sweet pumpkin musings (followed by dessert)
Ever since I was gifted this glorious pumpkin (as a trade off for vegan baking secrets) I have been obsessed with roast pumpkin. It has been my first real foray into cooked foods this year (!) after being a fruit-munching fiend on (my version of) the 80/10/10 regime. I’m not one to ignore a good craving, so I have been on a bit of a roast pumpkin bender.
Interestingly, cooked pumpkin has been easily worked into my high carb diet, with no ill effects on my digestion. When you cook starchy vegetables, the starch is converted to sugar, thus making it readily digestable by the body – hooray! Plus the sweet, caramel-like qualities of roast pumpkin are hard to resist.
There’s so much to love about savoury pumpkin dishes, but I’m all about the sweets. The flavour, the creamy texture, the colour…. an amazing (healthful) ingredient to add to desserts, not to mention get some fussy-eaters onto the pumpkin-train.
Any time I need comfort food, I tend to favour a baby-food consistency – not sure why…. perhaps reverting back to memories of childhood? Mashed potato, custard, thick soups, porridge, puddings – all a similar texture, are comforting, and are childhood staples, am I right? For a dessert recipe, I like to slow-roast my pumpkin at a reduced temperature – this really intensifies the sweetness. Spread evenly sized pieces of pumpkin on a baking tray (no oil, no nothing) and bake at about 150 degrees c until super tender (about 40 minutes depending on the water content of your pumpkin – just stab with a fork every 10 minutes or so).
In the recipe I use coconut milk kefir for added tang and beneficial bacteria, but regular coconut milk would be fine to use. For those not in a season conducive to pumpkin-eating, I reckon sweet potato would work, although you may need more liquid/sweetener.
Sweet Pumpkin Mousse
(Vegan, gluten/wheat/corn/soy/grain/refined sugar free)
- 2c roast pumpkin
- 3T coconut butter
- 6 medjool dates (or 2T maple syrup/liquid sweetener of choice)
- 1/4t ground cinnamon
- 1/2t pure vanilla extract (optional)
- Pinch sea salt
- 1/2-1c coconut milk kefir/plain coconut milk (or plain non dairy milk of choice)
- 2t lemon juice
- Blend all ingredients together, adding the liquid (milk) bit by bit until you reach your desired texture.
- Store in the fridge.
Speaking of baby food – this would make an excellent baby/toddler dessert. It has been Misty approved, that’s for sure.
You can even store this in tiny baby-food-like jars to truly indulge your fantasy.