilly day fills me with – for lack of better words – the spirit of the season!

Today is October 1… also known as World Vegetarian Day. Celebrate all walks of life by eating a meatless meal tonight, whatever it may be!  (Earn extra good karma points by having a vegan meal!)

If you haven’t noticed, my family likes breakfast foods a lot! Pancakes aren’t just considered a breakfast food in our home… sometimes we even eat them for dinner.  I usually throw some tempeh or soy-sage on the side for some added goodness. Pancakes are one of those meals that I can count on my kids more or less cleaning their plates, so anything I can mix into the batter to give some added nutrients is a plus.  (That reminds me – I recently read somewhere that recommended making pancakes using fresh carrot juice instead of milk.  I want to try that!)

October always puts me in the mood for cooking with pumpkin. Maybe because they are orange, or because of Halloween, or maybe cause I know we’ll be watching ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’  soon. And since we’re talking about it, I don’t blame Linus at all for believing in the Great Pumpkin.  After all, pumpkins are full of vitamins that help healthy vision, bone growth, reduce the risk of cancer & signs of aging, and offer protection against heart disease. They are loaded with vitamin A and antioxidants; they are also a good source of vitamins B, C, K, and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods, pumpkins were found to be so prized by Native Americans for their nutritional value that pumpkins were often buried with the dead to provide them with sustenance in the next world. So… what’s not to believe in? Come to think of it, maybe they should’ve named that movie “It IS the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – and don’t you forget it!”

These pumpkin pancakes are so creamy they literally melt in your mouth.  I like to use almond milk and top the pancakes with chopped pecans. They are best cooked silver-dollar size… and eaten immediately, of coarse!

Creamy Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp sugar or liquid sweetener
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • < 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup or more pumpkin puree… I like to use 1/2 can of pumpkin (one can = about 2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pecans for topping (optional)

Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl. Mix wet (including pumpkin) in small bowl. Mix wet into dry. Cook silver dollar size pancakes on a hot griddle.  Top with chopped pecans & maple syrup! Devour!

It’s easy to turn a simple pumpkin pancake into a Halloween-inspired breakfast if so desired!

(To make a super easy pumpkin face, you could draw curved lines down the pumpkin from top to bottom using a chocolate chip.  I threw these “pumpkins” together in a real jiffy, hence the simple banana jack-o-lantern face… You could also easily make a face using chopped nuts or cut pieces of dried fruit – like apricots or mangos – or even small triangles of dark chocolate! Mmmm!)

If you are more of a waffle person, try these delicious pumpkin waffles!

Be Thankful for Pumpkin Pie

Ahhh… it’s that time of year again when we are getting ready to give thanks (which lets face it, should be a daily goal for all of us). I am considering a new name for this holiday of feasting – ThanksLiving Day.  The name makes sense to me since really what the day is about giving thanks to ALL living things  🙂

I stumbled across this awesome little coloring zine on another blog and I just have to share.  You should totally order one (they are only $5) if you have kids, especially if they are vegetarian or vegan (it has a veggie theme).  It is simple & cute (and will help keep the kids busy will you’re busy cooking)! It also poses the questions what can we do to peacefully live together and give thanks for our world, & makes the idea of growing, cooking & eating vegetables exciting and fun! You can get your own at www.thorathinks.com

I cant wait to cook a meatless vegan feast for my family this year.  My Thanksliving feast is usually pretty traditional .. turkey (I make my own homemade tofu “turkey”, though I also enjoy Tofurkey’s boxed Tofurky), stuffing, 2-3 vegetable dishes and of coarse some kind of delicious pie.  I always try to make everything homemade for the best quality.

This year I am making a pumpkin pie to bring to my mothers for our yearly family feast.  I have concocted a new recipe to meet all my family’s food-needs, so this pie will be vegan, and also soy & gluten-free.  Most vegan pumpkin pies use tofu (regular pumpkin pies contains eggs) but it is really easy to make one without tofu.  I am going the easy route for the gluten-free crust (in order to avoid having to buy 5 different kinds of flour) and am planning on using a gluten-free pie crust mix (though I will have to veganize some of the add-ins, like replacing the eggs & butter with Egg-replacer and a special kind of Earth Balance margarine that is soy-free & dairy free).

I am not going to lie – the crust shown in the pictures is not gluten-free, however, there should be no problems in replacing the crust for a gluten-free one.  The pie crust pictured is a ready-made frozen brand called WhollyWholesome.  Its very good and vegan, but not gluten-free.

(Gluten & Soy-free) Vegan Pumpkin Pie

 * cheesecloth required

First you have to roast 2 large pie pumpkins… Cut them in half, scrape them out and place them face down on a pan.  (Dont forget to save the seeds for roasting later!)

These 2 pie pumpkins ended up being small and I learned (the hard way) that it is best to use 3 small or two large pie pumpkins!

Cook for about an hour at 400 F.  Let them cool and then scrape the pulp out of the shells.  Plop the pumpkin pulp in the center of a piece of cheesecloth (a mesh like fabric), gather the cloth around them and twist tie the tops. Next you want squeeze out all the liquid you can!  This may take a couple of minutes.  I was surprised by how much water I was getting out!  After squeezing them as much as you can (without squirting pumpkin all through the mesh!), you ideally want to end up with about 2  1/4 to 2  1/2 cups of pumpkin(If you can’t get large pie pumpkins, roast three small ones.  I actually used two small ones the last time I made this pie and I fell short on pumpkin after squeezing the water out – so I opened up a can of pumpkin, but the consistency was so much different than the pumpkins that I had roasted myself, I went ahead and roasted another entire pumpkin to ensure that it would all be the same.)

This is BEFORE squeezing the water out... as mentioned before, I ended up having to roast another pumpkin to get the amount I needed!

Next puree the pumpkin with the following ingredients.

  • 2/3 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup (original) coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour

Pour into a gluten-free crust (use a gluten-free pie crust mix or make your own – there were several recipes I saw on about.com and other gluten-free websites).

before baking...

Bake the pie at 350 F  for an hour.  Let the pie cool to room temperature first, then chill for 2-3 hours (or more) until ready to serve! 

The beautiful finished product! Yum!!

What are you planning to make this year and how are you going to give thanks to the earth & the people you love on this upcoming Thanksliving Day?