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.
Thoughts in my brain are still on the subject of how our diets/ways of eating seem to be in a constant state of evolution as we learn what works for our own body. I didn’t used to like change. Didn’t like it at all. Especially with my meals.
Ok, I admit it, I’m slightly obsessive/compulsive. Viper calls it being “special.” He is constantly saying, ‘Lou, you’re so special,’ as in, I’m weird. That’s fine, I’m down with being weird. Viper has to be down with it too, seeing as we have pro-created and all. Misty will be special for sure. With our genes combined…. oh I fear for Misty.
We are a funny bunch in our household, OCD, ADHD, Vi-Polar… and we wonder why we don’t have any friends. Ha.
Anyway, let’s just say I used to eat a lot of the same sorts of food/dishes day in, day out for a long time. Including an interesting period where I ate a can of tomato soup every day for about 6 months. Weird. I thought I could not possibly survive without a daily bowl of oats…. and being honest here, probably a litre of diet coke. Ick.
Now it seems I have snuck along to the other side of the spectrum… I get bored of the same food all the time…. to the extent that the leftover half of yesterday’s Chocolate Chickpeas needed to be re invented. I warned you I was special.
Chocolate Chickpea Tart Crust:
(Vegan, gluten, nut, seed, soy, cane sugar- free)
- 1/2C chickpeas from this recipe
- 4 large dates (medjool)
- 2t coconut oil
- Pulse all ingredients together in the food processor until they resemble a fine crumb.
- Press into moulds, or simply roll into balls, flatten and shape into a ‘case’ for the filling.
Vanilla Banana Cream Filling:
(Vegan, gluten, nut, seed, cane sugar-free)
- 2 medium, very ripe bananas*
- 375g silken tofu, drained of water**
- 2T lucuma powder (if you do not have this, sub in maca, mesquite, vanilla protein powder or even cacao/cocoa powder for a chocolate-banana twist)
- 1/2t vanilla bean paste
- 1/4t sea salt
- 20 drops vanilla stevia liquid (alternatively use maple syrup or honey to taste… start with 1T and go from there)
- Blend everything together in a food processor until silky and smooth.
- Spoon into your prepared tart crusts.
- Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
*Due to the inclusion of banana… the cream will turn a funny colour after 30 minutes or so. The taste doesn’t vary, but if you’re all about looks (how shallow of you) then make the cream just before serving, or you could add some lemon juice to stop the oxidisation of the fruit. You may need to increase the sweetener if you do this.
**I’m fussy with my tofu… especially for sweet puddings. I really hate the strong soy-ish tasting varieties so I tend to buy the fresh Japanese style. Keep an eye on the ingredient panel as all sorts of nasties can be snuck into tofu. The kind I bought: water, organic soybean, calcium sulphate, organic nigari. That is all. Be aware.
The cream on it’s own is an awesome ‘pudding,’ especially for babes with few chompers. Actually, Misty has about 8 these days, but he stills loves tofu puddings. Especially for finger painting. So special.
So I have learnt a few additional lessons from yesterday as well:
- Even if the time difference is only 3 hours… jet lag still kinda mucks with your brain. I’m not sure if I can blame jet lag on what happened this morning, but I will, as it is less embarrassing that way. Either that or sleep deprivation (which is a lie as I got 8 hours last night). Let’s just say I’m mentally challenged. I got into the shower with my undies still on. True. All I could think was, ‘you’re a dickhead.’
- Dr Bromer’s is my favourite, but when it leaks into your contact lense case (I have no idea how but it happened) and you put Bromer’s soaked lenses onto your eyeballs, the Dr will be hearing a few choice words, for sure.
Makes enough for 1 large person plus some leftover puree for a little one – or just use the whole amount of puree.
- 3T raisins (or dates/prunes) soaked in 4T hot water for 10 minutes or so
- 3/4C cooked pumpkin
- 1/2t ground Mix Spice (pumpkin pie spice)
- Salt to taste (about 1/8t)
- 1/2t lemon juice
- 1/4t vanilla extract
- 1 medium super ripe banana
- 2T milk of choice
- Blend all ingredients until super smooth… add 3/4 of this puree to:
- 1/2C raw buckwheat groats that have been soaked overnight
- 2T chia seeds
- Chopped Brzail nuts
- More milk to loosen it all up
Amazing how a good breakfast can make the memory of soggy undies disappear.
Can you guess what’s inside this little gem?
I’ll give you a hint
No, it’s not a sinfully rich cream, butter and sugar concoction (heart attack anyone?)
It actually contain both fruit AND vegetable, if you can believe it.
It can also be served like this: (with Spiced Pumpkin Granola)
It is suitable to feed one of these:
If you can catch him.
Ok, ok it’s:
Sweet Potato Custard
- 3/4C soy milk (dairy/almond/coconut would work)
- 2 Medjool dates
- 2T maple syrup
- 1/2t cinnamon
- 1/2t vanilla extract
- 1/3C cooked sweet potato (or pumpkin)
- 1/4t guar gum
- 1/4t sea salt
- Chop up your dates finely, and place in the food processor with maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, sweet potato and sea salt. Use a little of the milk for lubrication and process until smooth.
- Transfer into a small saucepan with the remaining milk.
- Bring to the boil.
- Reduce to a simmer, and add the 1/4t guar gum. Stir until thick.
- Spoon into bowls, either eat warm or let it set into more of a ‘pudding’ in the fridge.
- 1T coconut oil
- 2 1/2 t maple syrup
- 1t organic cacao powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- Chopped nuts for sprinkling
- 1/3C sweet potato puree (can sub pumpkin instead)
- 1T nutritional yeast
- 1t tahini
- 1/2 t wholegrain mustard
- 1t apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 4T water
- 1/2t lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste