Saturday, October 13, 2012

Frugal Tip -- Roast Pumpkins and Skip Canned

On any given weekend in October you are likely to find me roasting pumpkins.  Yes, the orange orbs that many only associate with decorations are a stable in my kitchen.  In fact the pumpkin is a type of squash, and recently given the title "super food" because of the nutrients and fiber in contains.  My preference is to purchase pie pumpkins.  They usually cost around $1 or $1.50 and yield 2 or 3 freeze portions, far less expensive than canned pumpkin. Pie pumpkins are smaller and have a more intense flavoring.  As you see in the photo, I cut them in half, scoop out the sides, and roast at 350 degrees for about 1 hour (add water to the pan, about an inch or so high).  After they have cooled, the inside meat is frozen.

For the last two years my favorite recipe for the pumpkin was a bread, but this year I have stumbled upon a new favorite -- Coco Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies.  Imagine a scone and a muffin mix, a slight taste of pumpkin combined with unsweetened coco.  Two batches were gone in record time.  Here is the recipe with notations on how I made mine gluten free (yes, sadly it seems that my body prefers non-gluten foods):

First mix

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 cup pumpkin
Then mix
  • 1 cup flour (or for gluten free use 1 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten free baking mix, plus 1/2 teaspoon xanthm gum)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons unsweetened coco (I use Ghiradelli)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

Combine dry ingredients into wet, mix well.  Drop on cookie sheet (I use an ice cream scoop).  Bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  If you want to omit the pumpkin and replace it with dried fruits or other mashed up fruits or veggies, it will work just as well.  My first attempt to modify this (it had used figs and dates) was a huge hit at the table.  I ate one, and then two more.

Please leave a comment if you give this recipe a try and or modification.  Thanks for reading!

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