Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving and Pumpkins

Canadian Thanksgiving is upon us and in Toronto we're celebrating with a lovely temperate 27 degree weekend. In an attempt to make October feel more like October, I decided to purchase some pumpkins and see what I could do with them. Roasting your own pumpkin tastes a million times better, although you can use canned if you're lazy. Canned food scares me however. Roasting pumpkins turned out to be a lot simpler than I thought, and it's cheaper in the long run. When you're using pumpkins for eating and not jack-o-latern-ing, you want to buy smaller(usually marked as Sugar Pie) Pumpkins. The larger the pumpkins are the stringier and less sweet they are, so save those for carving. You want to pick ones that are on the smaller side, and that feel heavy than they look.

Jack and Jill, unsuspecting of their fates.

To roast your pumpkins preheat the oven to 345, then slice off the tops of the pumpkins. Scoop out the seeds and save them in a bowl. Quarter each pumpkin and place on a baking tray(it's fine if they're a little crowded). Bake for about 45 mins-1 hour, depending on the size of your pumpkin. When they're done the skins should look a little shrivelled. Remove from oven and let cool, then pull the skins off. Chop the pumpkin then puree in a food processor or blender. Or mash it with a potato masher.

Rinse your pumpkin seeds in a colander, and place in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and roast in an oven at 345 for 45 minutes. I added Cajun seasoning to mine as well, curry powder, garlic powder, or other herbs would be good too. Pumpkin seeds are high in protein, iron, zinc and magnesium.

Pumpkin Guts

Maple Pumpkin Muffins
2 1/4 cups flour(I used spelt)
1 cup Sucanat(Or you could use brown sugar, demerera, ect)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tblspn cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
2 tblspns Maple Syrup Powder(optional)
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cups almond milk
1/3 cup vegan margarine(melted)
1 cup chocolate chips
Maple Syrup Powder for sprinkling(optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 345 degrees.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and ginger.

In a separate bowl mix the pumpkin, almond milk and vegan margarine.

Make a well in the flour mixture, and pour in the pumpkin mixture. Fold until just mixed, and add the chocolate chips. Scoop into muffin cups, sprinkle with maple syrup powder.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Perfect muffin enjoying weather.

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