Tag Archives: Pumpkin

No-Sugar Added Pumpkin Pie

24 Nov

I was on a mission this weekend. A mission to create a dreamy, creamy, no-sugar added pumpkin pie. I have been dreaming up this pie for a couple weeks now.

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The hubs was traveling and I decided to dedicate my weekend to making my dream a reality.

 

 

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Cold weather in the Mitten = me wanting to crank on my oven, bust out the sugar, butter, and eggs and get my groove on in the kitchen. While this is mentally and emotionally comforting, physically, it doesn’t do the body good.

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I’m all about moderation in the food we eat. When the temperatures drop, I crave comfort food. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the warm comfort  of my Paper Bag Apple Pie, slathering some butter on my Maple-Thyme Parmesan Biscuits, or indulging in some Toasted Oatmeal Scones…once in a while. Usually the moderation part comes easily for me but when the wind chills plummet to below zero and the snow piles a foot high before Thanksgiving? I find balance in my diet a lot harder to achieve. I feel like us midwesterners deserve these foods. We deserve the comfort, the aroma, the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of these treats.

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Since this winter looks like it is going to be a long one, I have decided that I should start tweaking some of the comfort foods I make so they are a little friendlier on the waist-line.

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been focusing on cutting back sugar in my cooking/baking. Sometimes it’s a total success, as it was with this pumpkin pie and sometimes it’s a total failure, as in the time I tried to cut the sugar by half in a brownie recipe and we were basically gnawing on cardboard. You win some and you lose some.  Luckily, I won some with this pumpkin pie and you will, too!

No-Sugar Added Pumpkin Pie

Serves 8

Note: It’s important to keep an eye on the edges of your crust as this pie bakes. As you can tell from my photographs, I got distracted and my crust got a little burnt. Use tin foil folded over the edges of your pie to prevent them from burning while your pie finishes baking. 

For the Crust:

1 1/4 cups pecan halves

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/4 teaspoon salt

11 Medjool dates, pitted

1 tablespoon vanilla

For the Pie Filling

11 Medjool dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for 15 minutes

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/16 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cloves

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1. Grease a pie plate with coconut oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse pecans, flaxseed, and salt together until it forms a fine meal. Add the dates and vanilla and pulse until combined.

3. Firmly press the crust into a greased pie plate. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes.

4. Add all of the pie filling ingredients into a high speed blender. Turn blender on lowest setting and quickly increase to high. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute.

5. Pour pie filling into crust. Smooth the filling using an offset spatula. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Allow pie to set out for 3 hours before serving.

 

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Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

31 Oct

This past weekend I had big plans for my “recipes to experiment with” list. I hadn’t had a weekend at home with nothing to do in a while and I was itching to create some deliciousness. As I created each new recipe, I started to question if I truly have the “right” interests/hobbies in life. Each one was a fail, one after the other; under seasoned pumpkin curry soup, date caramel apples that didn’t set up right, and running out of ingredients I swore I had on hand. My ultimate moment of questioning came when I excitedly offered my hubby some cheese-less beer cheese soup (I know, I know…cheese is in the name…I get it) and asked for his input. I knew it needed some tweaking but thought I was on the path to an amazing discovery. Trying to be helpful and offer input, he suggested, “trying to use a different kind of cheese”.

I was ready to throw in the towel. I had waited all week for this day. I brought extra cash to the farmer’s market to get some seasonal goods, stocked up on staples at the grocery store, and woke up extra early to spend some extra time in the kitchen; to not have one good outcome from it all was not ok with me. I decided to give it one last effort and came out with these:

Dreamy,

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heavenly,

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wholesome pumpkin bars with cream cheese-less cream cheese frosting.

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I got the amazing frosting recipe from Love and Lemons.  I clearly have a lot to learn from her. She was able to make the frosting taste like the real thing without actually including the main ingredient. Genius!

These bars have a lot to offer. Believe it or not they are packed with nutrition: oats, pumpkin puree, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, a touch of natural sweetener; what more could a girl want? Although the frosting makes them a-m-a-z-i-n-g, I have enjoyed them sans frosting as a quick, on-the-go snack. They freeze well, too, and only use one bowl to make! Oh, and depending on your dietary restrictions, they are vegan (so dairy and egg free by default) and gluten-free, if you use gluten free oats! Honestly, I don’t know why you guys are still reading. You should be preheating your oven and getting out your mixing bowl and measuring cups…

Pumpkin Bars

Makes 9 bars (8×8 inch pan)

2 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 cup maple syrup (add an additional 2 tablespoons if you like things sweeter)

1/2 cup cashew cream (1/2 cup cashews processed with 2 1/2 tablespoons almond milk; you might be able to use a nut butter but I did not test it)

1/4 cup uncrystallized candied ginger, cut into quarter inch pieces (I found mine at Trader Joe’s; other dried fruit would work as well)

Frosting (from Love and Lemons)

1/2 cup macadamia nuts (soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed)

1/2 cup cashews (soaked for 2 hours, drained and rinsed)

1/4 cup almond milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin seeds.

3. Add pumpkin puree, canola oil, maple syrup, and cashew cream. Mix well to combine.

4. Fold in uncrystallized candied ginger.

5. Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 minutes until lightly browned.

6. To make the frosting, combine all frosting ingredients in a high speed blender. Start blender on low and gradually increase to high.  Blend until smooth.

7 . Cool the bars on a cooling rack. Wait until bars are completely cooled to add frosting.

Lightened Up Pumpkin Pie

16 Nov

The older I get, the more I realize I have in common with my grandma. My mom’s mom loved spending time in the kitchen. We would go to her house for dinner and have a simple dinner of chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes that she had spent hours in the kitchen working on…and it was delicious. I have vivid memories of her enjoying the task of meticulously chopping vegetables for a beautiful mixed greens salad. She would make popcorn on the stove with just the right amount of oil and seasoned with just the right amount of salt. And I wonder where I get my love of being in the kitchen from?

The same can be said for my great aunt (my grandma’s sister). It’s a tradition this time of year to make Aunt Lucy’s pumpkin pie.

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With the slightest variations from the recipe of the back of Libby’s canned pumpkin, Aunt Lucy has made this pie is a highlight of Thanksgiving for me. The recipes has been passed down on an old index card with specific directions such as “stir ingredients 100 times with a wooden spoon”, “use 1 and 3/4 can Libby’s canned pumpkin”. I tweaked her recipe slightly to make it just a tad healthier. Don’t worry, I maintained the important parts and still mix it 100 times with a wooden spoon 🙂

Enjoy leftovers (if there are any) the next day for breakfast with this recipe .

Lightened Up Pumpkin Pie

Makes 1 pie

1 pie crust (I like Pillsbury if I want to save time and use a store-bought crust)

1 egg and 2 egg whites, slightly beaten

1 3/4 can Libby pumpkin

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1 1/2 cup fat free evaporated milk
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put all ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well with wooden spoon 100 times.
2. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely before serving.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

9 Nov

Pie

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Meet oatmeal

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And create the most delicious and somewhat nutritious breakfast ever had.

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This is the perfect use for leftover pie that you have after Thanksgiving. As Americans, we have officially entered the eating frenzy.  Starting on October 31st and sometimes lasting all the way until February 14th (think more chocolate, another fancy dinner). I am a firm believer in enjoying the moment and embracing each holiday and the food that comes with it. I am not, however, a firm believer in indulging day after day with the excuse of “it’s the holidays”. So, what to do when you have all those yummy leftovers, especially pumpkin pie.

If you really think about it, pumpkin pie is a healthier dessert option on Turkey Day. Pumpkin is loaded with nutrients (think vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber) and is pretty low in calories. It’s the sugar, egg, and high fat dairy that we add to it and the buttery crust that we put it in that turn it into a splurge.

With a few tweaks, your pumpkin pie can turn into a healthy and delicious breakfast. Start with a lower fat pumpkin pie recipe (recipe coming soon), scrape out the filling and add it to a steaming hot bowl of oatmeal made with unsweetened almond milk, throw in a heaping tablespoon of flaxseed meal, and sprinkle with a few chopped pecans, and sit back and “indulge” in a healthy breakfast as you rehash the events from the wonderful meal the night before with your family.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup rolled oats (quick cooking or old-fashioned)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon flaxseed meal

1 slice pumpkin pie, filling only

1 teaspoon chopped pecans

Combine the flaxseed, oats, and almond milk. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes until cooked. Add pumpkin pie filling, sprinkle with chopped pecans, pour a cup of coffee, and enjoy 🙂

White Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cookies

28 Sep

I realize I am a week late getting on board with the whole fall baking thing. After the lull we had midsummer, life has gotten crazy busy again!

There have been family weddings (3 down, 1 to go!), mother-daughter weekends, and the beginning of my hubby’s soccer season

All good things…just busy! I had a day all to myself this weekend and decided to dive right into a fall food extravaganza. First up are these gems.

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A twist on your traditional oatmeal cookie, these treats have a slight pumpkin flavor with the occasional surprise of white chocolate chips and pecan pieces to keep things interesting.

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White Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Cookies

Makes 18-20 small cookies

*The cookies don’t spread much during baking. The dough was too sticky to press down before they went in the oven. Immediately after taking them out of the oven, I gently pressed them down with criss-cross pattern using a fork. 

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/16 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 egg

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 1/2 cup oats (I used quick cooking but old-fashioned should work too)

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

1/4 cup white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add maple syrup and beat to combine. Add egg and beat to combine. Next, add pumpkin puree and mix until combined. Gradually add flour mixture to the bowl and mix just until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Fold in pecans and white chocolate chips.

3. Scoop cookies onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Gently press down on cookies using a fork to flatten them slightly. Remove to a wire cooling rack.

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