Pumpkin Week at the Book of Yum: Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

October 24th, 2011 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Easy, Egg Free, Pumpkin, Smoothie, Soy Free, cashew 4 Comments »

Welcome to Pumpkin Week! I’ve had a fondness for pumpkins since I was a little kid picking out my pumpkin for a Jack O’lantern. Then I moved to Colorado and made friends with a pumpkin patch with a delightful assortment of pumpkins and squash, hay rides and mazes for the kids (and those who were kids at heart). I discovered the joy of bringing baby pie pumpkins home and roasting them in the oven for homemade gluten-free pumpkin pie. When we finally bought a house in California last year where we could have a garden, I knew I wanted to plant pumpkins so I could realize a childhood dream and grow my own pumpkin for a jack O’lantern. Of course I thought pies with homemade pumpkin would be a nice perk, too. Our pumpkins vined their little hearts out in the garden and produced some darling beauties. I haven’t had the heart to cut them open and bake them yet, although I did roast one of the spaghetti squash that we grew. It was very yummy.

As autumn has set into California with its fickle, spring-like nature that alternates cool days with sunny days and the nights turn crisp, I find myself craving pumpkin. This week I will be sharing two (possibly three) pumpkin recipes with you and hosting a pumpkin recipe mr. linky on Friday, so stay tuned.

I’ll start the week with a healthy drink for a dairy-free Chocolate Pumpkin Cream Smoothie that sounds naughty but isn’t really. Toddler Yum heard the word “chocolate” and slurped it down like nobody’s business, which made me happy. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did!

One note- the avocado is there for the additional healthy fats and creaminess. It does add a little flavor so the cocoa is absolutely necessary for smoothing the flavors together, in my opinion. Do be careful not to add too much banana as the flavor is quite strong. It is mostly there for the sweetness, so if you prefer another mild fruit, feel free to experiment.

As part of the Tastemaker program with Foodbuzz, I got the nifty Tervis Tumbler pictured. I thought it might be fun to participate, and we can always use another bpa free, dishwasher safe cup for Toddler Yum. Their 8 oz toddler-sized tumblers look interesting. I might have to get some cups made for Toddler Yum!

Here are some additional recipes for Pumpkin Smoothies:
Pumpkin Smoothie with Ginger and Maple Syrup
Sugar-free Pumpkin Smoothie with Coconut Whip
Pumpkin Smoothie with Homemade Hemp Milk
Silken Tofu Pumpkin Smoothie
Pumpkin Smoothie with Flaxseed and Soy
Pumpkin Smoothie with Protein Boost
Pumpkin Smoothie with chia and almond milk
Pumpkin Smoothie with Yogurt
Brown Sugar Sweetened Pumpkin Smoothie

Other Foodbuzz folks put some interesting things in their Tumblers:
Juiced tangerine limeade

Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin (canned ok)
1/2 avocado (peeled and without the pit)
1 cup homemade cashew milk* (or favorite non-dairy milk of choice)
1 tbsp agave or your favorite liquid sweetener (such as homemade simple syrup. Do NOT use honey as it has too much personality)
1 tbsp cocoa powder (NOT optional, although carob powder might be a good substitute if you are sensitive to chocolate)
1 small frozen banana

1 nutmeg for grating

Combine ingredients in your blender (a cheap-o blender will be just fine) and process until smooth and creamy. Pour in a glass or cup and grate nutmeg on top for serving. Enjoy!

I am curious about what it would taste like frozen into a popsicle- I think it might be pretty tasty.

I also considered adding 1/2 tsp of vanilla. I might do that next time. You can also add a pumpkin spice type blend of spices. I like Penzey’s Cake or Baking Spice.

*CASHEW MILK RECIPE: I made one big batch of cashew milk that I used in recipes for several days. I soaked 1 cup of cashews overnight with enough water to cover and then drained them, discarding the liquid. I blended them together with water up to the top of my blender (measuring 5 cups including the cashews), to make a milk which I did not strain. I stored it in the refrigerator in a glass pitcher to use as needed.

For drinking or to use in hot cereal, I add a drop of vanilla and a little agave to the milk.

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Easy Gluten-free Plum Cobbler with Pamela’s Baking Mix Recipe

July 18th, 2011 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Dessert, Easy, Pamela's GF Mix, Plums, Vegetarian, cobbler, fruit 2 Comments »

Welcome to pie and cobbler week! This week I’ll be sharing two cobbler recipes with you and hosting a cobbler, pie and crumble linky on Friday, so get ready for some flaky, fruity goodness. At this time of year, the farmer’s markets and even the conventional grocery stores are overflowing with delicious stone fruits just begging to be made into a cobbler. I have a rather interesting idea I’d like to try out for a rather unusual tart that I hope to get to for Friday, but let me start with a very easy plum cobbler recipe that I made using Pamela’s Baking Mix. I usually make things from scratch, but sometimes it is nice to get out a mix, add a few ingredients, and pop something in the oven without the hassle of mixing up flour. Pamela’s contains both dairy and nuts (almonds) in their mix, but never fear, my from-scratch cobbler recipe that I will post on Wednesday is potentially vegan and naturally gluten, dairy, and nut-free. You could easily swap the fillings in these recipes as well, so you can pick your favorite topping recipe and go from there.

I was inspired to make these cobblers because for the first time, we are living in our own home with a proper yard that came with proper fruit trees. To be specific, we have productive avocado, apple, cherry, plum, and apricot trees, with a persimmon tree dipping in over the neighbor’s fence for good measure. Right now the apricot and plum trees are covered in fruit, and we are scrambling to find ways to eat them up before time re-claims them for the compost. I’d never had plum cobbler before, but when my Mother mentioned that she’d once had some, I was intrigued. The resulting recipe made my mouth very happy, especially paired with some vanilla ice cream. One note, though. No matter how much you want cobbler, you definitely want to wait until the fruit is fully ripe. I like a tart plum for snacking, especially in preference to a mushy, over-ripe one, but for cobbler, you really want to harness the natural sweetness of the fruit so you don’t have to dip too heavily into the sugar jar to compensate. My plums were a tad under-ripe. I’ve learned my lesson, and next time I’ll use only ripe, sweet, toothsome fruits.

Baby Yum and I recently celebrated our birthdays in a joint, gluten-free birthday party ladybug-themed feast with a ladybug pinata, butterfly and black and red polka dotted balloons and of course, more food than you would think could fit on one (ok, two) tables. It was lovely and I hope to share pictures soon. I got a new camera for said birthday (the Nikon D5000). Thanks, kisses and loves to all of you for your patience while I befriend my new camera. Who knew light could be so much fun (and so challenging!)

Gluten-Free Plum Cobbler with Pamela’s Baking Mix
3/4 cup white sugar*
4 cups fresh plums, pitted and sliced into wedges
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, cloves, and allspice

1 1/2 C Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
1/3 cup milk
1/4 C granulated sugar
1/4 C melted butter or margarine
1 tbsp. raw sugar

Take a deep pie pan or 2 Q. casserole dish and preheat oven to 350F.

Combine your plums, sugar, vanilla, corn starch and spices in a large bowl. If you like you can then fill your pie pan or casserole dish and use it for your biscuit topping.

Combine your Baking mix, sugar, and melted butter or margarine in a bowl and stir together. Fold your milk in gently. Use a large serving spoon to drop the dough on top of your plum mixture. Cover the surface but leave a little space around the edges. Sprinkle with your raw sugar for some pretty baking sparkle and bake at 350f for around 35 minutes or until lightly browned and firm on top.

Serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream or enjoy plain. Yum!

*I actually used 1/2 cup sugar, but the DH said it was too tart. Our plums were a little under-ripe, so we needed the 3/4 cup. Your mileage may vary.
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