Driving down my street, the smell of pumpkins overwhelm me. Almost every home has a decorated yard and the most oft-seen decoration has to be a jack-o-lantern. Some of these hollowed-gourds are painstakingly carved into masterpieces, while others have succumbed to the tools of a toddler. Regardless of the look of the decoration, I just hope that each fresh pumpkin is used to its fullest potential. Pumpkin pies, toasted pumpkin seeds, creamy pumpkin soup, the list goes on and on! Here are some of my favorite unique ways to use the orange gourd.
Pumpkin Spice Black Bean Brownies (Serves 8)
I go crazy for pumpkin spice, and as you have seen, I love chocolate recipes, so I decided to try to mix the two together. A drizzle of bright orange nestled in a dark black bean dessert is a must-try!
Pumpkin Spice mixture:
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
Egg whites from 1 egg
1 tsp pure Vanilla extract
3/4 cup fresh pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Black Bean Brownie Recipe:
- In a large bowl add cream cheese and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth.
- Add egg white, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice and beat until smooth. Set aside.
- Follow recipe for Black Bean Brownies.
- Pour the brownie mixture into a pan and smooth with a rubber spatula. Drizzle pumpkin spice mixture and use a knife to create a swirled layer
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
- Let cool for 20 minutes and enjoy!
Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes (serves 4)
Breakfast can be a real treat with these delicious vegan pancakes on the table in the morning. These pancakes are in such high demand during the fall months that I often find myself doubling this recipe!
1 ½ -2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
2/3 cup fresh packed pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp vegan coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup or agave (or honey if not vegan)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp cinnamon
2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or substitute half oat flour if desired)
- Preheat pan on medium heat and warm up oil. The oil should not be boiling hot, but it should sizzle when something is placed on it.
- Start with 1 ½ cup almond milk and lemon juice in a large bowl and let rest for 5 minutes to curdle. Add melted coconut oil, maple syrup, pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract and whisk together.
- Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices over the wet ingredients. If the batter is too thin, add more flour. If it is too thick, add a little almond milk. The thickness will depend on the water content of the pumpkin puree.
- Let batter rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Pour ¼ cup scoops of the batter onto the pan. Flip pancakes when bubbles appear in the middle and edges become slightly dry. Cook for about 2 minutes, then remove from the pan.
- Top with your choice of butter, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, bananas, or whatever takes your fancy.
Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie (serves Yourself)
This one is just for you. Maybe there is just a little bit of pumpkin that you saved to make a delectable treat. This recipe is my little secret for when I want to relax with a refreshing drink.
1 scoop natural vegan vanilla protein powder
½ cup frozen pineapple
½ cup frozen peach slices
½ cup fresh pumpkin, cubed or puree
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice
6-8 ice cubes
- Place all ingredients into a blender.
- Blend until smooth.